What is PTSD?
For those of you wondering what PTSD is or want to know a little bit more information about PTSD. Here are some facts about this mental health condition.
First off, Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental illness. It results from exposure to trauma to death, threat of death, serious injury, sexual violence, and abuse (physical, mental, emotional).
Trauma is often unexpected, but causes overwhelming emotions, stress, frightening experiences, and distress.
While the media and news outlets discuss the impact of PTSD on soldiers, police officers, firefighters, and first responders, ANYONE can develop PTSD.
If the experience causes any sort of stress reaction, you are likely at risk for PTSD.
According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, “PTSD causes intrusive symptoms such as re-experiencing the traumatic event. Many people have vivid nightmares, flashbacks, or thoughts of the event that seem to come from nowhere. They often avoid things that remind them of the event—for example, someone who was hurt in a car crash might avoid driving.
PTSD can make people feel very nervous or ‘on edge’ all the time. Many feel startled very easily, have a hard time concentrating, feel irritable, or have problems sleeping well. They may often feel like something terrible is about to happen, even when they are safe. Some people feel very numb and detached. They may feel like things around them aren’t real, feel disconnected from their body or thoughts, or have a hard time feeling emotions.” (CHMA Website).
Luckily, there are treatment options for PTSD such as counselling, medications, and support groups. Everyone’s experiences with PTSD are different, therefore it is best to talk to your doctor about what would be the right treatment options for you.
It’s also important to remember that family, friends, and loved ones can be affected by someone suffering from PTSD, so it’s also important for them to get involved with helping treat their loved ones. First things first though, learn more about what PTSD is! Understanding the mental health issues itself can help eliminate feelings of judgement and oppression from the victim. But helping support the victim through this troubling time is important, and can help you better understands methods for creating wellness.
Of course, I am no doctor. I am just living with PTSD. For more information, contact your doctor and set up a game plan for treatment. If you suspect a loved one is suffering from PTSD, talk to them about it.
And most importantly, if you suspect a loved ones is at risk for suicide or you suspect they are making plans to end their own life, call 911 immediately!
There is lots more to learn about PTSD, so do the research and help break down barriers for people living with mental health issues!
Below are some resources for extra research on PTSD and other mental health issues:
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) – Canadian Mental Health Association
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) – Mayo Clinic