Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder which develops due to a terrifying traumatic incident. Traumatic events like violent personal assaults, man-made disasters, accidents, military combat etc. can trigger PTSD.
What are the symptoms of PTSD?
People with PTSD mostly re-experience the whole incident repeatedly in the form of flashback episodes and nightmares. This happens more when they are exposed to the events or objects which are reminiscent of the trauma. The other symptoms are emotional numbness, sleep disturbances, depression, anxiety and irritability leading to outbursts of anger on others. People with PTSD feel intense guilt mostly. Anniversaries of such an event can also trigger symptoms of PTSD. When these symptoms last for more than a month, the person is diagnosed with PTSD.
Who will most likely develop PTSD?
You do not need to be in the military to suffer from PTSD. People who have suffered child abuse during school, who have had traumatic experiences are more likely to develop the condition. Other factors that may cause PTSD are still under research.
When does PTSD occur?
PTSD can occur at any age, given the intensity and frequency of symptoms. The symptoms typically are seen within 3 months post a traumatic event, although it may not begin until next year. Once the PTSD symptoms appear, the severity and duration of the illness may vary.
What are the treatments available for PTSD?
Cognitive-behavioral therapy, group therapy, and exposure therapy have been very effective in treating PTSD where the patient gradually and repeatedly relives the frightening experience under controlled surroundings which helps him/her work through the trauma. Medicines also help ease associated symptoms such as depression and anxiety.
Do other illnesses accompany PTSD?
PTSD can present with many associated conditions like depression, alcohol or substance abuse, anxiety disorder etc. Certain symptoms like headaches, gastrointestinal ailments, immune system issues, dizziness, chest pain or discomfort in other parts of the body are common. To treat PTSD entirely, it is necessary to take these symptoms into consideration as well.
PTSD is a difficult condition to deal with. If you or someone you know happens to suffer from PTSD, the first thing is to seek help. Having PTSD does not make you weak. All you need is a little help and support from your family and friends, to make you feel better. Happy Mind, Healthy You! In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!