Dealing With PTSD

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#1 Feb 7 - 10PM
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Dealing With PTSD

by Patricia Adams

While there is a good chance that you may have heard the term post traumatic stress disorder mentioned on the news in relation to soldiers coming back from war, what you may not know is that PTSD can affect more than just those who have been in the military. Post traumatic stress disorder is commonly a condition that occurs after experiencing a traumatic or terrifying event, causing many who end up suffering from this disorder to find ways for dealing with PTSD. Those suffering from PTSD commonly have persistent thoughts and memories of a specific event causing them to feel emotionally numb with people, including those closest to them.

The symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder can come from any number of violent events. Events include, but are not limited to, a violent attack, muggings, torture, rape, child abuse, having been held captive, a serious accident, domestic violence, abuse, a major fearful experience or even a natural disaster. The event that triggers this disorder could be something, either real or imagined, that threatened the person’s life or the life of someone close to them. It could also be something that the person witnessed such as the death and destruction caused by a plane crash, a bombing or even a personal devastation.

Those dealing with PTSD commonly relive their trauma with dreams, nightmares, or even disturbing memories that can potentially occur throughout the day. Many may even suffer from sleep problems, a feeling of being alienated from reality or the chance of being easily startled. People dealing with PTSD may also be unable to show affection or they may have a difficulty maintaining an interest in things that they once enjoyed. PTSD suffers may also feel irritable and may be more aggressive even violent towards others. The memories of a particular trauma can be very distressing and can lead PTSD suffers to avoid visiting certain places or putting themselves in certain situations that could potentially bring back the painful memories. Even the anniversary of a particular even can prove to be difficult for those dealing with PTSD.

Post traumatic stress disorder affects about 6% of the population and women are more likely to suffer from PTSD than men are. This disorder can take hold of people at any age, and can occur as early as childhood and may not be the only disorder that the person suffers from. PTSD often occurs with depression, substance abuse or even a form of panic disorder that can make dealing with PTSD much more difficult.

Suffers are only diagnosed with PTSD if they display symptoms that last for more than a month. Those dealing with PTSD will usually start to show symptoms within three months of the traumatic event and the course of this disorder can vary from one person to another. Commonly this disorder may not take hold until many years after the event occurred.