PTSD: The Essential Things You Need To Know

PTSD: The Essential Things You Need To Know

P(ost) T(ramatic) S(tress) D(isorder) is a very sensitive subject, and one which I hope I do some justice as I type all this down; I don’t want to offend anybody if I say something incorrect or offensive. As a whole however, PTSD is a very serious condition, and has affected millions of people since the start of humanity, and continues to affect even more people to this day; in America alone, around 7.8 percent of people will experience PTSD at some point in their lives, with women being twice as more likely to be affected with PTSD than men.

Although this number is very small compared to the vast world of America, this doesn’t mean that it won’t strike anybody without warming. Traumatic events happen to random and unfortunate people every day, from car crashes to trips and falls resulting in serious injuries; even you could receive PTSD from an event which may happen today, tomorrow; a week, a month, or even a year from now.

In this post, I will be going into detail about who may be the most likely to receive PTSD, what the symptoms of PTSD are, and how somebody can essentially relieve themselves of it. It is important that if you do come under PTSD sometime in your life that you should indeed do something about it as it is a very serious condition, and will no doubt affect the way you live your life.

 

Who can ultimately be affected by PTSD?

 

You may have heard stories and such about soldiers in wars receiving PTSD on the battlefield from their fellow soldiers and friends dying awful deaths in front of them, causing them to be discharged as it has affected them too much for them to continue fighting and defending their country, but unfortunately soldiers aren’t the only people who can be affected by PTSD.

Firefighters and police officers are just as likely to be affected by this horrible disorder as soldiers are; going head-first into fires or disasters and seeing horrible things such as fatalities and the total destruction of something they used to know can be more than enough to induce PTSD into them.

In fact, just about anybody can be affected by PTSD depending on the circumstances. A civilian can succumb to PTSD if they were subjected to a scarring and life-changing event. A car crash or their own house burning down in a fire and watching all their possessions being burnt to a crisp can be enough to mentally scar them and give them never-ending nightmares and negative thoughts about how they have nothing left, or about how they could’ve died in that fire if they didn’t get out in time.

Just about any life-changing and scarring situation can produce PTSD to anybody, and unfortunately such events happen to anybody every day; you just have to be fortunate enough to not have any event such as these happen to you too.

 

What are the symptoms of PTSD?

 

When somebody unfortunately has PTSD, they will no doubt show symptoms which a doctor can use to help them diagnose the patient with PTSD and to help them eventually overcome it. These symptoms can vary from person to person, but generally they would most likely be very similar for everyone. The symptoms are as follows:

 

Purposely Avoiding Things

 

The ordeal which caused the PTSD to manifest in the person can be so life-changing and scarring that whatever the person was doing the following moments leading up to when the situation happened, they would never think about doing the same things again, and would even go out of their way to avoid it.

For example, if someone was mentally scarred from a car crash, they would be very hesitant to not step foot inside another car, and would do everything they could to never take a car no matter the cost. They would most likely find another mode of transport to get to a destination, or would simply flat-out refuse to go to the destination as they would have to go in a car to get there, and they would be worried they would find themselves in another crash.

Another example is after fighting in a battlefield. While the person is trying to recover from the horrifying situation they were in, they would do everything they could to avoid anything related to guns or war. They wouldn’t go to places such as a war museum or they wouldn’t watch any movies or documentaries to do with war as the memories would take them back into those life-scarring moments.

If somebody refuses to do something an average person wouldn’t find any trouble with, they might have had a bad experience with that particular thing in the past, and are suffering PTSD because of it.

 

Reoccurring Nightmares

 

Unfortunately, adults can dream just as horrifying and frightening dreams as children can, and people suffering from PTSD can have perhaps the most terrifying dreams a person could ever have.

Ringing true with dismissed or retired soldiers suffering with PTSD, they can have reoccurring nightmares about fighting on the battlefield and seeing their fellow soldiers and friends die in front of them from an explosion or a frightening bullet wound. This will make it extremely hard for a PTSD sufferer to fall asleep if they have reoccurring nightmares about the ordeal, which is very unhealthy and could lead to other problems later down the line.

Sleep is a vital aspect of your lifestyle, and every adult needs at least six hours of sleep every night; having constant nightmares keeping people awake at night isn’t very healthy for them, and is definitely something which will need to be assessed at a later time before it causes any more damage to them.

Having constant thoughts or nightmares about a certain ordeal someone has experienced is a sure sign of PTSD, and they will need to see somebody about it if it becomes too much of both a nuisance and a health problem.

 

Constantly On Guard

 

Someone who went through a traumatic experience will be constantly on guard 24/7 and will find it very hard to relax, whether out and about somewhere, or in the comfort of their own home.

This can be especially troubling for retired or dismissed veterans and young soldiers as after fighting on the battlefield; they might suddenly forget that they aren’t there anymore, and would always be on the lookout for enemies and other dangers.

Furthermore, they will be easily startled by sudden movements and loud noises, and their anxiety levels may be through the roof. If somebody is recovering from a traumatic experience, they may find themselves on guard frequently and looking around for any signs of danger, depending on the circumstances of their ordeal.

 

Traumatic Reminders

 

Sadly, people who were mentally and physically affected by a traumatic experience will unfortunately come across situations and objects which will tragedy remind them of the frightening ordeal they were in.

For example, if somebody was in a traumatic car accident, the area where the crash happened would remind them of the accident, and there would be a chance of that person being overcome with a panic attack. Other such reminders would do the same thing too, and the person would try to do everything they can to avoid using a car, or going down the road where the accident happened.

Somebody recovering from a traumatic situation would be reminded with many such reminders, and they would do all they can to avoid these reminders.

 

Depression

 

Finally, people with PTSD will no doubly be depressed after the ordeal they may have been through. More common with soldiers who were fighting than somebody who had survived a car/plane crash or a form of abuse, people will start to become depressed as their PTSD kicks in and floods their mind with the situations that happened.

Soldiers who had lost friends on the battlefield will become depressed, and some will even feel a sort of survivour’s guilt as they wished it was them who had died and not their friend, resulting in a more intense-kind of depression, sometimes moving on to something more serious such as suicide.

Someone suffering with severe depression could have had a distressing and traumatic experience in the past, which is part of the reason why they are feeling the way they are.

 

What can people with PTSD do?

 

PTSD is far more serious than normal stress; in fact, it can be even more damaging to somebody than chronic stress, the worst form of ordinary stress. Anybody suffering with PTSD will need to see a specialist immediately in order to help them overcome whatever traumatic situation gave them PTSD.

A friend or a family member won’t be a good solution to helping you overcome PTSD as you will need to undergo special treatment from somebody who is professionally trained and is qualified to help you out; a family member just won’t do (unless they are professionally trained and qualified, however, then you can allow them to help you as much as possible).

PTSD is something that should be taken very seriously, and is not something which you can just wave off and be done with; it needs to be dealt with if you have any chance of moving on from the ordeal and continuing your life without it hassling you any further.

 

Will there be a “cure” for PTSD in the future?

 

PTSD is very serious, and you would think there would be some sort of cure for this awful condition… but, there isn’t, and there probably won’t be for a very long time.

PTSD is a form of stress, perhaps the most intense and damaging form there is, and stress is unfortunately natural and something which cannot simply be stopped with “cures”.

The sad realisation is that the world is filled with opportunities to give somebody a traumatic experience; for example, around 1.3 million people die in serious car crashes around the world in a single year, with an additional 20-50 million people injured.

As we all either drive a car, or serve as a passenger in a car almost every day of our lives, any of these life-changing or life threatening crashes could happen to any of us. If we are fortunate enough to survive however, and the crash was quite serious, we would no doubt suffer some PTSD from it.

While self-driving cars are becoming the norm, and will most likely replace all manually-driven cars by around 2040, until then the frequent car crashes will be the most likely candidate to bestow PTSD upon thousands of people every year.

As for PTSD as a whole, there isn’t a special technology or medication which can make us magically forget all about the traumatic experience… yet.

Scientists are in the process of making it possible to fully remove awful memories from people such as PTSD sufferers, but for the time being the only way to properly remove the memories is by a possible hypnotist or vigorous sessions of CBT by a therapist.

Right now however, it can be difficult for a PTSD sufferer to simply forget about their traumatic experience, and unless they seek help from a specialist, it won’t go away anytime soon…

 

Conclusion

 

In conclusion to everything, PTSD is a very serious condition which can affect anybody at any given time. Just a single event can be traumatising enough that somebody will re-live it over and over again in their mind, and any chance of them getting any peace from it will be very slim.

While there are methods which can help somebody ease their way through the aftermath of their terrifying experience and eventually manage to live with the circumstances without it getting in the way of their life, some people don’t get the required help they need, and may do something that perhaps could have been avoided.

If you or anybody you know is suffering from PTSD after a traumatic incident or situation, advise them to see a specialist like a doctor or a therapist about it as there isn’t any other possible solution in this day and age that can help them with their problems.

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