Most people have heard about a mental health condition called post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD. However, we mostly associate this distressing illness with soldiers and veterans whereas the reality is that others experiencing traumatic, sometimes life-threatening events can also develop PTSD. When an individual is exposed to trauma, the body’s natural defense mechanism is to prepare to fight for your life or run away. This is known as the “fight or flight” response and its effects can last several days after a traumatic experience. However, if symptoms persist, there’s a chance the individual may have PTSD.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), just over 7.5 million American adults have developed PTSD. Around 8% of the population over the age of 18 is considered likely to develop the condition at some time in their lifetime.
Different types of PTSD can be triggered by exposure to any of the following:
- Witnessing a death
- Experiencing the threat of death
- Prolonged physical or emotional abuse
- Sustaining serious injury in an incident or accident
- Sexual violation or rape
The symptoms of PTSD can emerge immediately after the event or months or even years later and include:
- A feeling of intense isolation
- Intrusive and often frightening thoughts
- Nightmares and flashbacks
- Avoidance of anything reminding the person of the trauma
- Overwhelming feelings of guilt
- Depression and anxiety
- Increased need to sleep
- Suicidal thoughts and possible attempts
- Difficulties in close personal relationships
It is extremely difficult to cope with the distressing symptoms of PTSD and many people turn to substances to lessen their effects. However, this can quickly lead to dependence and addiction, with PTSD driving the need to abuse substances. Naturally, for this reason it is important to reach out for professional help when first experiencing the symptoms of PTSD, in order to prevent developing addiction illness as well.
No matter what the nature of the trauma is a person experienced that led to them developing PTSD, there is specialist help at hand. CASA Recovery treats mental illness in an environment where patients are prepared for an independent life in which they are empowered to respond to daily challenges in healthy ways. There is healing available for post-traumatic stress disorder types at our Southern California mental illness treatment center, so contact us in confidence today to find out more of what CASA Recovery has to offer.