Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that can develop when one has experienced a traumatic event. Here are 5 facts about PTSD:
- PTSD can develop not only after having experiencing trauma, but also from having witnessed it.
- Symptoms of PTSD include reliving the event through flashbacks and nightmares, avoiding possible triggers, excessive arousal which includes a hypervigilance to danger, and an increase in negative thoughts and feelings.
- We can have post-traumatic symptoms and it not develop into a disorder. This will often be affected by one’s support system, the severity of the trauma, and how the symptoms were treated soon after experiencing or witnessing the trauma. Cumulative trauma can also lead to PTSD.
- Although some may experience irritability, increased anger (including outbursts), others will experience flat affect – their ability to feel is dampened by their traumatic experience and its after effects.
- Although we don’t often hear about post-traumatic growth when reading about PTSD, it is an important element to consider in our journey to heal.
Knowing about PTSD and how it can affect both ourselves and our loved ones can be an important step to understanding how trauma affects us in the short term (acute stress response) and the long term (symptoms and possible disorder.)
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