Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

We often hear about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder associated with those in the military, coming back from a tour, and having to deal with what they've dealt with oversees, seeing what they have seen, but PTSD can affect anyone.

PTSD can develop in any one of any age, following a traumatic event that has threatened your safety, made you feel vulnerable, helpless and unable to surface.

PTSD can affect those who have personally experienced the tragedy, those who witness it, and those who pick up the pieces afterwards.  Doctors, emergency workers, police, firefighters, paramedics are at high risk for experiencing PTSD.  Family members, friends, co-workers of those who have gone through the actual trauma can experience PTSD as well. 

Anything can trigger PTSD symptoms: a sound, a smell, crowds, the touch of something or someone, a voice, a room, dreams, and a change in routine.  Sometimes symtoms come out in a few short hours or days after the event, however PTSD can sneak up weeks, months, and even years later.

Traumatic events, like mentioned above, is something that has threatened your safety.  Examples of this can be: natural disasters, transportation accidents, sudden death of someone, sexual abuse or rape, physical & sexual assult/abuse, childhood neglect, kidnapping, & war. 

PTSD is a very unique and personal disorder for those experiencing it.  However, there are three key symptoms that indicate PTSD in someone.  Re-experiencing the traumatic event, avoiding reminders of the trauma and increased anxiety and emotional feelings.

Those with PTSD can often experience "black outs" or "flashbacks" where they are back at the scene of the traumatic event, and either act out according to their current emotions, or revert back to how they were during that time.  These black outs can be potentially dangerous to the person in the moment and those around them.  It's important to seek help immediately if black outs are occurring. 

Treatment for PTSD can come in the form of therapy and medication, group therapy, and relaxation techniques.  Those dealing with symptoms should avoid drugs or alcohol, as it can act as more of a trigger than it does to "numb the pain".

Friends and family can provide love & support during this time, and encourage treatment.  Simply providing our phone number can be a step in the right direction for the affected person. 

PTSD is a serious condition, and should not be ignored.  If you or someone you know is dealing after a traumatic event or experience, please reach out.  Our phone number is 613-238-3311, and we're here 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to provide support.


No comments:

Post a Comment