What is PTSD (Posttraumatic Stress Disorder)?
PTSD, or Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, is a psychiatric disorder that could happen following the experience or witnessing of a life-threatening events for example military combat, natural disasters, terrorist incidents, serious injuries, or physical or sexual assault in adult or childhood. Most survivors of trauma return to ordinary given a little time. Nonetheless, many people will have pressure responses which do not go away on their own, or might even get worse over time. These people may develop PTSD. Those who suffer from PTSD often relive the experience through nightmares and flashbacks, have trouble sleeping, and feel detached or estranged, and these symptoms may be severe enough and last long enough to significantly impair the person's everyday life.
Individuals with PTSD experience three different kinds of symptoms. The first group of symptoms involves reliving the trauma in some way for example becoming distressed when confronted with a traumatic reminder or thinking about the trauma when you are trying to do something else. The 2nd set of symptoms includes isolating from other people, staying away from areas or people that remind you of the trauma, or feeling numb. The 3rd set of symptoms includes things including feeling on guard, irritable, or startling readily.
PTSD is marked by clear biological changes in addition to emotional symptoms. PTSD is complicated by the fact that people with PTSD frequently may develop problems of cognition and memory, additional disorders including depression, substance abuse, and other difficulties of physical and mental health. The disorder is also connected with impairment of the individual's ability to work in social or family life, including occupational instability, marital problems and divorces, family discord, and difficulties in parenting.
PTSD could be treated with psychotherapy ('talk' therapy) and medications for example antidepressants. Early treatment is important and can help reduce long-term symptoms. Unfortunately, many have no idea they do not seek treatment or have PTSD. This fact sheet can help you to better understand PTSD and the how it could be medicated.
What are the symptoms of PTSD?
PTSD isn't diagnosed unless the symptoms last for a minumum of one month, and either cause significant distress or interfere with work or home life although PTSD symptoms can begin right after a traumatic event. To be able to be diagnosed with PTSD, a person must have three various kinds of symptoms: reexperiencing symptoms, avoidance and numbing symptoms, and arousal symptoms.
Re experiencing Symptoms
Reexperiencing symptoms are symptoms that involve reliving the traumatic occurrence. There are numerous ways in which individuals may relive a trauma. They may have upsetting memories of the traumatic event. These memories can come back when they are not expecting them. At other times the memories may be triggered by a disturbing reminder such as when a fight veteran hears a car backfire, a motor vehicle accident victim drives by a rape victim or an automobile crash sees a news report of a recent sexual assault. Mental and physical responses can be caused by these memories. Occasionally these memories can feel so real it is as if the occasion is truly happening again. This really is called a "flashback." Reliving the occasion can cause extreme feelings of anxiety, helplessness, and horror like the feelings they had when the event took place.
Avoidance and Numbing Symptoms
Avoidance symptoms are attempts people make to stay away from the distressing event. People with PTSD may try to prevent situations that trigger memories of the traumatic event. They may avoid going areas that are near where the trauma occurred or seeing TV programs or news reports about similar occasions. They may avoid other sights, sounds, smells, or individuals that are reminders of the traumatic event. Many people find that they try to deflect themselves as one way to prevent thinking about the traumatic event.
Numbing symptoms are another method to avoid the painful event. People with PTSD may find it challenging to be in touch with their feelings or express emotions toward other people. For example, they may feel emotionally "numb" and may isolate from others. They may be less interested in activities you once loved. Many people are not able to talk about, or forget, important parts of the occasion. Some think that they'll have a shortened life span or will not reach personal PTSD Forum goals such as having family or a career.
Individuals with PTSD may feel constantly attentive after the traumatic event. This is known as increased emotional arousal, also it may cause outbursts of anger or irritability, trouble sleeping, and difficulty concentrating. They may discover that they're always 'on guard' and on the lookout for signals of danger. They could additionally find they get startled.
What other problems do people with PTSD experience?
It is extremely common for other conditions to occur along with PTSD, including depression, anxiety, or substance abuse. More than half of men with PTSD also have problems with alcohol. The next most common co-occurring issues in men are depression, followed by conduct disorder, and then problems with drugs. In women, the most typical co-occurring problem is melancholy. Just under half of women with PTSD also experience depression. The following most common co-occurring issues in women are specific fears, social anxiety, and then issues with booze.
People with PTSD often have difficulties working. In general, individuals with PTSD have more unemployment, divorce or separation, partner abuse and likelihood of being fired than people without PTSD. Vietnam veterans with PTSD were found to have issues with employment, many problems with family and other interpersonal relationships, and increased episodes of violence.
People with PTSD also may experience a wide selection of physical symptoms. This really is a familiar event in individuals who have depression and other anxiety disorders. Some evidence indicates that PTSD may be associated with increased chance of creating medical ailments. Research is ongoing, and it's too soon to draw strong conclusions about which particular ailments 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 portion of people 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 added 20 to 25 percent have had partial PTSD at some 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. Approximations of PTSD from the Gulf War are not as low as 10%. Approximations from the war in Afghanistan are between 6 and 11%. Present estimates of PTSD in military personnel who served in Iraq range from 12% to 20%.