What is PTSD?
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder is a disorder that is complex and hard for many to recognize because it is often misunderstood. PTSD as the name implies, often develops after a person has been exposed to extreme trauma; this includes witnessing, learning about or experiencing a distressing event or ordeal. Events that lead to PTSD are often life-threatening events or one that could cause or did cause physical harm.
The aftermath of this is that the victim begins to feel strong fear, deep horror or may feel totally helpless.
It is worthy to note that many people who witness such distressing events do not eventually develop PTSD but that traumatic events are the cause of PTSD for those who suffer from it.
Some Misconceptions Surrounding PTSD
PTSD only affects war veterans
This is a serious misconception that has made a lot of people unable to recognize PTSD symptoms in people that are close to them. While there is a high number of war veterans that suffer from PTSD, the truth is that this disorder can affect anyone.
Terrifying events like physical or sexual abuse, armed robbery and kidnapping, riots, witnessing a murder or surviving an accident can cause a person to develop PTSD. Some people suffer from PTSD right from childhood having been exposed to many traumatic ordeals.
PTSD surfaces right after a traumatic event
While PTSD symptoms often develop within three month of a trauma, they may not manifest until months or years later; this is what usually happens with victims of child abuse. This is also the reason why some people and those around may not realize that they are suffering from PTSD; because the symptoms of PTSD they manifest are from past events
PTSD is a sign of weakness or cowardice
After extremely traumatic events, people often need some time to adjust and with this, many are able return to their normal lives. However, some people are deeply affected by such events which may take a toll on certain parts of their live like their mental, emotional or even physical state. For these ones, the trauma may alter their views about the world and themselves, leading to PTSD.
Some Facts about PTSD
1. About 1 out of every 10 women suffers from PTSD; according to medical statistics, the number of women who develop this disorder are exactly double the number of men.
2. War veterans are prone to PTSD; according to statistics in the US, 1 out of 5 war veterans has suffered, is suffering or may suffer from PTSD.
3. Only about 50% of those who suffer from PTSD seek professional help.
4. PTSD can be triggered by a thought, a picture or even a familiar sound or smell; this can cause such a person to go into post-traumatic depression without any warning.
5. Persons living with PTSD may seem happy or live in denial for a months or years without being discovered.