Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a serious condition affecting those who have endured deeply traumatic experiences. Although it’s associated with combat veterans, PTSD can strike anyone who has experienced any type of trauma for any length of time. If you suspect you or a loved one has PTSD, it’s crucial to know the symptoms and familiarize yourself with treatment methods.
Causes of PTSD
The causes of PTSD are myriad. War and natural disasters are common causes, both for those who experienced the events and those who witnessed them. Other causes of PTSD include –
Everyone will experience PTSD differently, but there are some hallmark symptoms to look for. One of the first is re-experiencing the traumatic event. A person with PTSD may have frequent nightmares, flashbacks, or intrusive memories. They may have intense physical reactions to everyday events. For example, a combat veteran might experience sweating and a pounding heart during a fireworks display. An abuse victim may react this way to a slammed door or a raised voice.
People with PTSD generally go out of their way to avoid reminders of trauma, even if it means avoiding favorite activities or the people they love. They may become irritable, aggressive, or unusually fearful. Some people with PTSD report feelings of numbness, during which they shut down even around those who want to help them most. A person with PTSD may not feel safe anywhere, even in his or her own home or former favorite place.
Coping with PTSD
PTSD is a difficult and often lifelong condition, but it can be dealt with effectively. If you have PTSD or know someone who does, a few ways to help include –