What is Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?

PTSDPost-traumatic Stress Disorder or also known as PTSD occurs when a traumatic event occurs and changes the way your body thinks and reacts to a similar situation. After a traumatic situation it is very normal to feel worried, scared, and anxious. If this does not subside after time has passed, then you may be experiencing PTSD. It may feel as though you will never feel better or go back to “normal.” Even though it does feel this way, there are programs out there and strategies that can be used to help your symptoms and allow you to feel better.

Some common symptoms of PTSD are:

·      Increased arousal, trouble sleeping, restlessness, easily agitated or irritated and jumpy

·      Emotional avoidance to places that remind you of the trauma that you faced

·      Experiencing the event over and over again with intrusive, distressing thoughts

·      Memories of the traumatic event come back to haunt you

·      More intense emotions surrounding the event

·      Angry outbursts that are irrational or uncharacteristic

·      Mood swings that include lots of negativity

·      May feel hopeless, numb or uninterested in activities

PTSD happens after an event occurs that has made you feel worried for your safety or well-being. When you think about PTSD you usually will associate it with a traumatic event such as rape, a battle scar or death in the family. Any event that happens that leaves you feeling hopeless or helpless can be considered PTSD. If the event happened out of nowhere and you weren’t expecting it then it may cause PTSD.

PTSD can happen to the person who lived through the event, saw the event or to those around the situation such as first responders or emergency workers. It can also happen to young children or adolescents who don’t really understand what is going on during the event.