What Is Traumatic Stress Disorder

What Can I Do To Help Myself

What is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?

It is important to know that, although it may take some time, you can get better with treatment. Here are some things you can do to help yourself:

  • Talk with your health care provider about treatment options, and follow your treatment plan.
  • Engage in exercise, mindfulness, or other activities that help reduce stress.
  • Try to maintain routines for meals, exercise, and sleep.
  • Set realistic goals and do what you can as you are able.
  • Spend time with trusted friends or relatives, and tell them about things that may trigger symptoms.
  • Expect your symptoms to improve gradually, not immediately.
  • Avoid use of alcohol or drugs.

Other And Unspecified Trauma

You might have some of the symptoms of a trauma disorder, but not meet the criteria for one of the recognized types. Or, you might not be able to provide enough information for a specific diagnosis. In these cases, professionals often make a diagnosis of other or unspecified trauma- and stressor-related disorder.

This diagnosis is not any less serious than other trauma disorders. People with other or unspecified disorders have a legitimate mental health condition that is diminishing their quality of life. Treatment can help you gain control over your symptoms.

How Is Ptsd Treated

Treatments for PTSD include:footnote 3

  • Counselling, which can help you understand your thoughts and learn ways to cope with your feelings. This can help you feel more in control and get you back to the activities in your life. A type of counselling called cognitive-behavioural therapy is effective for treating PTSD. Cognitive processing therapy and prolonged exposure therapy are examples of types of CBT that are used.
  • Antidepressant medicines, especially selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors . They can help with many PTSD symptoms. SSRIs include fluoxetine , paroxetine , and sertraline .

You may need to try different types of treatment before finding the one that helps you. Your doctor will help you with this. These treatments may include other types of medicines and other forms of counselling, such as group counselling. If you have other problems along with PTSD, such as overuse of alcohol or other drugs, you may need treatment for those also.

Treatment can help you feel more in control of your emotions, have fewer symptoms, and enjoy life again.

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What Is The Number One Cause Of Ptsd

MVAs are considered the leading cause of posttraumatic stress disorder in the general population and car accidents are the number one trauma for men and the second most frequent trauma for women, according to a new book that examines updated research on PTSD among car accident victims and some effective Dec 7, 2003.

Who Is At Risk For Post

You can develop PTSD at any age. Many risk factors play a part in whether you will develop PTSD. They include:

  • Your sex women are more likely to develop PTSD
  • Having had trauma in childhood
  • Feeling horror, helplessness, or extreme fear
  • Going through a traumatic event that lasts a long time
  • Having little or no social support after the event
  • Dealing with extra stress after the event, such as loss of a loved one, pain and injury, or loss of a job or home
  • Having a history of mental illness or substance use

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Causes Symptoms And Risks

PTSD is caused by experiencing or witnessing single, repeated or multiple events. For example:

  • serious accidents
  • physical and sexual assault abuse. This could include childhood or domestic abuse
  • work-related exposure to trauma. Such as being in the army
  • trauma related to serious health problems or childbirth
  • war and conflict torture

Not everyone who experiences trauma will develop PTSD.

The risk of getting PTSD depends on how the experience affects you. PTSD is more likely to develop if the traumatic event:

  • is unexpected,
  • Self help

How can the NHS help me?

You can speak to your GP about your concerns. They will be able to talk to you about treatment options and coping strategies. You dont have to do what your GP thinks that you should do. But you should listen to them.

Make sure that you understand the pros and cons of your treatment options before you make a decision.

Your treatment with be managed by your GP or the community mental health team . In some cases, your treatment maybe shared between both primary and secondary care. Healthcare professionals will agree who will monitor you.

Some people will get care under the Care Programme Approach . This means that you will have a care plan and care coordinator to make sure that you get the support that you need.

Look at the following section for more information on NHS treatment.

Adult social services

What other help is available?

There may be a different service available, such as employment or isolation support.

When Should I Seek Immediate Care

If you think about hurting yourself or someone else, tell somebody right away. You can tell a healthcare provider, a friend or a family member.

You can also contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:

  • 800.273.TALK

Youre not alone. Theres always somebody who wants to help.

A note from Cleveland Clinic

PTSD is a mental health issue that lasts long after a traumatic event. It can make you feel negative and anxious. It can also cause you to re-experience the event or avoid certain things. If you have symptoms of PTSD, talk to a healthcare provider. Medication and specific kinds of counseling can help. If you feel like you might hurt yourself or someone else, seek help immediately.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 01/20/2021.

References

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Tip : Reach Out To Others For Support

PTSD can make you feel disconnected from others. You may be tempted to withdraw from social activities and your loved ones. But its important to stay connected to life and the people who care about you. You dont have to talk about the trauma if you dont want to, but the caring support and companionship of others is vital to your recovery. Reach out to someone you can connect with for an uninterrupted period of time, someone who will listen when you want to talk without judging, criticizing, or continually getting distracted. That person may be your significant other, a family member, a friend, or a professional therapist. Or you could try:

Volunteering your time or reaching out to a friend in need. This is not only a great way to connect to others, but can also help you reclaim your sense of control.

Joining a PTSD support group. This can help you feel less isolated and alone and also provide invaluable information on how to cope with symptoms and work towards recovery.

Need to talk to someone?

Get affordable online counseling from BetterHelp or visit HelpGuides directory for free helplines and crisis resources. HelpGuide is reader supported. We may receive a commission if you sign up for BetterHelp through the provided link. Learn more.

Organizational Prevention Strategies To Consider:

What is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)? I Operation Brain Health
  • Create an organizational culture that normalizes the effects of working with trauma survivors.
  • Adopt policies that promote and support staff self-care.
  • Allow for diversified workloads and encourage professional development.
  • Create opportunities for staff to participate in social change and community outreach.
  • Ensure a safe work environment.
  • Provide STS education to and encourage open discussion of STS among staff and administrators.
  • Make counseling resources and Employee Assistance Programs available to all staff.

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What Is Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Posttraumatic stress disorder is a psychiatric disorder that may occur in people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event such as a natural disaster, a serious accident, a terrorist act, war/combat, or rape or who have been threatened with death, sexual violence or serious injury.

PTSD has been known by many names in the past, such as shell shock during the years of World War I and combat fatigue after World War II, but PTSD does not just happen to combat veterans. PTSD can occur in all people, of any ethnicity, nationality or culture, and at any age. PTSD affects approximately 3.5 percent of U.S. adults every year, and an estimated one in 11 people will be diagnosed with PTSD in their lifetime. Women are twice as likely as men to have PTSD. Three ethnic groups U.S. Latinos, African Americans, and American Indians are disproportionately affected and have higher rates of PTSD than non-Latino whites.

People with PTSD have intense, disturbing thoughts and feelings related to their experience that last long after the traumatic event has ended. They may relive the event through flashbacks or nightmares they may feel sadness, fear or anger and they may feel detached or estranged from other people. People with PTSD may avoid situations or people that remind them of the traumatic event, and they may have strong negative reactions to something as ordinary as a loud noise or an accidental touch.

Ptsd Causes And Risk Factors

Everyone reacts to traumatic events differently. Each person is unique in their ability to manage fear, stress and the threat posed by a traumatic event or situation. For that reason, not everyone who has a trauma will develop PTSD. Also, the type of help and support a person receives from friends, family members, and professionals following the trauma may impact the development of PTSD or the severity of symptoms.

PTSD was first brought to the attention of the medical community by war veterans hence the names shell shock and battle fatigue syndrome. However, anyone who has had a traumatic event can develop PTSD. People who were abused as children or who have been repeatedly exposed to life-threatening situations are at risk for developing PTSD. Victims of trauma related to physical and sexual assault face the greatest risk for PTSD.

You may be more likely to develop PTSD after a traumatic event if you have a history of other mental health problems, have blood relatives with mental health problems, or have a history of alcohol or drug abuse.

How common is PTSD?

About 3.6% of adult Americans — about 5.2 million people — have PTSD during the course of a year, and an estimated 7.8 million Americans will develop PTSD at some point in their lives. PTSD can develop at any age, including childhood. Women are more likely to develop PTSD than men. This may be due to the fact that women are more likely to be victims of domestic violence, abuse, and rape.

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What Can You Do If You Think You Have Ptsd

If you think you have PTSD, it’s important to get treatment. Treatment can work, and early treatment may help reduce long-term symptoms.footnote 1

If you think you have PTSD:

  • Talk to your family doctor.
  • Talk to a mental health professional, such as a therapist.
  • If you’re a veteran, contact Veterans Affairs Canada.
  • Talk to a close friend or family member. He or she may be able to support you and find you help.
  • Talk to a religious leader.

If you have thoughts about hurting yourself or someone else, call 911 in your area, or go to a hospital emergency room.

What Are The Causes Of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Causes Post-traumatic stress disorder serious accidents. physical or sexual assault. abuse, including childhood or domestic abuse. exposure to traumatic events at work, including remote exposure. serious health problems, such as being admitted to intensive care. childbirth experiences, such as losing a baby.

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How Many People Suffer From Ptsd

PTSD affects 3.5% of U.S. adults every year, a total of 11.5 million people. And according to the UK National Health Service , PTSD develops in about 1 in 3 people who experience severe trauma. Furthermore, women are twice as likely to suffer from PTSD than men. This difference may be explained by the fact that women are much more likely to be a victim of rape than men.

PTSD symptoms can occur in people of all ages and backgrounds, even though some ethnic groupsU.S. Latinos, African Americans, and American Indianshave higher rates of PTSD than non-Latino whites.

Next Steps For Ptsd Research

In the last decade, progress in research on the mental and biological foundations of PTSD has lead scientists to focus on better understanding the underlying causes of why people experience a range of reactions to trauma.

  • NIMH-funded researchers are exploring trauma patients in acute care settings to better understand the changes that occur in individuals whose symptoms improve naturally.
  • Other research is looking at how fear memories are affected by learning, changes in the body, or even sleep.
  • Research on preventing the development of PTSD soon after trauma exposure is also under way.
  • Other research is attempting to identify what factors determine whether someone with PTSD will respond well to one type of intervention or another, aiming to develop more personalized, effective, and efficient treatments.
  • As gene research and brain imaging technologies continue to improve, scientists are more likely to be able to pinpoint when and where in the brain PTSD begins. This understanding may then lead to better targeted treatments to suit each persons own needs or even prevent the disorder before it causes harm.

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How Do You Have A Relationship With Ptsd

Be sensitive and empathetic to their emotions. Offer comfort and warmth, especially during flashbacks or times of intense anxiety. Know that it is OK to walk away. Romantic partners and other loved ones are not trained therapists and are not equipped to deal with all of the issues that PTSD may bring.

How Can Parents Help

What is PTSD? (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder)

If your child has been through trauma, here are things you can do:

  • Help your child feel safe. They may need extra time, comfort, and care from you for a while.
  • Help your child relax. Invite them to take a few slow breaths with you. Breathe in while you count to 3. Breathe out while you count to 5.
  • Do things together that you enjoy. Trauma can make it harder to feel the positive emotions that naturally help kids recharge. Play, laugh, enjoy nature, make music or art, cook. These activities can reduce stress and build your childs resilience.
  • Reassure your child. Let them know they will get through this. And that you are there to help.
  • Let your childs doctor know what your child has been through. Get a referral to a mental health professional .
  • Tell your childs teacher that your child went through a trauma. Kids with PTSD may have more trouble focusing on schoolwork. Ask for your child to have extra help or more time to do schoolwork if they need it for a while.

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What Are The Symptoms Of Ptsd

Some of the symptoms are PTSD and complex PTSD are:

  • reliving the experience through flashbacks, dreams or nightmares,
  • not being able to feel emotions,
  • dissociation. This could include disconnecting from yourself or other people,
  • negative alternations in mood,
  • negative self-perception such as feeling worthless or defeated,
  • hyperarousal such as anger, irritability or sleep issues,
  • hypervigilance such as feeling on constant alert. Or being overly sensory to stimulus such as smell and noise, and
  • avoidance. This could mean that you try to distract your thought from thinking about the trauma. Or you avoid situations that remind you of your trauma.

Is psychosis a symptom of PTSD?

There is a link between PTSD and psychosis. But it is not known if psychosis is a symptom of PTSD. Or a separate mental health condition.

You can find more information about psychosis by clicking here.

Ptsd: National Center For Ptsd

Available en Español

PTSD is a mental health problem that some people develop after experiencing or witnessing a life-threatening event, like combat, a natural disaster, a car accident, or sexual assault. During this kind of event, you may not have any control over what’s happening, and you may feel very afraid. Anyone who has gone through something like this can develop PTSD.

It’s normal to have upsetting memories, feel on edge, or have trouble sleeping after a traumatic event . At first, it may be hard to do daily activities you are used to doing, like go to work, go to school, or spend time with people you care about. But most people start to feel better after a few weeks or months. For some people, PTSD symptoms may start later, or they may come and go over time.

If it’s been longer than a few months and thoughts and feelings from the trauma are upsetting you or causing problems in your life, you may have PTSD.

Video

How I Knew I Had PTSD

When you have PTSD, the world feels unsafe. You may have upsetting memories, feel on edge, or have trouble sleeping. You may also try to avoid things that remind you of your traumaeven things you used to enjoy.

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How To Cope With Traumatic Stress

Traumatic stress is a normal reaction to an abnormal event. Usually, symptoms get better with time, but people with more intense symptoms may need professional help.

How to cope with traumatic stress.

Over the course of a lifetime, its common to be exposed to a traumatic event, whether it is a violent act, a serious injury, a sexual violation, or other shocking event. In response, many will experience traumatic stressa normal reaction to an abnormal event. People may even experience traumatic stress by just witnessing a highly distressing event or having a close family member or friend experience such an event.

In the days and weeks following such a trauma, its common for people to have a flurry of unpredictable emotions and physical symptoms. They include:

  • Sadness
  • Feeling nervous, jumpy, or on high alert
  • Irritability or anger
  • Intrusive thoughts, flashbacks, or nightmares
  • Trouble feeling positive emotions
  • Avoiding people, places, memories, or thoughts associated with the traumatic event

Usually, these symptoms get better with time. But for some people, more intense symptoms linger or interfere with their daily lives and do not go away on their own. Some people may develop acute stress disorder in which they have extreme symptoms of stress that significantly interfere with daily life, school, work or social functioning in the month after a traumatic event. Others can develop , with symptoms that interfere with daily life and last for more than a month after the trauma.

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