What you need to know about PTSD

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People who’ve experienced a traumatic event feel a range of motion immediately or sometime after the fact. Some of these emotions could be anger, guilt, shame, helplessness, fear, and distress. For some people, these feelings fade in a few days or weeks, but for others, they linger. If your symptoms last more than a month, you might be experiencing PTSD or post-traumatic stress disorder.

PTSD is an anxiety disorder. It occurs after witnessing or experiencing a traumatic event. It could be anything from a physical or sexual assault, a severe accident, a natural disaster, military combat or a terrorist incident. Whether it’s happened as a child or an adult, the likelihood of a definite diagnosis is high. An estimated number of 24.4 million people, that is 8% of Americans, have PTSD at any given time.

Who can get PTSD?

If you were a victim, witness or went through a life-threatening situation, you may likely exhibit signs of PTSD. Apart from those mentioned before, those who’ve experienced or witnessed emergency responders, those who’ve learned about a sudden or unexpected death of a relative or friend or been directly or indirectly affected by domestic abuse whether physical, sexual or verbal can experience PTSD. It is not uncommon for lawyers for dog bite BC to see their clients exhibiting signs of PTSD.

What are the symptoms?

For some, symptoms appear immediately. For some, it could take years. In either case, one of the signs you have PTSD is repeatedly thinking about the trauma. They haunt a person’s thoughts, and flashbacks or reminders of the event upsets them. Another sign that you could be affected is if you’re always on guard and alert. You’re quickly angered or startled, a lot of things make you anxious or irritable and safety become a preoccupation.

Physical problems include rapid heart rate and breathing, muscle tension, constipation, diarrhea or difficulty in concentration or sleep. Persons who have PTSD also avoid talking about or being around people who remind them of the trauma. They also become detached from those around them and activities they once enjoyed.

Other symptoms include: Panic attacks, feelings of mistrust, suicidal thoughts, unexplained chronic aches and pains, relationship problems, depression, problems doing daily activities and substance abuse

Can PTSD be cured?

Yes, people suffering can get cured. Professional treatment and support are essential for full recovery. An important thing to know is that the memories won’t go away, but you’ll be able to manage how you respond to the memories and the feelings they elicit. Treatment will also reduce the intensity and frequency of the effects associated with PTSD.

What can help?

If you suffer from any of the symptoms described, the ways to get better include psychotherapy, Psychodynamic psychotherapy, Cognitive Processing and Behavioral Therapy, family therapy and couples counseling. Depending on the severity, the medical practitioner may prescribe medication such as anti-anxiety medication or sedatives for sleep.

On a personal level, you can join support groups and take steps toward self-care. The latter can be through relaxation, exercise, getting enough rest, keeping a journal and avoiding activities that could negatively impact your progress such as television programs that would bother you.  It may initially be hard, but connecting with family and friends is vital because isolation makes one feel worse.