Frightening situations occur to everyone at some point. Something is traumatic when it is overwhelming, frightening, and causes a lot of distress. Trauma is often unpredicted, and many people say that they felt defenseless to stop or change the event.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a psychiatric disorder. It involves a serious unbearable condition that occur in people who have experienced or witnessed a serious accident, natural disaster, terrorist incident, sudden death of a loved one, , physical or sexual abuse, serious injury, kidnapping, assault, rape, war or conflict, childhood neglect or other life threatening events. People with post-traumatic stress disorder continue to be severely depressed and restlessness for months or years. It lasts longer and can seriously disturb a person’s life.
People who experience a traumatic event will have some reactions that may include anger, shock, nervousness, fear, and guilt. They are common among them, and for most people, they get away over time but person with PTSD, however, these feelings persist and even increase by the time, becoming so strong that they keep the person from living a normal life. People with PTSD having symptoms for more than one month and cannot function as well as before. Post-traumatic stress disorder affects people who personally experience the traumatic event, those who eyewitness the event, and those who pick up the pieces after the traumatic event such as emergency workers & family members or friends of those who experienced the trauma.
PTSD is diagnosed when people experience
- Emotional numbness
- Avoiding conversations, feelings or thoughts about the event
- Avoiding activities, people or places related with the event
- Having difficulty in recall an important part of the original trauma
- Feelings of detachment
- Lack of interest in normal activities
- Less of expression
- Sleep disturbances
- Irritability and outbursts of anger
- Difficulty in concentration
- Severe headache, pounding heart, sweating, rapid breathing, stomach upset, if thinking of the event.
- Failure to engage in exercise, regular health care
- Having bad dreams about the event
- Flashbacks (Behaving or feeling as if the event were actually happening all over again)
According to researches, women developed posttraumatic stress disorder twice as compared to men. Children can also develop post-traumatic stress disorder. Co-morbidity of posttraumatic stress disorder often occurs with substance abuse, depression, or other anxiety disorders.
Counseling is very effective for posttraumatic stress disorder which help patient to manage feelings, thoughts, and behaviors. It also helps in dealing problems and stress. Patient can also learn relaxation skills and techniques that fetch him back to the present. Exposure therapy (which can help him to talk about his experience and reduce avoidance) may also helpful. Counseling helps people to manage symptoms regarding posttraumatic stress disorder. It slowly exposes them to the trauma they experienced in a safe way. It uses writing, imagining, or visiting the place where the event happened. The therapist uses these tools to help people with posttraumatic stress disorder cope with feelings.