Definition: a mental health condition caused by experiencing a frightening or traumatic event that causes stress and anxiety symptoms after the event.
- Flashbacks and nightmares related to the traumatic event
- Avoidance of places or situations that are reminders of the event, or feeling anxious or panicky in such places or situations
- Symptoms of anxiety and depression such as feeling jumpy and “on the edge”, loss of interest in hobbies and others (see link to clinical depression and generalized anxiety articles for more symptoms)
- Trouble remembering key components of the event
- 7 or 8 out of every one hundred people in the world will experience PTSD sometime in their lifetime.
- There are more than three million US cases of PTSD a year. Very common – you’re not alone!
- Not everyone with PTSD had been in a war, shooting or other life-threatening situation. The disorder can result from seeing a loved one die or be injured too.
How to feel better:
- Talk and exposure therapy
- Have a support network – this can include friends, family, or an organized group of people who also have PTSD.
- Some people put others down for having PTSD by saying things like “well, you didn’t even see combat so how can you have PTSD?” – not cool – you don’t have to directly experience a traumatic event to have the disorder
- Don’t blame the person for not trying to get back to normal life after the event – it’s not their fault