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PTSD DOES NOT HAVE TO RUIN YOUR LIFE ! 

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Many non-Veterans have it too !

Treatment for PTSD    


Symptoms may differ for Men & Women

Some PTSD symptoms are more common in women than men. Women are more likely to be jumpy, to have more trouble feeling emotions, and to avoid things that remind them of the trauma than men. Men are more likely to feel angry and to have trouble controlling their anger then women. Women may take longer to recover from PTSD and are four times more likely than men to have long-lasting PTSD. Women with PTSD also are more likely to feel depressed and anxious, while men with PTSD are more likely to have problems with alcohol or drugs. Both women and men who experience PTSD may develop physical health problems.  (Women, Trauma and PTSD)

           


 

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder - Department of Veterans Affairs

http://www.ptsd.va.gov/public/pages/what-is-ptsd.asp

 

 

What is PTSD?

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that can occur after you have been through a traumatic event. A traumatic event is something horrible and scary that you see or that happens to you. During this type of event, you think that your life or others' lives are in danger. You may feel afraid or feel that you have no control over what is happening.

Anyone who has gone through a life-threatening event can develop PTSD. These events can include:

  • Combat or military exposure
  • Child sexual or physical abuse
  • Terrorist attacks
  • Sexual or physical assault
  • Serious accidents, such as a car wreck.
  • Natural disasters, such as a fire, tornado, hurricane, flood, or earthquake.

After the event, you may feel scared, confused, or angry. If these feelings don't go away or they get worse, you may have PTSD. These symptoms may disrupt your life, making it hard to continue with your daily activities.

How does PTSD develop?

All people with PTSD have lived through a traumatic event that caused them to fear for their lives, see horrible things, and feel helpless. Strong emotions caused by the event create changes in the brain that may result in PTSD.

Most people who go through a traumatic event have some symptoms at the beginning. Yet only some will develop PTSD. It isn't clear why some people develop PTSD and others don't. How likely you are to get PTSD depends on many things:

  • How intense the trauma was or how long it lasted
  • If you lost someone you were close to or were hurt
  • How close you were to the event
  • How strong your reaction was
  • How much you felt in control of events
  • How much help and support you got after the event

Many people who develop PTSD get better at some time. But about 1 out of 3 people with PTSD may continue to have some symptoms. Even if you continue to have symptoms, treatment can help you cope. Your symptoms don't have to interfere with your everyday activities, work, and relationships.

What are the symptoms of PTSD?

Symptoms of PTSD can be terrifying. They may disrupt your life and make it hard to continue with your daily activities. It may be hard just to get through the day.

PTSD symptoms usually start soon after the traumatic event, but they may not happen until months or years later. They also may come and go over many years. If the symptoms last longer than 4 weeks, cause you great distress, or interfere with your work or home life, you probably have PTSD.

There are four types of PTSD symptoms:

  1. Reliving the event (also called re-experiencing symptoms):
  2. Bad memories of the traumatic event can come back at any time. You may feel the same fear and horror you did when the event took place. You may have nightmares. You even may feel like you're going through the event again. This is called a flashback. Sometimes there is a trigger -- a sound or sight that causes you to relive the event. Triggers might include:

    • Hearing a car backfire, which can bring back memories of gunfire and war for a combat Veteran.
    • Seeing a car accident, which can remind a crash survivor of his or her own accident.
    • Seeing a news report of a sexual assault, which may bring back memories of assault for a woman who was raped.
  3. Avoiding situations that remind you of the event:
  4. You may try to avoid situations or people that trigger memories of the traumatic event. You may even avoid talking or thinking about the event. For example:

    • A person who was in an earthquake may avoid watching television shows or movies in which there are earthquakes.
    • A person who was robbed at gunpoint while ordering at a hamburger drive-in may avoid fast-food restaurants.
    • Some people may keep very busy or avoid seeking help. This keeps them from having to think or talk about the event.

  5. Feeling numb:
  6. You may find it hard to express your feelings. This is another way to avoid memories.

    • You may not have positive or loving feelings toward other people and may stay away from relationships.
    • You may not be interested in activities you used to enjoy.
    • You may not be able to remember parts of the traumatic event or not be able to talk about them.

  7. Feeling keyed up (also called hyperarousal):
  8. You may be jittery, or always alert and on the lookout for danger. This is known as hyperarousal. It can cause you to:

    • Suddenly become angry or irritable
    • Have a hard time sleeping.
    • Have trouble concentrating.
    • Fear for your safety and always feel on guard.
    • Be very startled when something surprises you.

What are other common problems?

People with PTSD may also have other problems. These include:

  • Drinking or drug problems.
  • Feelings of hopelessness, shame, or despair.
  • Employment problems.
  • Relationships problems including divorce and violence.
  • Physical symptoms.

Can children have PTSD?

Children can have PTSD too. They may have the symptoms described above or other symptoms depending on how old they are. As children get older, their symptoms are more like those of adults. Here are some examples of PTSD symptoms in children:

  • Young children may become upset if their parents are not close by, have trouble sleeping, or suddenly have trouble with toilet training or going to the bathroom.
  • Children who are in the first few years of elementary school (ages 6 to 9) may act out the trauma through play, drawings, or stories. They may complain of physical problems or become more irritable or aggressive. They also may develop fears and anxiety that don't seem to be caused by the traumatic event.

What treatments are available?

When you have PTSD, dealing with the past can be hard. Instead of telling others how you feel, you may keep your feelings bottled up. But treatment can help you get better.

There are good treatments available for PTSD. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)appears to be the most effective type of counseling for PTSD. There are different types of cognitive behavioral therapies such as cognitive therapy and exposure therapy. A similar kind of therapy called EMDR, or eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, is also used for PTSD. Medications can be effective too. A type of drug known as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), which is also used for depression, is effective for PTSD.

 




 

Issues Specific to Women

Family and Friends

Effects of PTSD on Family

Partners of Veterans with PTSD: Common Problems

Return from War

Veterans with PTSD in the Justice System

Other Information on PTSD

 




 

Where to get help for PTSD 

The PTSD Veterans Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255 and press "1"

If you are in crisis, please call 911,

go to your nearest Emergency Room, or call 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) press "1" after you call

(Spanish/Español 1-888-628-9454). press "1" after you call

or Veterans can chat live with a crisis counselor at any time of day or night.

Because the National Center for PTSD has emerged as the world's expert on PTSD, people ask if the Center provides direct treatment services. The National Center for PTSD does not provide direct clinical care or individual referrals. We do provide links and information to help you locate mental health services in your area.

Locate a mental health care provider

More information on treatment

Need more help?

If you are having trouble accessing appropriate VA services, or if you need help with benefits or claims, please see Get Help with VA Care, Benefits, or Claims.

Information on this website is presented for educational purposes only. It is not a substitute for informed medical advice or training. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a mental health problem without consulting a qualified health or mental health care provider.

 

 

When you are ready and in conjunction with treatment

DOGS AND CATS ARE HELPING MANY VETERANS HEAL FROM AND COPE WITH PTSD DRAMATICALLY

(THIS IS NOT MEDICAL ADVISE)

 

The VA provides free, confidential support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, even if you are not registered with VA or enrolled in VA health care.

Suicide Hotline

 


 
Veterans and their loved ones can call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1 or chat online at www.VeteransCrisisLine.net* to receive free, confidential support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, even if they are not registered with VA or enrolled in VA health care.  more http://www.mentalhealth.va.gov/suicide_prevention/index.asp
 


HEALING IS HAPPENING!

VETERANS SAY WE ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN THEIR LIVES.

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