PTSD Support

PTSD: The symptoms

Most people who are exposed to a traumatic, stressful event experience some of the symptoms of PTSD
in the days and weeks following exposure, but the symptoms generally decrease over time and eventually disappear. However, about 8% of men and 20% of women go on to develop PTSD, and roughly 30% of these individuals develop a chronic form that persists throughout their lifetimes.

Three clusters of symptoms are associated with PTSD:

Re-experiencing of the traumatic event:

* Recurring nightmares
* Intrusive daydreams or flashbacks
* Dissociative experiences [is there a less technical term for this?]
* Intensification of symptoms on exposure to reminders of the event

Avoidance or numbing:

* Efforts to avoid thoughts, feelings, activities, or situations associated with the trauma
* Feelings of detachment or alienation
* Inability to have loving feelings

Hyper-arousal:

* Exaggerated startle response
* Insomnia and other sleep disturbances
* Irritability or outbursts of anger
* Physiological reactions to exposure to reminders of the event
Related Disorders:

PTSD often occurs in conjunction with related disorders and symptoms , including:

* Depression, and feelings of guilt and hopelessness
* Substance abuse
* Disillusionment with authority
* Problems of memory and cognition
Functional Impairment:

PTSD often results in impairment of the person’s ability to function in social or family situations , including

* Occupational instability
* Marital problems and divorces
* Discord with family and friends
* Difficulties in parenting

The course of chronic PTSD usually involves periods of symptom increase followed by remission or decrease, although for some individuals symptoms may be unremitting and severe.
How is PTSD assessed and treated?

In recent years a great deal of research has been aimed at development and testing of reliable assessment tools. It is generally thought that the best way to diagnose PTSD – or any psychiatric disorder, for that matter – is to combine findings from structured interviews and questionnaires with
physiological assessments. PTSD is treated by a variety of forms of psychotherapy and drug therapy. There is no definitive treatment, and no cure, but some treatments appear to be quite promising and research into improved treatments is taking place constantly.

Seeking Help
Where to get help?:

Check out our resources pages to find help appropriate for you.

One Response to PTSD Support

  1. AvatarRegina Blaker says:

    Recently I’ve been remembering more and more of the abuse suffered growing up. It was sexual, physical and mental. The sexual abuse was committed by 3 different individuals, one incident occurred when I was about 2 years old…I can remember it like it was yesterday, the others happened when I was 4 and 8 until I was 12. The physical and mental was constant until I was 13…it was my uncle on my mom’s side. My father left when I was about 2-3 years old. He was an alcoholic and violent when he drank. My mom worked two jobs 6 days a week and one on the seventh day. At a very young age, I knew she was extremely stressed, as did my siblings, so none of us told. There was so much chaos and bazaar incidents that went on in my home, that it somehow seemed normal to me. I got really good at shutting down…numbing myself. I didn’t show emotion…other than fits of rage! I completely withdrew when I was about 14 years and quit school. I had panic attacks all the time, nightmares from a very young age, and I would be in a constant state of panic when my mom wasn’t home at night…because that meant I had to try to sleep. That was never an easy task. I wasn’t so afraid during the day, because I could just stay away from the house until I had nowhere else to go. My uncle committed suicide in 1979, and I thought I would be ok then, but things just seemed to get worse. He never molested me, just my older sister. But, he would bring drunks home that did. He also physically and mentally abused my brother and me. He would give her food and not give us anything, kick us down the steps and lock us outside when the temperature was 20 degrees and we had no coat, etc…he would make us sit there for hours. He would tell us that we did have something to eat, and when we came out of the room to get it, he would start hitting us and laughing…asking us how we liked our dinner! My brother and sister didn’t make it. My brother committed suicide the same way my uncle did…laid in front of a train. My sister started doing drugs and drinking when she was in her early 30’s…she overdosed at 48 years. My brother was 42. I’m the youngest…I’m now 51, but still trying to pretend everything is ok in my world. I function normally on the outside, but I don’t feel emotions like I know I should. I know I love my daughter who is an absolute angel more than anything in the world, but I can’t feel it. I trust no one except her. I really don’t know what is going on at this time. I know what has caused me to be like I am, but it seems to be getting worse just when I thought I had a handle on it. My ex-husband was an alcoholic and abusive…surprise..right! He just died a couple of weeks ago due to his alcoholism, and I felt absolutely nothing. My daughter is getting a BS in Psychology and addictions counseling…she knows a lot of what I’ve been through, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. I’m just wondering if maybe I’ve got PTSD.

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