Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD is a mental health condition that is often triggered after either having witnessed or experiencing a terrifying event, which includes death threats, exposure to death(s), sexual violence or a serious injury. The symptoms may include nightmares, flashbacks, anxiety attacks and uncontrollable thoughts about the particular event. Here are the various types of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder:
- Normal Stress Response: This is when healthy adults are exposed to a traumatic event and experience bad memories, emotional numbing, bodily tension or stress. They are usually able to recover within a few weeks.
- Acute Stress Disorder: This includes panic attacks, increased suspiciousness, severe insomnia as well as trouble in managing basic self-care, relationships and work. This is a more severe reaction due to extended/long lasting catastrophe, death, loss of a home or loved one etc.
- Uncomplicated Stress Disorder: In this, a person constantly re-experiences a traumatic event and tries to avoid those objects and places that reinforce the trauma.
- Comorbid Stress Disorder: This is associated with one or more psychiatric disorders like alcohol/substance abuse, depression or other such anxiety disorders.
- Complex Stress Disorder: Experienced by those individuals who have experienced trauma for a long period in their lives, perhaps all throughout their childhood. Individuals in this category are diagnosed with some sort of dis-associative (identity) disorder and often display behavioural, emotional and mental difficulties.
There are 8 Million people living with PTSD in the United States. A large chunk of this is formed by war veterans/military personnel. Traumatic events do not necessarily have to be on the extreme ends of the scale. It could range from exposure to a natural disaster or terrorist event, to the loss of a loved one.