Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Also called: PTSD

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a real illness. You can get PTSD after living through or seeing a traumatic event, such as war, a hurricane, sexual assault, physical abuse, or a bad accident. PTSD makes you feel stressed and afraid after the danger is over. It affects your life and the people around you.

PTSD can cause problems like

  • Flashbacks, or feeling like the event is happening again
  • Trouble sleeping or nightmares
  • Feeling alone
  • Angry outbursts
  • Feeling worried, guilty, or sad

PTSD starts at different times for different people. Signs of PTSD may start soon after a frightening event and then continue. Other people develop new or more severe signs months or even years later. PTSD can happen to anyone, even children.

Treatment may include talk therapy, medicines, or both. Treatment might take 6 to 12 weeks. For some people, it takes longer.

NIH: National Institute of Mental Health

Symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

The following features are indicative of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder:
  • flashbacks
  • nightmares
  • severe anxiety
  • intrusive memories
  • negative changes in thinking and mood
  • severe emotional distress
  • feeling emotionally numb
  • trouble sleeping
  • self-destructive behavior
  • re-enacting the traumatic event
  • frightening dreams that may or may not include aspects of the traumatic event
  • irritability
  • trouble concentrating
  • lack of interest in activities you once enjoyed
  • feeling detached from family and friends
  • difficulty maintaining close relationships
  • hopelessness about the future
It is possible that Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder shows no physical symptoms and still is present in a patient.

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Common Causes of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

The following are the most common causes of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder:
  • stressful experiences
  • inherited mental health risks
  • inherited features of personality
  • sexual violation

Risk Factors for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder:
  • excess alcohol use
  • lacking a good support system of family and friends
  • having blood relatives with mental health problems such as anxiety or depression
  • having a job that increases your risk of being exposed to traumatic events
  • having experienced other trauma earlier in life
  • physical assault
  • childhood physical abuse

Prevention of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • support from family and friends helps in preventing you from turning to unhealthy coping methods

Occurrence of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Common between 1 - 10 Million cases

Common Age Group

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder can occur at any age.

Common Gender

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder:
  • Physical exam: To detect the medical problems
  • Psychological evaluation: To diagnose post-traumatic stress disorder

Doctor for Diagnosis of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder:
  • Psychologist

Complications of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder if untreated

Yes, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is left untreated:
  • depression
  • anxiety
  • eating disorders
  • suicidal thoughts and actions

Procedures for Treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

The following procedures are used to treat Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder:
  • Psychotherapy: Helps in regaining a sense of control over your life

Self-care for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder:
  • Follow your treatment plan: Beneficial in recovering the disease
  • Take care of yourself: Helps in relieving the stress

Alternative Medicine for Treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

The following alternate medicine and therapies are known to help in the treatment or management of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder:
  • Practicing acupuncture technique: Helps in improving the symptoms

Patient Support for Treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

The following actions may help Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder patients:
  • Join support group: Helps in finding the ways to cope with the disease
  • Learn about Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: Helps in understanding and provides knowledge about the disease
  • Stay connected with supportive and caring people: Provides comfort and helps in healing the disease

Time for Treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
  • More than 1 year

Is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Infectious?

Yes, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is known to be infectious.

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
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