Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, is a condition that develops after a person has had a terrifying experience, which usually involves the threat of physical harm or death, either to oneself, or another person or persons.
PTSD can occur to someone who has been hurt or who has harmed themselves, or to someone who has witnessed another person being harmed or injured, such as in an accident or attack.
Previously, PTSD was a condition used to refer to war veterans suffering after the extreme confrontations of their combat experiences. However, as symptoms of PTSD have been brought to public awareness many experts today diagnose PTSD as a result of varied incidents that cause a lot of trauma to individuals.
These incidents may include torture, rape, vehicular accidents, physical abuse, natural disasters etc.
People who have PTSD may become startled easily and can appear nervous in certain situations. Sometimes they have problems with dealing with other people, whereby they can be emotionally numb and have trouble manifesting any signs of real affection. They may even prefer to be on their own as being with others may cause feelings of discomfort or even panic.
Individuals with PTSD may lose interest not only in the things that they used to enjoy doing, but with life as a whole. They can also be violent, either verbally or even physically at times.
Anniversaries of the traumatic incident can be unnerving and anything that reminds sufferers of their terrifying experience may cause them to suffer from bad dreams and nightmares.
Seemingly simple things and ordinary occurrences may give them sudden flashbacks, such as a sound or smell, or watching a movie. These 'little' things will make them lose touch with the present and make them feel that the traumatic incident that happened to them, is happening once again. For a person with PTSD, it is like experiencing one of their nightmares while being wide awake.
Not every person who experiences a traumatic event will develop PTSD. However, some people do suffer from severe PTSD because of the trauma, while others will only have mild PTSD or anxiety. The symptoms often start to manifest within the first three months from the date of the incident.
A person is only diagnosed with this condition when found to be suffering from its symptoms for more than a month. Some individuals are able to recover after six months while others suffer from it for more than a year. For cases of chronic PTSD, they may suffer for the rest of their life.
Both men and women have been known to suffer from the effects of PTSD...many in miserable silence.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder can have undesirable effects on a person's life and lives of their friends and family.
If PTSD is suspected or symptoms are being exhibited, expert psychological help should be sought early to assist in preventing the condition from doing further damage, to both the sufferer and their loved ones.
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