Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health disorder that occurs after a traumatic, life-threatening event. An estimated 7.8 percent of Americans will experience PTSD at some point in their lives, with women (10.4%) twice as likely as men (5%) to develop PTSD (Nebraska Dept. of Veterans’ Affairs).
If you believe you are or someone you love is suffering from PTSD, please contact your doctor or a therapist. Then read on to learn more!
Many people assume that the only way one can develop PTSD is if he or she has been in combat. However, this stereotype often leaves those individuals who are suffering from PTSD caused by non-combat traumas feeling like they aren’t going to be believed or that their suffering is somehow less than a combat veteran’s. There are numerous causes of PTSD. Some of these causes include:
- Being a victim of childhood abuse
- Being a victim of or witnessing domestic violence
- Witnessing the death of another individual
- Being involved in a life-threatening event such as a car crash
- Living through a natural disaster such as a tornado, tsunami, hurricane, etc.
- Being a victim of a violent crime, physical assault or sexual assault
These are only a few of many possible causes of PTSD. Everyone experiences trauma in a different way. What may not be traumatic to one person may be extremely traumatic to another person. However, one thing that all victims of trauma share are the disruptive, painful symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.
There are three categories of symptoms that come along with post-traumatic stress. An individual suffering from PTSD will experience at least one symptom in each of the following categories.
Avoidance & Numbing
- Avoiding talking about the traumatic event
- Feeling numb to experiencing both positive and negative emotions
- Avoiding people or places that may remind you of the traumatic event
- Avoiding participating in activities that remind you of the traumatic event
- Having flashbacks
- Having disturbing dreams or nightmares
- Finding yourself being distracted by thoughts of the traumatic event or “zoning out”
Anxiety & Emotions
- Substance abuse
- Self-destructive behaviors such as cutting, burning, over-eating, etc.
- Having a high startle response
- Thoughts or attempts of suicide
- Violent outbursts
How to heal
First, please contact your doctor. Only a trained professional can diagnose someone with PTSD and begin helping you to find the medical and professional resources you need.
If you are interested in alternative healing strategies, you have come to the right place. Here at Scriptherapy we will explore numerous alternative healing methods including journaling, drawing, art therapy, meditation, relaxation techniques, self-soothing behaviors, and more. We will also be discussing specific therapeutic techniques that you may want to discuss with your doctor or therapist including EMDR, cognitive-behavioral therapy, thought logs, dream analysis and more.
Join the conversation! Comment below on what you would like to learn about PTSD and alternative healing techniques!