My Homepage

What is Post-Traumatic Stress



What's PTSD (Posttraumatic Stress Disorder)?

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, or pTSD, is a psychiatric illness that may occur following the experience or witnessing of a life threatening events such as military combat, natural disasters, terrorist incidents, serious injuries, or physical or sexual assault in childhood or adult. Most survivors of injury return to ordinary allowed a little time. However, some people will have stress reactions which don't go away on their own, or may even get worse over time. These individuals may develop PTSD. People who suffer from PTSD often relive the experience through nightmares and flashbacks, have trouble sleeping, and feel detached or estranged, and these symptoms can be severe enough PTSD and last long enough to significantly impair the person's everyday life.

People with PTSD experience three different kinds of symptoms. The first group of symptoms requires thinking about the trauma if you are attempting to do something different or reliving the trauma in some way for example becoming upset when confronted with a traumatic reminder. The second group of symptoms involves staying away from places or people that remind you of the trauma, isolating from others, or feeling numb. The third group of symptoms includes things for example feeling on guard, irritable, or startling readily.

PTSD is marked by clear biological changes as well as emotional symptoms. PTSD is complicated by the truth that people who have PTSD frequently may grow additional disorders for example depression, substance abuse, problems of memory and cognition, and other issues of mental and physical health. The illness is also associated with impairment of the person's skill to work in family or social life, including occupational instability, marital problems and divorces, family discord, and difficulties in parenting.

PTSD may be medicated with psychotherapy ('chat' treatment) and medicines such as antidepressants. Early treatment is important and could help reduce long term symptoms. Unfortunately, many people don't know that they do not seek treatment or have PTSD. This fact sheet can help you to better understand the and PTSD how it could be medicated.

Which are the symptoms of PTSD?

Although PTSD symptoms can begin right after a distressing occurrence, PTSD is not diagnosed unless the symptoms last for at least one month, and cause significant distress or interfere with work or home life. To be able to be diagnosed with PTSD, an individual must have three different kinds of symptoms: re-experiencing arousal symptoms, numbing and avoidance symptoms, and symptoms.

Reexperiencing Symptoms

Reexperiencing symptoms are symptoms that involve reliving the traumatic occurrence. There are a number of ways in which people may relive a trauma. They may have disturbing memories of the traumatic occurrence. These memories can come back when they are not anticipating them. At other times the memories could be activated by a painful reminder such as when a battle veteran hears a car backfire, an automobile accident casualty drives by an auto accident or a rape victim sees a news report of a recent sexual assault. These memories can cause both psychological as well as physical responses. Occasionally these memories can feel so real it's as in the event the event is truly occurring again. This really is known as a "flashback." Reliving the event may cause extreme feelings of anxiety, helplessness, and horror much like the feelings they had when the event took place.

Avoidance and Numbing Symptoms

Avoidance symptoms are efforts people make to prevent the traumatic event. People with PTSD may attempt to avoid situations that trigger memories of the traumatic occurrence. They may avoid going areas that are near where the trauma happened or viewing TV programs or news reports about similar occasions. They may avoid people that are reminders of the traumatic occurrence, sounds, odors, or other sights. Some people find that they try to divert themselves as one method to prevent thinking about the traumatic occurrence.

Numbing symptoms are another approach to prevent the disturbing event. People with PTSD may find it difficult to be in touch with their feelings or express emotions toward others. For example, they may feel emotionally "numb" and may isolate from others. They may be less interested in activities you once loved. Many people forget, or are not able to talk about, significant parts of the occasion. Some believe that they can have a shortened life span or WOn't accomplish personal goals such as having family or a career.

Arousal Symptoms

People with PTSD may feel continuously watchful after the terrible event. This is known as increased emotional arousal, and it may cause difficulty focusing, outbursts of anger or irritability, and difficulty sleeping. They may discover that they are constantly 'on guard' and on the lookout for signs of risk. They might additionally find that they get startled.

What other issues do individuals with PTSD experience?

It is very common for other states to occur along with PTSD, such as depression, stress, or substance abuse. More than half of men with PTSD also have problems with alcohol. The following most common co-occurring issues in men are depression, followed by conduct disorder, and then difficulties with drugs. In girls, the most frequent co-occurring problem is melancholy. Just under half of women with PTSD also experience depression. The following most common co-occurring issues in girls are then, and particular fears, social anxiety problems with booze.

People with PTSD often have difficulties functioning. Generally speaking, people with PTSD have spouse abuse, divorce or separation, more unemployment and likelihood of being fired than individuals without PTSD. Vietnam veterans with PTSD were found to get increased incidents of violence, issues with employment, and many problems with family and other interpersonal relationships.

Individuals with PTSD also may experience a wide variety of physical symptoms. This really is a familiar event in people who have depression and other anxiety disorders. Some evidence suggests that PTSD may be related to increased odds of creating medical ailments. Research is ongoing, and it's too soon to draw firm conclusions about which particular illnesses are associated with PTSD.

How common is PTSD?

An estimated 7.8 percent of Americans will experience PTSD at some point in their lives, with women (10.4%) twice as likely as men (5%) to develop PTSD. About 3.6 percent of U.S. adults aged 18 to 54 (5.2 million people) have PTSD during the course of a given year. This represents a small part of individuals who've experienced at least one traumatic event; 60.7% of men and 51.2% of women reported at least one traumatic event. The traumatic events most often associated with PTSD for men are rape, combat exposure, childhood neglect, and childhood physical abuse. The most traumatic events for women are rape, sexual molestation, physical attack, being threatened with a weapon, and childhood physical abuse.

About 30 percent of women and the men that have spent time in war zones experience PTSD. An additional 20 to 25 percent have had partial PTSD at a certain time in their own lives. More than half of all male Vietnam veterans and almost half of all female Vietnam veterans have experienced "clinically serious stress reaction symptoms." PTSD has also been detected among veterans of other wars. Estimates of PTSD from the Gulf War are not as low as 10%. Estimates from the war in Afghanistan are between 6 and 11%. Present estimates range from 12% to 20%.