It is natural for people to feel anxiety, sad or scared after they have undergone a traumatic or extremely stressful experience. And, naturally as well, people also recover after some time and start to live life normally again. However, for some people who experience severe trauma, the stress is so overwhelming that they are unable to move past the experience. They often have nightmares about the incidence and may not even feel safe. If you or a love one underwent a traumatic experience and is having a difficult time getting back to your regular daily routine, then you or he may be suffering from post traumatic stress disorder or PTSD. Do not worry because PTSD can be beaten and you can go back to enjoying your life again.

Post traumatic stress disorder is a type of anxiety disorder that can occur after an individual has experienced or witnessed a traumatic event. Usually, this event is life-threatening or might have rendered you feeling helpless, but almost any overwhelmingly stressful life events can lead to PTSD. It can happen to anyone, even to those who are caring for the ones who underwent the actual trauma, such as their friends and family members. This disorder is common among soldiers, police officers, and even emergency response teams for catastrophes.

The development of the signs and symptoms of PTSD differs from person to person. Some experience them within hours or days after the trauma, while it could take weeks to years in others. Common traumatic events or experiences that can cause post traumatic stress disorder include wars, natural calamities, violence, accidents, loss of a love one, rape, kidnapping, sexual or physical abuse and childhood neglect. It’s normal for people to feel disconnected, scared, frantic and anxious after these events; however, if these feelings persist, worsen or prevent you from going on with your life, then it is likely that you have PTSD.

Post traumatic stress disorder symptoms can be classified into three types: re-experiencing the event (such as flashbacks, nightmares, and intense feelings and physical reactions when reminded about the event), numbing and avoidance (such as detachment from others, emotional numbness, avoidance of activities that reminds you of the traumatic event, and memory loss about the trauma), and emotional arousal and increased anxiety (insomnia, irritability, poor concentration, hypervigilance, and nervousness or feeling jumpy).

Not all of these symptoms may appear and, in fact, other symptoms may also be present. If you or a loved one is undergoing the symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder, then it is imperative that you seek help immediately. Early treatment will help you or your loved one get over PTSD faster and easier. Remember that seeking help is never a sign of weakness. PTSD is nothing to be ashamed of and the only way of overcoming it is to confront the traumatic experience. You must learn to accept your past and this process is easier when you have the support and guidance of a doctor or a therapist.

You will not get over post traumatic stress disorder if you constantly try to numb yourself and ignore what you are feeling. The symptoms will only worsen and the stress may even disrupt your life even more. In order to get over it, you need to seek treatment which will help you explore your thoughts and emotions about the event. It will also help you cope with the experience and address the problems that PTSD may have incurred. Some of the available treatment options for post traumatic stress disorder are family therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy and medications.

If you are caring for a loved one who has PTSD, be supportive and understanding. Be patient with him and do not pressure him to talk about the experience. For those who have PTSD, do not forget to reach out to others. Your family and friends can be a very good source of strength. You can also join support groups, and try to challenge the sense of helplessness that comes after the trauma. Helping others will help you remember that you are strong and that you can cope with life. Do not resort to alcohol and drugs; there is a lot you can do to get over post traumatic stress disorder.

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