The ripple effect of shock: PTSD

Have you ever been in a car accident 명탐정 코난 감청의 주먹 다운로드? Perhaps you’ve experienced an armed robbery, a mugging or some other traumatic event? Even if you didn’t get hurt, you may still find it hard to concentrate at times, or that sudden noises make you jump. It could be Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – also known as PTSD.

What Is PTSD?

PTSD is the development of symptoms after you’ve survived a frightening event. Usually it involves direct personal experience involving:

  • threatened death or serious injury
  • witnessing a stressful event
  • learning about an unexpected or violent death or injury to someone close to you

You don’t have to be injured to experience PTSD. Just witnessing a personal or environmental disaster, being diagnosed with a dangerous illness, being threatened with violence or being injured can also cause it.

What Causes PTSD?

Most people experience strong emotions after a traumatic event – they can feel easily irritated; jittery; have trouble sleeping, eating, or concentrating. These are all part of a normal reaction to an overwhelming experience. Getting support and help from others after going through something frightening can help these symptoms go away within a few days or weeks, but if you have PTSD, the symptoms of stress are intense and can last much longer. For some people, the symptoms of PTSD begin soon after the trauma, but for others the symptoms may be triggered much later by another event: this is known as a delayed response.

What Are The Symptoms Of PTSD?

Symptoms of PTSD usually develop within 3 months of the traumatic event. You could experience some – or all – of these symptoms:

  • Reliving the event through nightmares, flashbacks, or disturbing mental images about the trauma.
  • Being on edge, easily startled, jumpy, irritable, or tense – this is called hyper-vigilance, and it may be due to high levels of stress hormones in the body.
  • Difficulty concentrating and trouble sleeping may also be part of this hyper-alert state.
  • Many people with PTSD feel detached or numb, and they may not feel the same way about other people or the world. This may be caused by the overproduction of certain chemicals that block sensation during extreme stress.
  • People with PTSD can struggle to talk about what happened – or they may avoid places, people, or activities that remind them of the stressful event.
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Who Develops PTSD?

Not everyone who experiences a serious trauma develops PTSD, but it can affect anyone at any age. One key intervention is to talk the whole sequence of events through with someone if you’ve had a traumatic experience.  Whether you speak to a counsellor, a family member, a friend or a support group, it makes a great difference to how you will process trauma.

Treating PTSD

PTSD usually doesn’t go away on its own. Without treatment, symptoms can come and go in waves, and may last for months or years. Mental health professionals who specialise in treating anxiety problems are usually experienced in working with people who have PTSD.

Therapy for PTSD may involve gradually processing what you’ve experienced in a safe environment and learning coping skills to help with the effects. In some cases the doctor may prescribe medication to help reduce symptoms of panic, anxiety or depression.

Joanne Hart for