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Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

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Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

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Did you know, an estimated 7.8 percent of Americans will experience PTSD at some point in their lives?  PTSD is a psychiatric disorder that can occur following a traumatic experience or life-threatening events such as military combat, natural disasters, terrorist incidents, serious accidents, or physical or sexual assault. Women are twice as likely as men to develop PTSD, but all sorts of trauma can cause PTSD. About 3.6 percent of U.S. adults aged 18 to 54 (5.2 million people) have PTSD during the course of a given year.

 

Most trauma survivors overcome the condition over time. However, some people will have recurring stress reactions that return on their own, or may even get worse over time. These individuals may develop PTSD. People who suffer from PTSD often relive traumatic experience through nightmares,  flashbacks, have difficulty sleeping, and feel detached or estranged. Symptoms vary per person, but these symptoms can be severe enough and last long enough to significantly impair the person’s daily life.

 

Although PTSD symptoms can begin immediately after a traumatic event, PTSD is not diagnosed unless the symptoms last for at least one month, and either cause significant distress or interfere with work or home life. A PTSD diagnosis must  have three different types of symptoms:

  • Re-experiencing symptoms
  • Avoidance and numbing symptoms
  • Arousal symptoms

 

It is also very common for other conditions to occur along with PTSD, such as depression, anxiety, or substance abuse. More than half of men with PTSD also have problems with alcohol and are also often diagnosed with depression, conduct disorder, and problems with drugs. Often, the most common problem with women includes depression, but also include specific fears, social anxiety, and sometimes problems with alcohol.

Think you or a loved one is suffering from PTSD? You’re not alone! Talk to your doctor for help.

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