PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder): Everything You Should Know
PTSD, also known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, is a mental condition that is caused by a tragic incident. This could either be experienced or witnessed by the patient who is diagnosed with this health condition. Tragic incidents that may trigger these include crimes like rape or kidnapping, vehicular accidents, disastrous war, natural disasters, and many more. During early times, this affects our soldiers and veterans during World War I and II as they were exposed to destructive activities that even made their condition worse. But in today’s generation, this does not just apply to specific people as it may happen to everyone. In the US, there is an estimated percentage of 3.5% from the adult population that is diagnosed with this condition and it is mostly women.
Patients who have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder normally experience nightmares, flashbacks, and memories of the disturbing event that happened in the past. It may happen anytime, especially if they see something related or similar to the tragic event. They usually do not want to interact with people after the tragic event as it causes sudden flashbacks and depressing thoughts which also make the patient feel sudden anger or sadness. People with PTSD usually isolate themselves from everyone and choose to be left alone all the time. Hearing a loud noise or even feeling a simple touch from someone may trigger a sudden panic attack for the patient so it is important to know what will help them recover.
How to Identify If Someone Has PTSD – Symptoms
Repetitive tragic thoughts. This refers to continuous flashbacks, nightmares, and memories which relate to the tragic event or accident that the patient went through. It usually causes them to feel that the tragic event is happening right in front of their eyes, so the same fear and stress are being felt by the person with PTSD every time flashback happens.
Negative thinking to almost everything. You would usually see patients with PTSD blaming themselves for any mistakes, even the simplest ones. One does not usually trust other people and always thinks that others would only cause issues and major concerns.
Escaping an interaction. Patients with PTSD usually want to be left alone and this always triggers their flashbacks so it is important that their family knows what will be best. Avoiding people and other things that will remind them of the tragic event which brings them memories of what happened is usually what they do on a daily basis.
Extreme reaction and receptive symptoms. This refers to a sudden change of emotions of one’s reaction. It usually causes the patient to always feel angry and irritated to almost everything around. Other people with PTSD will feel the other way on which they always blame or implicate themselves as the ones responsible if anything negative happens. This causes them not to be able to sleep well and trigger disastrous flashbacks that worsen their condition.
It’s not easy for most to identify someone who is diagnosed with PTSD as it mostly developed in three months’ time, some would even have it after a year from when the tragic incident happened. Some would still be in denial stage and still live normally but whenever a memory strikes within them, it usually shows the described symptoms mentioned above.
What You Can Do to Help
Not all people with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder will need the help of psychiatrists, as this normally depends on the severity of the condition. There are some incidents on which support and care from their family will make it subside over time. By simply communicating with your friend or relative with PTSD, you have already shown big support and concern to help them recover from their tragic thoughts. But always remember that this may not work if the person with PTSD experiences intense symptoms. Other people with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder require professional treatment from medical doctors and it is important that they are checked as soon as possible. With the right treatment and proper care, this health condition could be treated over time.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is also related to depression and extreme distress. So if you know someone, whether a family member or friend, dealing with PTSD, it is best to encourage them to seek professional help before they fall into depression.
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