Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health problem that you may develop after experiencing or witnessing a life-threatening event, natural disasters, car accidents or sexual assaults. After these traumatic events, it’s normal to have some upsetting memories, feelings of being on edge or trouble sleeping. You may also experience nightmares, flashbacks, be unable to control your thoughts about the event, and find yourself avoiding the distressing memories. At first, day-to-day activities like going to work or school may be difficult. If these feelings do not subside after a few weeks or months, you may have PTSD.
It’s important to remember that PTSD does not mean weakness. A number of factors can increase your chance of developing PTSD, many of which are not under your control.
Veteran's Affairs reports that "approximately 30% of Vietnam War Veterans experience PTSD over the course of their lifetimes, and approximately one in five Service Members who return from deployment operations in Afghanistan and Iraq have symptoms of PTSD."
But PTSD does not only affect veterans...
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can occur at any age and touches all ethnicities, nationalities, and cultures.
According to the American Psychiatric Association: "PTSD affects approximately 3.5 percent of U.S. adults every year. The lifetime prevalence of PTSD in adolescents ages 13-18 is 8%. An estimated one in 11 people will be diagnosed with PTSD in their lifetime. Women are twice as likely as men to have PTSD. Three ethnic groups - U.S. Latinos, African Americans, and Native Americans/Alaska Natives - are disproportionately affected and have higher rates of PTSD than non-Latino whites."
Does Experiencing a Trauma Mean That You Will Develop PTSD?
No, experiencing something traumatic does not necessarily mean that you will develop PTSD. However, it is important to be mindful when there are a series of events that occur, that are particularly stressful, as this combination can have a cumulative effect and lead to more serious symptoms, making it more difficult to utilize your normal coping mechanisms.
If you or someone you know is experiencing any of the above-mentioned symptoms, we are here to help. Best Day has providers who specialize in PTSD, and related disorders, who can help find a better way to have your BEST day with a customized treatment plan.