PTSD otherwise known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is most commonly associated with soldiers, but in reality, anyone who experiences a traumatic event can get PTSD. In fact, 8% of all Americans have it. The traumatic event can be something that impacts their personal life like a car crash or a sexual assault or it can be something bigger like taking part in a war or events like September 11th. There is no limitation on age or gender when it comes to PTSD and there is evidence that shows being susceptible to it may be genetic.
Symptoms of PTSD
Symptoms of PTSD can include disturbing thoughts and dreams, an increase in fight or flight response, depression, and intrusive thoughts. Teens also display outbursts of anger and massive mood swings. Drug and alcohol abuse are also common in those who are suffering from PTSD. It’s important to remember that it doesn’t come right after the traumatic event. These symptoms typically become visible within 3 months of the traumatic event but in some cases, it may not be seen for years after the event. Also, what does and does not constitute a traumatic event may be different for every person. For some, a small fender bender might be incredibly traumatic, while for others that might just be a normal Tuesday.
For many suffering from PTSD, the fight or flight response is triggered in completely harmless situations. A shooting victim might get triggered when a balloon pops, or someone who has survived a major earthquake might get triggered by a small tremor. It can also be triggered by going to the place where the event took place. Children might suddenly become afraid of being in a car, any car, after an accident. While avoidance works for some of these things and for a short time, it can severely limit the sufferer’s life. Thankfully, many things can help with those suffering from PTSD.
Managing Your PTSD
Unfortunately, PTSD isn’t one of those conditions that can magically be fixed. But, some things can be done to manage the symptoms helping those who are suffering from it live a normal life. The first thing talking to a mental health professional. Exposure therapy, which is exactly what it sounds like can also help. It helps you conquer your stresses by exposing you to the cause of PTSD in short, manageable sessions. Finally, some medications can help the sufferer control their feelings, most commonly this is through the use of antidepressants.
Keep in mind that PTSD can happen to anyone. What you might find traumatic might not be traumatic to someone else, or the other way around. It also may take years for symptoms to arise. So, if you’ve experienced a traumatic event, in today’s world that means just about everyone, you might have it.
Friends, if you suspect that you or someone you love is suffering from PTSD you can text HOME to 741741 to reach the Crisis Text Line or (800) 442-HOPE (4673) to reach the National Hopeline Network.
LaToyia, The Motivated Mom