For those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), each day is a constant battle against a very real enemy: your mind. It’s feeling out of control in your own skin, terrified, and suspicious of everyone around you. It’s living in a constant state of fear and uncertainty, and it’s a state in which an estimated 14 million Americans live in any given year.
PTSD is not just a condition impacting members of the military who have served in combat missions. A wide variety of traumatic experiences can leave their victims experiencing post-trauma symptoms. Read on to learn more about the types of life situations that can cause this debilitating disorder.
PTSD is an anxiety disorder that can occur following a traumatic, life-threatening experience or event. Examples of such events may include a natural disaster, serious accident, physical assault, terrorist attack, or military combat. PTSD can impact people at any age
Victims of PTSD
PTSD sufferers may include anyone who was a victim of, or witnessed, a traumatic event, or was exposed to a life-threatening situation. This may include:
- Survivors of violence, such as domestic abuse, rape, sexual or physical assault, or verbal abuse.
- Survivors of natural disasters, such as floods, tornados, or hurricanes
- Survivors or witnesses of terrorist attacks.
- Former military members who served active duty.
- Emergency responders who have assisted victims during traumatic events, such as natural disasters and acts of terrorism.
- Survivors of life-threatening accidents, such as car accidents.
- Individuals who have experienced the sudden, unexpected death of a loved one.
- Children who are the victims of physical, emotional, or sexual abuse.
Symptoms of PTSD
If you think you or someone you love may be suffering from PTSD, familiarize yourself with the symptoms and signs of this emotionally painful disorder. Symptoms of PTSD may include:
- Obsessive thoughts regarding the past traumatic event.
- Severe nightmares or difficulty sleeping.
- Flashbacks about the traumatic event.
- Having difficulty concentrating, or an inability to focus.
- Feeling the need to be constantly aware of potential risks around you that make you feel extremely guarded, or being distracted with thoughts of your safety.
- Experiencing panic attacks.
- Feeling you are easily angered or startled.
- Being easily irritated.
- Feeling constantly anxious.
- Persistent depression.
- Feeling emotionally detached from those around you, or like you can’t trust those around you, including loved ones.
- Avoiding places or circumstances that serve as reminders of the traumatic event.
- Difficulty participating in day-to-day activities, like going to work or school, or participating in social events.
- Experiencing the following physical symptoms: rapid breathing, muscle tension, rapid heart rate, chronic pain, headaches, stomach pain, or tightness in the chest.
- Abusing substances as a way to cope with emotional and physical pain.
The realities of surviving a traumatic event will live with you forever, but the emotional aftereffects don’t have to. If you’re ready to get help and begin walking the road to recovery, contact the team at Horizon Health Services today.