Updated: Dec 13, 2020

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a disorder that occurs when people experience a shocking, scary, traumatic, or dangerous event. According to NIH (2018), it is natural to feel afraid during and after a traumatic situation. Fear triggers many split-second changes in the body to help defend against danger or to avoid it. This “fight-or-flight” response is a typical reaction meant to protect a person from harm. These responses will continue after the event, which usually is diagnosed as PTSD. Some signs and symptoms of PTSD are flashbacks, bad dreams, frightening thoughts, and avoidance. Many people with PTSD have reactionary symptoms of being easily startled, feeling tense, difficulty sleeping, and angry outbursts. Additional symptoms may include memory issues of the event, negative thoughts, guilt, blame, and loss of interest. Many of these problems lead to panic disorder, depression, substance abuse, and feeling suicidal. There is help for people experiencing issues with PTSD. According to NIH (2018), the main treatments for people with PTSD are medications, psychotherapy (“talk” therapy), or both. Everyone is different, and PTSD affects people differently, so a treatment that works for one person may not work for another. It is essential for anyone with PTSD to be treated by a mental health provider experienced with PTSD.

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