When people usually think of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), they might think of soldiers having mental problems when they return from war. While there is truth in that idea, PTSD affects more than just soldiers. Here is some information about it.
PTSD can happen to anyone that has a traumatic experience, such as rape, abuse, kidnapping, car accidents, living through a natural disaster, or loss of a loved one. With this, their natural “flight-or-fight” reaction doesn’t act normally, so people become fearful in non-threatening situations.
Signs and Symptoms
- Flashbacks (mental, emotional, and physical reactions)
- Bad dreams
- Avoiding places and things so they don’t trigger flashbacks
- Feeling numb, guilty, depressed, anxious, tense, or angry
- Easily startled
- Having trouble sleeping
Diagnosis and Treatment
- To be diagnosed, a person must have avoidance symptoms, some kind of reoccurring flashback or bad dreams, and feeling tense, having trouble sleeping, or being easily startled.
- Two main treatments are psychotherapy and taking medications that are antidepressants, like sertraline or paroxetine.