Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a psychiatric disorder that can develop in those people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event such as a natural disaster, military combat, a serious accident, been taken hostage, a terrorist act, sexual assault, or other violent assaults.
Fear triggers many split-second changes in the body to help defend against danger or to avoid it. This “fight-or-flight” response is a typical reaction meant to protect a person from harm. Nearly everyone will experience a range of reactions after trauma, but most people recover from initial symptoms naturally. Those who continue to experience problems could be diagnosed with PTSD. People who have PTSD may feel stressed or frightened even when they are no longer in danger.
According to the DSM-5 the essential feature of PTSD is the development of characteristic symptoms following exposure to one or more traumatic events. The prevalence of PTSD in the United States is 8.7%. Rates of PTSD are higher among veterans, police, firefighters, emergency medical personnel, and others whose vocation increase the risk of traumatic exposure. There is help for those suffering from PTSD.
June is PTSD awareness month. Here is how you learn more and help raise PTSD awareness: