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Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Written by: Editorial Staff.

Many veterans of war are usually exposed to shocking and traumatic atrocities that often stay with them for nearly an entire lifetime. As a result, it’s common for them to develop certain anxiety disorders, including post traumatic stress disorder. However contrary to popular belief, PTSD is not a condition limited to just war veterans. In fact, any individual that has experienced a shocking or traumatic event in their life can wind up developing post traumatic stress disorder.

There are several types of traumatic events that can cause an individual to develop post traumatic stress disorder. One example is being physically attacked, as in specific cases which involve domestic violence or rape. Getting seriously injured in a car accident or plane crash can also bring on PTSD. Other types of trauma that can often lead to post traumatic stress disorder include being a victim of natural disasters, such as a hurricane, tornado or flood. Some people may also show signs of PTSD after they are abruptly told about the unexpected death of a loved one.

Causes & Symptoms of PTSD

We all know that life has a tendency to be somewhat unpredictable and, sadly, that can often mean that we have to deal with different kinds of situations and problems that are extremely difficult. The truth is that traumatic events play a big role in affecting both our physical and emotional well-being. While some people have the ability to get through trauma completely unscathed, the same cannot be said for others who end up deeply affected.

As for the exact causes of PTSD, it typically occurs when an individual is exposed to a traumatic even that may have involved a threat of serious injury or death. Post traumatic stress disorder also occurs if the individual’s reaction to the traumatic event is extreme fear and utter helplessness.

Symptoms of PTSD Include:

  • The feeling of numbness or being in a daze
  • Recurring intense dreams of the traumatic event
  • Avoidance of certain places or people that may serve as reminders of the trauma
  • Significant changes in eating and/or sleeping patterns
  • Increased irritability
  • Profound sense of loss or sadness
  • Feelings of anxiety and depression

In addition to the emotional affects caused by PTSD, it’s also common for sufferers to experience physical symptoms. For instance, an individual who might have survived a plane crash some years ago sees a news report of a plane that recently crashed with no survivors. As a result, their heart rate skyrockets and they begin to perspire profusely and shake uncontrollably. This is because the news report is a reminder of the traumatic event suffered by the individual and forces him/her to have to experience the terrifying ordeal all over again.

Getting Help & Treatment for PTSD

There is a bright side to post traumatic stress disorder and that’s simply the fact that it doesn’t have to consume your entire life because you can get help. The most important thing to remember with PTSD is that you’re not alone. Believe it or not, there are a number of people out there who really do understand what you’re going through and can therefore help you to cope. This is why many PTSD sufferers tend to turn to support groups for help after a traumatic event.