Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, can affect anyone. It can severely disrupt your life and not only affect your day-to-day activities, but also your social life and feeling of self-worth. When the symptoms are left untreated, PTSD can get much worse and start to affect your physical health as well.
It’s important to be aware of PTSD and what the symptoms are. Mental and physical health professionals can do all they can to help, but they can’t do much if those who are suffering from PTSD are suffering in silence because they aren’t aware of what the condition entails, or because the people close to them don’t either and therefore can’t offer to help them. Learning about PTSD and staying informed is the best way to prevent it, to know when and how to get help for yourself or any loved ones who are dealing with it, and to combat the ongoing symptoms so you can get them under control.
Rising prevalence of PTSD
There are a growing number of healthcare professionals who agree that post-traumatic stress disorder should be considered a public health issue rather than a mental health concern because of the overall increasing prevalence of it in society. Whether it’s increasing because more people are facing trauma, or if it’s just becoming better understood is hard to say, but regardless of the reason why the fact is that more people are facing a risk of developing PTSD.
The groups with the highest risk of developing PTSD are women, people who served in the military in combat, those in job fields like that deal with other people’s trauma on a daily basis (for example, paramedics and first responders), and people who have experienced a traumatic event during their childhood.
How to stay aware and informed
Understanding what post-traumatic stress disorder looks like and affects people can go a long way in getting treatment for yourself or protecting others who are suffering from it. PTSD can change how you function every day and completely flip your life upside down, so knowing when and how to get treatment is the best way to get yours or your loved ones’ life back on track.
The best way to stay informed is to fully understand what PTSD is, what the symptoms are, how it can affect people in other ways, and how to remain compassionate with those who are suffering.
What is PTSD?
PTSD is a mental health disorder that occurs after a traumatic incident, like a violent attack, sexual assault, life-threatening accident, or from being in live combat on military duty. Women and those serving in the military are the most common demographics to be affected by PTSD.
What are the symptoms of PTSD?
The symptoms can vary between people depending on the severity of their trauma, but they can include:
- Recurring and involuntary flashbacks or nightmares of the trauma
- Dizziness, lightheadedness, and sweating
- Mood swings and increased anger outbursts
- Insomnia or difficulty sleeping
- Negative self-worth and harmful intrusive thoughts
- Avoidance of places or people who remind them of the traumatic event
Spreading awareness of PTSD is crucial as it allows others to also understand what it is and when treatment is necessary. If you have PTSD, talk about it with friends and family to help erase the stigma. If you have a loved one suffering from PTSD, encourage them to reach out and talk to others about it as well. The more people are aware of PTSD and how it affects everyone, the less stigma and judgment there will be around it, meaning those who have it will be more likely to reach out and get treatment.