What is PTSD?
PTSD stands for post-traumatic stress disorder. It can occur when someone experiences or sees a traumatic event.
In 1980, it became recognized as a specific condition with identifiable symptoms. Now, it’s listed in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).
Studies show that 70% of all Americans have experienced enough trauma to cause PTSD.
What are the symptoms?
According to the military benefits website:
You may be suffering from PTSD if you experience one or more of the following for a prolonged amount of time after a traumatic event:
- Recurring, involuntary, and intrusive distressing memories of the traumatic events. Some people may be drawn to or be repelled by certain activities that remind them of the event(s). Children may express this through play or creativity that incorporates aspects of the trauma.
- Repeated dreams that feels somehow related (or directly related) to the trauma.
- Any dissociative reaction that makes the sufferer feel that the trauma or aspects of it are happening again.
- Intense distress to exposure to things that are reminders of the trauma.
- Prolonged psychological distress at exposure to reminders of the trauma.
- Physiological (bodily) reactions to reminders of the event(s).
You may be suffering from PTSD if you experience two or more of the following:
- You cannot remember an important part of the trauma in ways that are unrelated to head injury, alcohol or drug use.
- Exaggerated, negative, and persistent ideas or expectations about oneself, others, or the world.
- A distorted sense of blame related to the cause or consequences of the traumatic events. The blame may be self-directed or outwardly directed.
- Persistent fear, anger, guilt, or other strong negative emotions.
- Reduced or lack of interest in activities or events you would otherwise take part in.
- Feeling detached from other people or situations.
- An inability to feel positive.
Those experiencing suicidal feelings or self-destructive urges should get help immediately. Call the Suicide Crisis Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.