Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is complicated and often misunderstood by many. Sometimes the first time someone hears about PTSD is when they see a doctor and describe their symptoms, so it can be a shock and for some terrifying to hear.
It Can Affect Anyone
When you hear the term PTSD, too often the thoughts turn to the military and that it has been caused by them fighting a war. The truth is anyone can develop PTSD and it develops in various ways with no firm list of causes.
The Symptoms Do Not Always Appear Immediately
It can take weeks, months, or even years for the symptoms of this disorder to appear. However, they usually happen within a short period of time from the trauma but the reason why there is a delay in diagnosis is that the person doesn’t seek medical help until much later.
Women are Twice as Likely to Develop PTSD
Women are more likely to experience PTSD due to the trauma of domestic violence, sexual assault, and abuse; this does not mean that men do not experience the same trauma but research has shown that 10% or 1 in 10 women are diagnosed with PTSD, which is double the known figures regarding men.
Untreated PTSD Does Not Improve Over Time
Often, people think that if they give themselves time after a traumatic event they will get better on their own, this is rarely the case, often untreated PTSD gets worse over time and can lead to other health issues.
Many People Avoid Seeking Help to Protect Their Careers
Depending on their career some people will avoid seeking help for their PTSD as they fear this will impact their careers, such as soldiers, or those who are first responders, medical professionals, teachers to name but a few.
It Can Affect Children
PTSD does not only affect adults, but it can also occur in children too, with an ever-increasing number of children being diagnosed with the condition than before.
People Don’t Always Know They Have It
Symptoms can be slow to develop in some and it can be quite sometime before a person realizes that something is wrong, what they thought was perhaps anxiety or stress is, in fact, PTSD and they can’t understand why as the trauma that caused it happened so long ago.
Witnessing Violence is Enough to Cause PTSD
PTSD is not always caused by the trauma on the person directly, witnessing a traumatic event can be just as impactful and lead to the same issues.
Exposing People to Their Past Trauma Helps Cure It
Therapy in conjunction with medication is the best way to combat the condition. Therapy will help the person re-experience the event in a safe environment and teach them how to come to terms with what happened and how to live with the trauma and move on with their life.
Medication is not Always Necessary
Medication is often used in conjunction with therapy, this does not suit everyone and for some, no medication is used, but just therapy.
PTSD Can Cause Memory Loss
Memory loss is one of the common traits of PTSD, it is your brain shutting out what is causing you the most pain. This is short-term and your memories will come back and that is why seeking treatment is important.
Different People have Different Trauma Thresholds
Up to 70% of Americans will experience some form of trauma in their life, not everyone will develop PTSD, it affects different people in different ways.
It is Most Likely to Occur in Sufferers of Interpersonal Violence
Violence in the main is the cause of PTSD, either directly or indirectly. Research has found although natural disasters can cause PTSD too, it is not as prevalent as violence.
Some People Recover in Six Months, Others Take Much Longer
There is no real time scale from diagnosis to cure. Each person is different and treatment will be designed for each individual.
It’s a Sign of Mental Weakness – Wrong!
The human mind and body can only withstand so much before it begins to slow down and show signs of illness, having PTSD acts in the same way if left untreated, but it absolutely is not a sign of weakness.
People with PTSD are Dangerous – Wrong!
Thanks to misinformation trolled too often by social media and news agencies, the misconception that those who have PTSD are dangerous. Most people with PTSD are not violent, and this stigma needs to be addressed before even more damage is done to those seeking help and support.
Sufferers are not Really Wounded – Wrong!
PTSD is what is often called the invisible illness, and again as social stigma dictates if you can’t see an injury then the person is lying. Just as our bodies have wounds that can be seen, our mind can be wounded too and will need healing just as any injury would.
PTSD Sufferers Can’t Function in Life – Wrong!
Having PTSD does make life difficult at times, living with the condition can be challenging but this does not mean they can’t function in life, most people with PTSD hold down jobs, raise a family all whilst fighting to get themselves well again.