Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
When you think of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD, you probably think of our brave men and women returning from a battlefield (or warzone). But did you know that the #1 cause of PTSD is motor vehicle collisions (or crashes)?
PTSD develops in response to experiencing or witnessing a shocking, scary or dangerous event. These traumatic events can be life-threatening, but not always. This is where PTSD gets difficult, because it’s personal. It all depends on how you perceive the event.
Re-living the trauma through memories, nightmares or flashbacks
Avoiding things that are reminders of the trauma
Anxiety and irritability
Changes in mood
To be diagnosed with PTSD, symptoms need to persist for over one month after the event. But It can be difficult to diagnose because symptoms are sometimes normalized or even trivialized. And because it’s an injury you can’t see, you might not realize what you are experiencing is an unhealthy response to the trauma.
PTSD can be devastating. It can affect your ability to drive, take the bus, return to work or even leave your house. It’s important to pay attention to your symptoms following a trauma and seek professional help as soon as possible. Early intervention and treatment supports a healthy recovery and can prevent the devastating effects of PTSD.
I’m experiencing some of these symptoms, now what?
Having or being at risk for developing PTSD doesn’t necessarily mean you experience all of these symptoms. Sometimes you can manage symptoms on your own.
WAYS TO HELP:
Learning relaxation skills
Facing your fears
Other times, self-help strategies just aren’t enough. PTSD can be overwhelming and it’s not uncommon to need help to recover.