Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

If there is a good thing about suffering a traumatic event, it is that the event eventually ends.

The bad thing is that the trauma caused by the event can persist long after the event itself has ended.
People who have suffered such an event in combat, sexual or physical abuse, terrorism, crashes or natural disasters may suffer from PTSD, which stands for "post traumatic stress disorder."

During a traumatic event you may feel like your life or someone else's life is in danger and that you are powerless over the situation. Most often stress from the event subsides, but other times it continues. If you relive the event, or if your reactions to it continue unchecked for more than four months, you may be suffering from PTSD.

Help is available. If you think you may have PTSD, see your EAP counselor. Therapy and medications are the most common treatments, and are effective ways to help you reduce the stress and reactions to whatever event triggered your symptoms.

If you are experiencing any of the following signs and symptoms, Please contact your EAP counselor.
What Are the Symptoms of PTSD?

Symptoms of PTSD most often begin within three months of the event. In some cases, however, they do not begin until years later. The severity and duration of the illness vary. Some people recover within six months, while others suffer much longer.

Symptoms of PTSD often are grouped into three main categories, including:

  • Reliving: People with PTSD repeatedly relive the ordeal through thoughts and memories of the trauma. These may include flashbacks, hallucinations, and nightmares. They also may feel great distress when certain things remind them of the trauma, such as the anniversary date of the event.
  • Avoiding: The person may avoid people, places, thoughts, or situations that may remind him or her of the trauma. This can lead to feelings of detachment and isolation from family and friends, as well as a loss of interest in activities that the person once enjoyed.
  • Increased arousal: These include excessive emotions; problems relating to others, including feeling or showing affection; difficulty falling or staying asleep; irritability; outbursts of anger; difficulty concentrating; and being "jumpy" or easily startled. The person may also suffer physical symptoms, such as increased blood pressure and heart rate, rapid breathing, muscle tension, nausea, and diarrhea.

Young children with PTSD may suffer from delayed development in areas such as toilet training, motor skills, and language

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