Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that can be triggered by experiencing or witnessing a very stressful, frightening or distressing event(s).
Most people who go through traumatic events may have temporary difficulty adjusting and coping, but with time and good self-care, they usually get better. If the symptoms get worse, last for months or even years, and interfere with your day-to-day functioning, you may have PTSD.
Getting effective treatment after PTSD symptoms develop can be critical to reduce symptoms and improve function.
The symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can have a significant impact on your day-to-day life. In most cases, the symptoms develop during the first month after a traumatic event. But in a minority of cases, there may be a delay of months or even years before symptoms start to appear. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event. Symptoms can vary in intensity; you may have more PTSD symptoms when you're stressed in general, or when you come across reminders of what you went through.
Typically, PTSD symptoms are grouped into 4 different categories:
- Intrusive Memories
- Negative Changes in Mood/Thinking
- Changes in Physical/Emotional Reactions
Some forms of psychological therapies may include:
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
- Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR)
Medication may also be available in some circumstances.
There are also a number of external specialist charities that deal with specific types of PTSD/issue. These include:
- Combat Stress – A military charity specialising in helping ex-servicemen and women
- Rape Crisis – A charity providing a range of services for women and girls who have experienced abuse, domestic violence and sexual assault
- Victim Support – Providing support and information to victims or witnesses of crime
- CRUSE – A charity providing support and information for people who have experienced bereavement