Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an emotional illness usually developed as a result of a terribly frightening, life-threatening or highly unsafe experience.
Statistics indicate that 7.5% of the U.S. population will likely develop PTSD in their lifetime.
Experiencing or even witnessing any trauma or event that is life-threatening or that severely compromises someone’s physical/emotional well-being or causes intense fear, may cause PTSD.PTSD sufferers re-experience the traumatic event or events in some way. They tend to avoid places, people or other things that remind them of the event and are very sensitive to normal life experiences.
Such events often include:
- a severe accident or physical injury,
- receiving a life-threatening medical diagnosis,
- being the victim of kidnapping or torture,
- exposure to war combat or to a natural disaster,
- exposure to other disaster (for example, plane crash)
- or terrorist attack,
- being the victim of rape, mugging, robbery or assault
- enduring physical, sexual, emotional or other forms of abuse
Symptoms of PTSD:
- Re-experiencing the trauma through frightening memories, flashbacks or recurring nightmares about the trauma.
- Avoiding places, people and experiences that remind the sufferer of the trauma.
- Emotional deadness, general numbing or lack of emotional responsiveness.
- Chronic physical signs of hyper-arousal, including insomnia, trouble concentrating, irritability, anger, poor concentration, blackouts or difficulty remembering things, increased tendency and reaction to being startled, and hyper-vigilance to threats.
- Lack of interest in activities that used to be enjoyed.
- Sense of a foreshortened future (not being able to think about the future, make future plans or believing one will not live much longer)
Treatments for PTSD usually include a combination of psychological and medical interventions which have been proven effective in reducing symptoms.
If you feel that you or someone you care about is experiencing symptoms of PTSD, please consider requesting an appointment with an iTherapy.com counselor.