History of PTSD
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition associated with a traumatic event. What is considered a traumatic event? Military combat, school shootings, workplace violence, sexual assault, abusive relationships, an accident, fire, plane crash, and many other types of incidents count as a traumatic event. The disorder can occur if you are a direct victim or a witness. PTSD is known to affect people of all ages, races, and socioeconomic backgrounds.
The intensity of the disease may vary by person and the triggers are different for every individual. You are more likely to have PTSD if you have had a stressful experience, have a history of depression or anxiety, have addiction issues, and lack a support network. While many people have heard of the disease, not everyone can recognize the signs of PTSD.
Symptoms of PTSD
With PTSD, everyone responds a little differently. Some people get anxiety, nightmares, flashbacks, and other symptoms within a few weeks from the traumatic event. Other people may not experience symptoms for years after the event. Someone with PTSD may seem like a different person than they once were or may outwardly only exhibit a symptom or two. A person with the disorder will be mainly affected by strong memories and negative moods or thoughts.
They will avoid certain situations and experience stress from emotional reactions. They may have memories that relate to the event or result in upsetting dreams. Someone with PTSD will likely feel depressed, hopeless, or feel detached from life or others. They may avoid former interests or hobbies, their favorite places, feel empty, and have difficulty with relationships. They might avoid large crowds, social situations, or any place that resembles the triggering event. Feeling irritable, frightened, having insomnia, or difficulty concentrating is common with PTSD. If you have any of these symptoms or know someone who does, they may have PTSD.
How Therapy Can Help Those With PTSD
Luckily, there are many treatment methods that can make life more manageable for those afflicted with this disorder. Jan Rakoff, LCSW can help you approach fears, nightmares, and stressful situations.