Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Does It Only Affect Those That Have Been To War?


Soldiers with the condition post-traumatic stress disorder, also called PTSD, have heightened the awareness of this disorder, but it did not originate with them.

The majority of those who suffer from this stress related mental illness, have in fact, never been to war. Most have suffered an extreme, life altering event such as sexual or physical abuse.

In this Mental Health Guide article,  you will more about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and how effects both war veterans and civilians in different ways.

Defining Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

PTSD is a mental health condition brought on by a terrifying event or events. When you consider that just one such event can produce post-traumatic stress in some individuals, it is not hard to understand how soldiers who experience such events daily for extended periods suffer PTSD at a much higher rate than normal.

Any person who experiences a traumatic event might have trouble coping for a short time, but the trauma usually goes away. In some, the symptoms don’t go away and may get worse. This is characteristic of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

PTSD symptoms usually begin with a few months of the event or events. In some, however, they might not appear until much later.

The symptoms involve memories that intrude into your mind. These might be called flashbacks and they make you feel like you’re reliving the trauma all over again. Dreams at night can produce the same disturbing thoughts.

Additional symptoms reflect avoidance or becoming emotionally numb. These include a sense of hopelessness, avoidance of people or activities you once enjoyed and difficulty concentrating or remembering.

Symptoms similar to anxiety disorders are also common. These include anger, overwhelming guilt, irritability, difficulty sleeping, being nervous or easily startled and hearing noises that are not there.

Causes of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

The trigger for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a traumatic event or series of events. These include combat, rape or sexual molestation, physical attack or being threatened.

However, there might be underlying causes too. These might include an inherited risk of anxiety or depression or mood disorders, early life experiences that were traumatic, brain chemistry imbalance and irregularities with hormonal production.

Treatment for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

There are several types of medications effective in treating PTSD. These include antipsychotics, antidepressants, anti-anxiety medication and Prazosin which is especially helpful for those with sleep disruption.

Psychotherapy is also effective in treating PTSD. Counseling along with appropriate drug therapy often produces the best outcomes for those with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Your First Step

Talk with your doctor if you think you might be suffering from PTSD. He or she will be able to refer you to a specialist that can explain your treatment options and help you get started.