Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that sometimes occurs in people who have experienced a particularly disturbing event or series of events. Post-traumatic stress disorder can happen to anyone. People who have experienced combat, a car accident, a near-death experience, assault, a natural disaster, and other traumatic experiences can develop post-traumatic stress disorder.
Post-traumatic stress disorder occurs in 1 out of 3 people who experience a traumatising event. Certain events that can contribute to PTSD include:
Post-traumatic stress disorder is not typically related to “normal” upsetting events such as a break-up, divorce, or loss of a job. Events that trigger PTSD are usually extremely frightening, stressful, or disturbing. Post-traumatic stress disorder can also occur when someone has been subjected to extended periods of abuse.
Symptoms of PTSD can start soon after the event has taken place, but often signs won’t occur for months or even years afterwards. Experiencing the following symptoms on a regular basis for longer than four weeks and feeling extreme distress that impedes a person’s job, education, or personal relationships can be an indication of PTSD:
People can overcome post-traumatic stress disorder, and it is not something they need to live with forever. Treatment for PTSD usually involves psychotherapy and medication. Each may be used alone or in conjunction with the other.
Cognitive behavioural therapy is used widely with people who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, as it allows them to better understand how the trauma has changed them. It also changes people how to think differently about their trauma in order to change their thoughts towards it.
Prolonged exposure has also shown to a beneficial form of treatment for people who suffer from PTSD. This therapy involves talking about the trauma repeatedly until it no longer triggers upsetting memories or emotions.
Common problems that occur in people with PTSD can include:
No. Anyone, regardless of age, gender, or race can develop post-traumatic stress disorder. A person who receives social support after the traumatic event is less likely to develop PTSD than a person who has none. Periods of stress after the event can also increase the likelihood PTSD will develop.
PTSD: National Center for PTSD
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) – Causes, NHS Choices
Interesting PTSD statistics, Barends Psychology Practice