PTSD: Not Just A Veteran's Disease
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Health and Wellness

PTSD: Not Just A Veteran's Disease

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder does not discriminate.

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PTSD: Not Just A Veteran's Disease

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a debilitating disease with a powerful, devitalizing impact that can harm any survivor who has undergone significant trauma. Intense reactions vary for each sufferer, but common symptoms such as flashbacks, avoidance, trouble sleeping or excessive sleeping, panic attacks, or nightmares can be foreseeable for those who have experienced a trauma. These reactions are not initially troubling because most individuals would respond to trauma by exhibiting some of these symptoms. However, when it persists and begins to hinder a person's functioning for over a month, that individual may be suffering from PTSD. Traumatic events such as experiencing war or combat, serious illness, sudden loss of a loved one, childhood neglect, abuse, car or plane crashes, sexual assault, or violent crimes are several experiences that can potentially result in the disorder.

PTSD does not discriminate and any trauma survivor can be forced to face the disastrous consequences of this disease. Approximately 8% of Americans will develop PTSD and even children over the age of six can develop it. Anyone who has endured a trauma is susceptible to the illness and anyone still enduring their trauma can also develop an acute traumatic stress disorder. According to mayo clinic, there are different mixed reasons why certain people are at risk for PTSD after a trauma. Some individuals may have a preexisting mental health risk such as anxiety or depression. Others have traumas that vary in severity or may have gone through their trauma repeatedly since early childhood. Additionally, everybody's brain regulates chemicals and hormones differently in response to stress.

Symptoms of PTSD differ for everybody, but if you or a loved one is suffering from this illness know that you are not alone with this burden. Numbness, angry outbursts, isolation, dissociation, and repressed memories are few of many potential manifestations that come from the disease. Braving such a paralyzing tribulation can make holding onto hope feel unattainable, however with the right kind of help recovering from the trauma can become a bit more bearable over time. Psychotherapy for the disorder can include but is not limited to exposure therapy, cognitive restructuring, or stress inoculation training. Various medications such as Zoloft or Paxil can also be given to treat depression which can sometimes alleviate PTSD symptoms. These are few of many options that exist for seeking future help.

Holding on in the midst of experiencing flashbacks or dissociating is extremely difficult, however, there are many grounding techniques that can help when these symptoms do occur. There may be triggering situations that occur when one is in a social situation. Leaving these situations unexpectedly may make others uncomfortable, but your safety always comes before their comfort. Also, always remember, the worst is over. You survived this once before; you can survive the memories too.This is something that has already happened, and it is not happening right now. Right now, you are safe. Listed below are sources that offer in-depth techniques along with helplines and positive coping statements.

Flashbacks are normal and are actually enabling you to recover further. While it does not necessarily feel like it now, flashbacks are essential parts of the healing process. Recurrent memories and flashbacks occur when our brain is working to process the trauma as a past memory rather than a current threat. Even though you may feel as though you are losing your mind, you are not unstable or untrustworthy. These difficult adversities will one day enable you to be transported to a healthier time.

Recovery Tools:

Positive Coping Statements

Grounding Techniques

Helplines

Many PTSD survivors have shared their experiences on an app called Whisper, and below is a video from go90 that offers these individuals a voice.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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