What Is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?

What is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?

Post traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a psychiatric disorder that can occur following the experience or witnessing of a life-threatening events such as

  • Military combat

  • Natural disasters

  • Terrorist incidents

  • Serious accidents

  • Physical abuse

  • Sexual assault in adult or childhood

  • Mental abuse

Most survivors of trauma return to normal given a little time.

However, some people will have stress reactions that do not 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 difficulty sleeping, and feel detached or estranged, and these symptoms can be severe enough and last long enough to significantly impair to the person’s daily life.

People with PTSD experience three different kinds of symptoms.

  1. Symptoms involves reliving the trauma in some way such as becoming upset when confronted with a traumatic reminder or thinking about the trauma when you are trying to do something else.

  2. Symptoms involves either

    • Staying away from places

    • Staying away from people that remind them of their trauma

    • They isolate themselves from other people.

    • They feel numb.

  1. The symptoms includes things such as

    • Feeling on guard.

    • Feeling irritable.

    • Getting startled easily.

PTSD is marked by clear biological changes as well as psychological symptoms.

PTSD is complicated by the fact that people with PTSD often may develop additional disorders such as

  • Depression.

  • Substance abuse.

  • Problems of memory and cognition.

  • Physical problems.

  • Mental health Problems.

The disorder is also associated with impairment of the

  • Person’s ability to function in social life.

  • Person struggles with family life.

  • They experience occupational instability

  • they struggle with marital problems.

  • They are more likely to experience one or several divorces.

  • Family discord is usually high.

  • They experience difficulties in parenting and/or difficulties in being a grandparent.

PTSD can be treated with psychotherapy (‘talk’ therapy) and medicines such as antidepressants. Although antidepressants are only a short term treatment to help until the psychotherapy has helped in the the full term recovery.

Early treatment is important and may help reduce long-term symptoms.

Unfortunately, many people do not know that they have PTSD or do not seek treatment.

Hopefully this document could help you have a deeper understanding of PTSD and help you gain ways to seek professional help in order to be treated.

What are the symptoms of PTSD?

Although PTSD symptoms can begin right after a traumatic event, PTSD is not diagnosed unless the symptoms last for at least one month, and either cause significant distress or interfere with work or home life. In order to be diagnosed with PTSD, a person must have three different types of symptoms:

  1. Re-experiencing symptoms.

  2. Avoidance and numbing symptoms

  3. Arousal of symptoms.

Re-experiencing Symptoms

  • When you Re-experiencing the symptoms it usually involves reliving the traumatic event. There are a several ways in which people may relive a trauma;

  • They may have upsetting memories of the traumatic event. These memories can come back when they are not expecting them. Memories may be triggered by a traumatic reminder such as;

    • When a soldier hears a car backfire.

    • When a motor vehicle accident victim drives by a car accident.

    • when a rape victim sees a news report of a recent sexual assault.

  • These memories can cause both emotional and physical reactions.

  • They have flashbacks and this causes the person to experience re-living of a traumatic moment and actually feel they are in that moment again.

  • This causes intense feelings of

    • Fear

    • Helplessness.

    • Horror.

  • They assimilate similar feelings to when they had originally experienced.

Avoidance Symptoms

Avoidance symptoms are efforts people make to avoid the traumatic event.

Individuals with PTSD may try to avoid situations that trigger memories of the traumatic event.

They may avoid going near places where the trauma occurred or seeing TV programs or news reports about similar events.

They may avoid other sights, sounds, smells, or people that are reminders of the traumatic event. Some people find that they try to distract themselves as one way to avoid thinking about the traumatic event.

Numbing Symptoms

Numbing symptoms are another way to avoid the traumatic event.

Individuals with PTSD may find it difficult to be in touch with their feelings or express emotions toward other people.

Some may feel emotionally “numb” and may isolate themselves from others. They may be less interested in activities they once enjoyed.

Some people forget and lock it deep inside their subconscious.

Some people are unable to talk about, important parts of the event.

Some think that they will have a shortened life span or will not reach personal goals such as having a career or family.

Arousal Symptoms

People with PTSD may feel constantly alert after the traumatic event. This is known as increased emotional arousal, and it can cause difficulty sleeping, outbursts of anger or irritability, and difficulty concentrating. They may find that they are constantly ‘on guard’ and on the lookout for signs of danger. They may also find that they get startled easily.

Being startled easily can slow their progress and show that they are unable to even call about debt in fear of being told off or fear of going to work in fear of being told off and some become hermits and lock themselves in.

What other problems do people with PTSD experience?

It is very common for other conditions to occur along with PTSD, such as

  • Depression.

  • Anxiety

  • substance abuse.

  • Alcoholism.

More than half of men with PTSD also have problems with alcohol. The next most common co-occurring problems in men are depression, followed by conduct disorder, and then problems with drugs.

In women, the most common co-occurring problem is depression. Just under half of women with PTSD also experience depression. The next most common co-occurring problems in women are specific fears, social anxiety, and then problems with alcohol.

People with PTSD often have problems functioning. In general, people with PTSD have more unemployment, divorce or separation, spouse abuse and chance of being fired than people without PTSD.

Vietnam veterans with PTSD were found to have many problems with family and other interpersonal relationships, problems with employment, and increased incidents of violence.

People with PTSD also may experience a wide variety of physical symptoms. This is a common occurrence in people who have depression and other anxiety disorders.

Some evidence suggests that PTSD may be associated with increased likelihood of developing medical disorders. Research is ongoing, and it is too soon to draw firm conclusions about which disorders 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.

The British NHS claim 1 in 3 develop PTSD. In the UK women are reported to develop risking PTSD after a traumatic event stands at 20.4% compared with 8.1% for men (UK Counselling Directory). The World Mental Health have statistics shown on the link.

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 portion of those who have 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.

  • Childhood physical abuse.

The most traumatic events for women are

  • Rape

  • Sexual molestation.

  • Physical attack

  • Being threatened with a weapon

  • Childhood physical abuse.

And this is not an exhaustive list and also the statistics are not counting the unreported PTSD sufferer.

Related Topics

Emotional/Psychological/Mental Abuse

Narcissist Abuse

Symptoms of a Narcissistic

Child Suicidal Attempts

Anorexia Nervosa

Please see the following links for more information:

Please let me know if I can be of further assistance and Should You Have Any Question Relating to this Please Do Not Hesitate to Get in Touch. Either Private message me on Facebook Page or through here by commenting or E-Mail me at gemmadupont@mail.com. Hope you have enjoyed this topic and hope it helps.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s