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If you look around the room or even to the person sitting right next to you, chances are you will not assume right away that they have been through or have yet to go through a traumatic event in their given lifetime. Many are not aware that post-traumatic stress disorder is a trauma and stress related disorder diagnosed to those who are having or have been having trouble recovering after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event. Statistics show around 8 million adults are diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder in a year. Although that is only a small portion of people who will experience trauma. In this informative essay, I will go into depth about where post-traumatic stress disorder originated from, the causes and symptoms, and possible treatment that is receivable to those in need.
For starters, post-traumatic stress disorder dates all the way back to after WWI, in the 1960s. During that time frame, many soldiers and veterans experienced intense anxiety reactions to the horrors they were experiencing after what they had to face in warfare. To them, it was called combat neurosis, shell shock, or battle fatigue. If you had symptoms of combat neurosis, it was diagnosed by doctors as an anxiety-based personality disorder. In today’s time though, PTSD is considered diagnosable as trauma or a stress related disorder. You can depict how much time has evolved since then. Now, it is not even just soldiers who experience it. In 2018, The National Center for PTSD at the US Department of Veteran Affairs stated that a lifetime currency among American adults was around 7-8 percent while in general, it amounted to 4 percent in men and 10 percent in women. Regardless of who you are gender wise, PTSD can be caused from many things, not just being a soldier healing from previous war or combat.
Next, post-traumatic stress disorder can include a list of causes and symptoms. Causes can include things such as natural disasters, war, domestic violence, and sexual assault/rape. As well as violent crimes, accidents, and medical procedures. The symptoms vary anywhere from a month to even a year after the traumatic event, sometimes even longer. With that being said, society should be more aware, but the symptoms include intrusive thoughts and or memories of the event, flashbacks, and prolonged distress, especially around things or people reminding the person affected of the event. There can be an abundant number of nightmares or disturbing dreams that comes along with PTSD, a difficult time in sleeping or falling asleep, irritability, outbursts of anger, or self-destructive behavior. On top of that, there can be a persistent blame put on yourself or others around you, along with a detachment from others. A person may experience a lack of joy in activities which they enjoyed before, a difficulty in concentrating, an increase in anxiety, and an overly exaggerated startle response compared to others. Many are not aware of how to deal or approach the life-changing effects of post-traumatic stress disorder but there are plentiful amounts of treatment/help you can receive. Regardless, everyone should know that they are not alone in this mental battle.
Lastly, the treatment you can acquire for PTSD varies. This can include therapy, individual and group therapy, which are only two of many. You can even take anxiety medications or antidepressants prescribed from your doctor if needed. Likewise, there is psychotherapy, anxiety management, relaxation training, cognitive behavioral therapy, and supportive psychotherapy. If that does not suit a patient’s overall needs, they can even attempt journaling, getting into creative/art therapy, critical incident stress debriefing, and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing. Although if a person wants to heal, they must take the step forward and ask for help. As Michele Rosenthal says, “Trauma creates change you don’t choose. Healing creates change you do choose.”
In conclusion, post-traumatic stress disorder should be taken more seriously and be more well-understood as a whole. Given the information and statistics, many should agree that PTSD is not talked about enough. Mental health overall is not discussed or taken as seriously as it should be. Once people grow to be more aware of mental disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, they will come to a better understanding of their peers around them. If you or someone you know is going through a traumatic event and are having a rough time, I highly suggest reaching out after hearing the history of the disorder, the countless causes and symptoms, and how you can get the care you need.
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