Post traumatic stress disorder, in short PTSD, is an anxiety disorder that can develop after a traumatic event that you come across.
The traumatic event can be horrible and scary situation where you feel extreme fear, or helplessness.
The reasons for post traumatic stress disorder can include natural disaster (fire, flood or earthquake), fighting in a war, serious car crashes or sexual assault or rape.
These events can cause strong emotions and produce changes in the brain, thus leading to the development of PTSD.
Remember that not all people who come across traumatic event develop post traumatic stress disorder. Developing this disorder depends on several factors: severity and intensity of the traumatic event and how long the event lasted.
It is found that, in the United States, yearly, it affects approximately forty million people of age eighteen and older.
With post traumatic stress disorder, you experience severe physical, mental, and emotional agony when you remind the traumatic event. This agony can be terrifying and disturb your routine activities.
You may experience sleeplessness, depression, numbness, feeling detached and nervous, lack of interest in things, difficulty in being affectionate, irritation, and more violent.
The symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder may develop symptoms immediately after the traumatic event or may take months, or years to develop. It is found that one out of every three PTSD cases will develop some symptoms of this disorder.
The symptoms can be of four types: re-living symptoms, avoidance symptoms, numbing symptoms, and feeling keyed up.
Re-living symptoms are the bad memories of the trauma that can repeat at any time. This symptom develops when you hear a sound or view something that relates to the event.
Avoidance symptoms develop when you stay away from the situations or people that make you recollect the event. For example, you make yourself very busy in order to avoid thinking or talking about the event.
Numbing symptoms are the symptoms where you feel difficulty in expressing your feelings or lack of interest in performing things.
With feeling keyed up symptoms, you may experience sudden angry, irritation, unable to concentrate, and uneasy when you come across surprises. These symptoms are also called hyper-arousal symptoms.
It is found that half of PTSD cases get cure at some time. There are treatment options available to treat post traumatic stress disorder. For treatment, consult a mental health professional. Your doctor will diagnose the condition through identifying your symptoms and experiences.
Treatment for PTSD is a combination of psychological therapies and medication to reduce depression and anxiety.
A therapist can also help treat your disorder. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is most effective treatment option for post traumatic stress disorder.
Cognitive therapy and exposure therapy are the two types of CBT that can be used to treat this disorder.
Eye Movement Desensitization And Reprocessing (EMDR) is another therapy that is used for PTSD.
Apart from these therapies, medications are also effective in treating post traumatic stress disorder. Antidepressants and anxiety-reducing medications will lessen your symptoms. A drug called Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI) is very effective in treating PTSD.