Post-traumatic stress disorder is a mental health condition that develops after an individual experiences some type of extremely terrifying life event. It is not limited to just experiencing frightening events, but can actually result from simply witnessing events of this type.
Signs and symptoms of PTSD might be things like immense anxiety, flashbacks and night terrors, in addition to an inability to control your thoughts about the traumatic event.
There is data that shows more than 24 million Americans are living with PTSD at any given time. This is approximately 8% of the U.S. population.
Everyone who experiences some type of trauma doesn’t necessarily go on to develop post-traumatic stress from it. In fact, about 70% of adults in the U.S. report having experienced some sort of traumatic event in their lives. Of that group, about one-fifth of them eventually suffer from PTSD.
Traumatic life events can have considerable effects on you. However, over time and with the proper care and attention, you may be able to move past them and experience the life you’ve always wanted to.
When past trauma is not dealt with, other issues can develop in your life.
Are you suffering from the effects of unresolved trauma? Ask yourself the following questions as you consider whether some traumatic experience from your past might be affecting your life in ways you don’t currently realize.
- Do you struggle with addictive behaviors?
- Do you have a fear or conflict?
- Do you hold an innate belief that you are worthless or don’t have any inherent value?
- Do you practice black and white thinking, meaning that you take an all or nothing approach to life?
- Do you have repeated thoughts about suicide?
- Do you see yourself as a victim?
Other ways that past trauma can affect you is through anxiety and panic attacks. If you are unable to fully heal from the past, you may continually suffer from thoughts about the traumatic experience, including flashbacks and distressing nightmares or daymares.
This can affect your sleep and overall health and well-being. It may lead to chronic depression and body pain, as well as self-harming behaviors.
But there is hope for people living with PTSD. With the right treatment, you may be able to reduce your symptoms and improve your life.
Post-traumatic stress disorder treatment is available to assist you with feeling more control over your life as you learn coping skills for addressing these issues as they arise.
Sometimes just talking about your struggles can help in big ways. This could include one-on-one with a trained therapist or perhaps seeking help in a support group made up of others who face the same issues.
When you begin to recognize the way that your thinking patterns are affecting you and holding you back, you may be able to begin making changes for the better.
Some individuals find that exposure therapy is helpful in dealing with PTSD. Exposure therapy gives you a safe place to experience similar situations where your trauma occurred, allowing you to develop ways to cope with it without fear of consequence.
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