Trauma is often misunderstood and unpredictable. Many people find it difficult to process trauma and don't know how to get help. Trauma can be caused by different life experiences, such as exposure to violence, car accidents, or natural disasters. It's important to understand that trauma affects everyone differently, and there is no "right" way to deal with it. For some people, the effects of trauma are severe and long-lasting, leading to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
PTSD is an anxiety condition that can often lead to anxiety and depression in some people who suffer from it. They are constantly on alert for their surroundings while also having trouble sleeping due to too frequent nightmares about what happened during the trauma they've lived through. While the disorder can affect anyone, it is most commonly diagnosed in people who have experienced a traumatic event.
Symptoms of PTSD
PTSD can make those who have it feel isolated and disconnected from others. When a traumatic event happens, people often develop flashbacks and nightmares about what happened and memories that are too intense to handle at times. Those who suffer from PTSD can feel isolated and disconnected from those around them. They feel like no one understands them or cares about their problems, which leads to mood swings and angry outbursts for reasons unknown - either going between happiness one minute then crying tears the next without any warning signs. They also disconnect from others to avoid attention or relive the traumatic event by talking about it with others. PTSD doesn't always happen overnight. It can take time before those with it, or their family members notice any impact on their daily lives.
Other symptoms of PTSD can include severe anxiety, intrusive thoughts, constantly feeling on edge, and depression.
How does PTSD develop?
PTSD can develop after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event. The event can be seemingly small, like a car accident or something major, like combat, rape, or natural disaster. PTSD symptoms may not appear until months or even years later for some people.
Who is at risk for developing PTSD?
Women are more likely to develop PTSD than men, and certain groups are at greater risk for developing the disorder. The reality is no one is immune from getting PTSD as it affects all ages, races, and religions can develop PTSD. People who have experienced trauma, such as military combat, rape, or child abuse, are more likely to develop PTSD. Other risk factors include having a history of mental illness or substance abuse, being exposed to a traumatic event on multiple occasions, and having close friends or family members who were killed or injured during a traumatic event.
Treatment and therapies for PTSD
While there is no one-size-fits-all treatment for PTSD, there are a number of treatments that have been shown to be effective in helping people manage their symptoms.Treatment options may include medication, therapy, and self-care measures.
What to do if someone you know is suffering from PTSD
It's hard to know what to do if someone you know is suffering from PTSD. The best thing you can do is learn about the condition and be there for your friend or loved one. You may also need to provide practical support, such as driving them to appointments or helping them with day-to-day tasks. Most importantly, let your friend or loved one know that you care and are here to help however you can.
PTSD is a very real and serious condition that affects many people. While it can be difficult to live with, treatments can help people manage their symptoms and live better lives. If you or someone you know is struggling with PTSD, please seek help from a professional. There is no shame in getting help for something that makes their lives difficult. In fact, it takes courage to admit assistance is needed and then take the steps necessary to get better.