Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a condition where a person experiences a very traumatic event and their mental health thereafter suffers tremendously. These people have intense feelings of horror, fear and helplessness. A person with post-traumatic stress disorder can become so overwhelmed with intense feelings of despair that they may have trouble getting on with their normal life.
In most cases, a person with post-traumatic stress disorder was involved in or witnessed a traumatizing event. Some common examples of a traumatic experience include the death of a loved one, being diagnosed with a serious health condition and witnessing something traumatizing happening to another person. Traumatic events can include war, rape, molestation, a horrific car accident and being involved in a natural disaster like a flood or fire.
- Victim-related trauma: People with this type of PTSD were either witnesses of a criminal attack, or they were the victims of the attack. That attack might involve physical violence, such as a beating or a fight, or it might involve sexual abuse, including rape. Robberies, carjackings, kidnappings, and terrorist attacks can also spark this form of trauma.
- Natural-disaster trauma:Earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, and flooding are rarely caused by human intervention. They take place due to a natural process over which humans have very little control; however, these incidents can leave behind dozens if not thousands of victims. While the event unfolds, people may fear for their lives and the lives of the people they love. Survivors may have this form of PTSD.
- Survivor trauma: Some incidents that spark PTSD involve one victim and one antagonist, but sometimes, the event has more than one victim. And sometimes, only one person survives the incident. When that happens, people might have a very specific form of PTSD that is tied to the fact that they lived through the event while others did not.
- Perpetrator guilt: Most forms of PTSD involve the thoughts and feelings of a person who was helpless in the face of fear, but people in this subtype had at least something to do with the event. They may have planned it and participated in it, while realizing that they made a terrible mistake. Or they may have been caught up in the moment, and then realized the error days or months later.
- PTSD not otherwise specified: Some traumatic events come with ripples that can touch people hours or days after the issue has been resolved. These people might clean up after tornadoes, collect bodies from crime scenes, comfort rape victims, or listen to their loved ones discuss a traumatic event. These people were not direct witnesses, but they can be profoundly touched by the things they experience in the aftermath of the event.
Warnings of PTSD:
- Common PTSD symptoms can emerge right after a traumatic occurrence. But in most cases, they typically start within six months following the experience.
- PTSD can cause people to lose interest in things that they once found enjoyable.
- Children with PTSD can worry about not living long enough to see adulthood.
- Often people who struggle with PTSD suffer from depression, eating disorders and substance abuse.
- Just witnessing or hearing about a traumatic experience of a close friend or family member can cause a person to develop PTSD.
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