When you think of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), what is the first thing that comes to mind? Soldiers in war zones, probably. For most, PTSD is widely associated with the United States Military and combat soldiers. What most people are unaware of, though, is how the average person can suffer from PTSD at any given time, too. An estimated 7.8% of Americans will experience PTSD at some point in their lives.
PTSD can occur after an individual has gone through a traumatic experience, which is a shocking, scary event that you either see or that happens directly to you. During this type of event, most individuals think that their life or others' lives are in danger. According to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, going through trauma is not rare; about 6 of every 10 men (or 60%) and 5 of every 10 women (or 50%) experience at least one trauma in their lives. Women are more likely to experience sexual assault and child sexual abuse. Men are more likely to experience accidents, physical assault, combat, disaster, or to witness death or injury.
The effects of the disorder include persistent, invasive, or intrusive symptoms – symptoms are connected to the precipitating trauma and begin after the event and can include involuntary distressing memories of the event; nightmares, dissociative episodes (flashbacks) during which the individual feels they are re-experiencing the event; prolonged emotional distress when faced with triggers of the trauma; and physiological reactions to triggers of the event.
With the correct treatment, PTSD can be treated with success. Treatment and support are critical parts of a successful recovery process. The memories of the trauma won't ever go away, but through treatment, you can learn to manage your response to these memories and the feelings they evoke. TTHI Counseling Center offers treatment for PTSD. If you think you may need help, we are here.
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