Sunday, 6 October 2013

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Factfile

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder caused by very stressful, frightening or distressing events.
The type of events that can cause PTSD include:
  • military combat
  • serious road accidents
  • terrorist attacks
  • natural disasters, such as severe floods, earthquakes or tsunamis
  • being held hostage
  • witnessing violent deaths
  • violent personal assaults, such as sexual assault, mugging or robbery
PTSD can develop immediately after someone experiences a disturbing event or it can occur weeks, months or even years later.
PTSD can develop in any situation where a person feels extreme fear, horror or helplessness. However, it doesn't usually develop after situations that are simply upsetting, such as divorce, job loss or failing exams.

Symptoms of PTSD

Someone with PTSD will often relive the traumatic event through nightmares and flashbacks, and they may experience feelings of isolation, irritability and guilt. They may also have problems sleeping, such as insomnia, and find concentrating difficult.
These symptoms are often severe and persistent enough to have a significant impact on the person’s day-to-day life.
Read more about the symptoms of PTSD.

Treating PTSD

PTSD can be successfully treated, even when it develops many years after a traumatic event.
Any treatment depends on the severity of symptoms and how soon they occur after the traumatic event. The following treatment options may be recommended:
  • watchful waiting: waiting to see whether the symptoms improve or get worse without treatment
  • psychological treatment: such as trauma-focused cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) or eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR) (...or of course hypnosis)
  • medication: such as paroxetine or mirtazapine
Read more about treating PTSD.

How common is PTSD?

PTSD affects up to 30% of people who experience a traumatic event. It affects around 5% of men and 10% of women at some point during their life.
PTSD can occur at any age, including during childhood.

http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Post-traumatic-stress-disorder/Pages/Introduction.aspx

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