Noticing Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Anxiety can come in all shapes and forms. From feeling the stress of work, to the traumatic event of losing a loved one. More than 40 million adults in the United States are affected by some form of anxiety. That is about the equivalent to 18 percent of the population.

Of those 40 million, close to 8 million of those have Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD. This form of anxiety is usually developed after experiencing or witnessing a life-threatening event such as armed combat, a natural disaster, sexual assault or even a car accident. In normal circumstances, people will tend to have upsetting memories and possibly trouble sleeping from such events for about a few weeks or days before moving on. Though for those who have PTSD, their symptoms can last much longer or can come and go over longer periods of time.

This disorder can happen to anyone and while some might consider it a weakness, it’s quite the opposite. Several factors can increase the odds that someone might have PTSD, many of which though aren’t under a person’s control. Which is why it’s important to get the help that is needed.

When it comes to looking for the symptoms for PTSD, there can be several signs. One of which can be feeling a sense of detachment from family and friends. Some feel that talking about the event is too hard to express or even think about. When this happens, they may avoid large crowds because it may feel dangerous. Perhaps if you were in a car accident, you may avoid the act of driving. Even keeping constantly busy or avoiding help can cause stress because it delays the act of talking about the event.

Some also feel jittery and always on alert for danger. This experience is also known as hyperarousal and it comes with trouble sleeping and concentrating. Also with hyperarousal, there may be senses of being startled by a loud noise or surprise.

Even the way you think about others may change because of the trauma experienced. Meaning you may not have positive or loving feelings towards others and that no one else can be trusted.

These symptoms of PTSD commonly start soon after an event takes place. They can happen every day or come and go over many years. If you feel that it’s getting harder to cope after a month or that your life is being seriously disrupted, it may be best to seek professional help.

Locally, there are several specialists and therapies within Sacramento, Stockton and Modesto that specialize in PTSD and other anxiety disorders. If you feel like you or someone you may know might be suffering from Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, please talk to a specialist right away.

© 2017 KXTV-TV


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