What you didn’t know about PTSD

Let’s talk about what you didn’t know about PTSD today. Post-traumatic stress disorder develops after exposure to traumatic events. This includes psychological and behavioral problems. Roughly 8% of Americans will develop PTSD at some point in their lives. 30% of veterans may experience PTSD, and women are approximately twice as likely as men to develop PTSD. These are alarming statistics.

Here are some clinical symptoms you or your loved one suffering from PTSD may have:

  • Pervasive and intrusive memories, nightmares, flashbacks, and dissociation. 
  • Extreme distress associated with reminders of the event and increased psychological, physiological reactions to reminders of the event. 
  • Negative thoughts and trauma-related memory problems. Victims just don’t remember things. 
  • Not knowing things that you/they used to believe in. Changing beliefs about the world being a safe place to society being a terrible place. 
  • Blaming either yourself or other people.

FACTS ABOUT PTSD

  • The symptoms of PTSD are often accompanied by other problems, such as depression/hopelessness, drug/alcohol abuse, relationship problems, pain and other physical symptoms (e.g., headaches, stomach upset).
  • Symptoms of PTSD may not emerge immediately after the traumatic event. Sometimes it is weeks, months, or even years before the symptoms develop.
  • Not all trauma survivors develop PTSD. We do not know all the reasons why some survivors develop PTSD and others do not. Still, some of the factors involved include genetic vulnerability to anxiety, previous experience with trauma, presence of other life stressors, coping skills, and social support.

The most important fact you need to know is that PTSD is treatable. There are several interventions available that have been shown to markedly reduce or even eliminate the symptoms of PTSD. 

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