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Information about P.T.S.D.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (P.T.S.D.) is a problem that many people may experience after being closely or directly involved in a life threatening situation. This is quite common with members of our military, who have served, or are currently serving in combat conditions.

Many people in these situations can develop symptoms such as feeling hopeless, depressed or anxious, even difficulty performing normal every day activities such as going to work, school or family events. Most people will start to feel better or recover anywhere from a few weeks, or months after the event, and can go back to their regular lives and activities.

However, a significant number of people continue with symptoms such as these for months, years, or even longer. This is when the issue can become a more severe, chronic problem.

There are four general symptoms of PTSD. However, each of these can vary greatly, or be compounded with the others, or other symptoms that are not generally contained on this list.

  1. People may "relive" the event in vivid memories, nightmares or flashbacks.

  2. They may also avoid situations that remind them of the event in any way. Even in coversation or day to day activities.

  3. People can develop a much more negative outlook on the world and themselves, often feeling shame, or guilt about the event they went through. They may not enjoy events they used to find very entertaining, and may simply feel kind of numb to the world, thinking it is too dangerous a place to be, and their trust is lost in everyone, including themselves. This type of symptom can lead to relationship difficulties, and often, divorce.

  4. In contrast to feeling numb, people can sometimes feel constantly alert, and expecting dangerous situations around every corner. Sleeplessness, or difficulty concentrating may be grouped in with this symptom, generally called "hyperarousal". This can also include sudden anger or irritability, being startled very easily, or taking on bad habits that are unhealthy or dangerous for them and those around them, such as using drugs and/or alcohol, smoking, driving uncontrollably, and more.