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Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

For some people, the car accident, or the hurricane, or fighting in war in just the beginning of the nightmare.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an illness that makes people feel stressed and afraid after they live through a dangerous or upsetting event. You don’t need to have been hurt during the incident to suffer from PTSD.

Some people who suffer from PTSD try to hide their feelings but it is better to talk your feelings out. The illness is real and help is available to make you feel better.

What causes PTSD?

PTSD is caused by living through a traumatic experience. That can include any trauma, like:

  • Being a victim of violence or witnessing violence.
  • The death of a loved one.
  • A loved one’s serious illness.
  • A bad car accident.
  • Natural disasters like tornadoes, hurricanes, or fires.

While researchers aren’t quite sure why some people get PTSD while others don’t, they do have some ideas. If you have a history of depression or anxiety, you may be more likely to develop PTSD after trauma. Your genes might also play a factor.

What does PTSD feel like?

When you’re in danger and even for a short time after, it’s normal to feel afraid or upset.  But after time, you should start to feel better.

If you still feel the same or worse after trauma as you did during the event, you may have PTSD. Other problems you might have could be:

  • Feeling like the event is happening again (flashbacks).
  • Nightmares or trouble sleeping.
  • Avoiding places that remind you of the event.
  • Feeling worried, sad, guilty, or alone.
  • Angry outbursts.
  • Feeling like you want to hurt yourself or others.

If you suffer from PTSD, avoid drugs and alcohol..  Asthey can make you feel even worse.

Can PTSD be treated?

Yes – PTSD is treatable. Help for PTSD can make you feel better over time.

If you’re not sure where to start, talk with your family doctor. They can set you up with a counselor who has special training in treating PTSD, or if needed, a psychiatrist that treats PTSD. Try using PerformCare’s find a provider tool for help finding a counselor or psychiatrist that’s right for you. If you have more questions, contact PerformCare.

The psychiatrist may offer a few different treatment options:

  • Talk therapy.
  • Medication.
  • Both talk therapy and medication.

Don’t get upset if you don’t feel better right away. Treatment takes time. For most people, it could take between 6-12 weeks or sometimes longer.

Source: National Institute of Mental Health