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Post Traumatic Stress Disorder 

What is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD for short? This is an anxiety disorder which develops after someone experiences a terrifying ordeal which often involves either physical harm to themselves or is a witness to a horrific incident.

PTSD is a relatively new term for this condition and many people still associate it with the old term of a nervous breakdown.

The term PTSD was used initially after the Vietnam War in America. Where by soldiers who returned from battle and who had witnessed horrific scenes began to show extreme anxiety and related symptoms which badly affected their day to day lives.

Post traumatic stress disorder can be experienced by anyone and may occur after any traumatic incident.

Examples of just a few traumatic experiences which may cause PTSD are:

  • Rape
  • Mugging
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Child abuse
  • Natural disasters

PTSD Symptoms

PTSD may not occur immediately after the initial incident. It may be months or even years later making the diagnosis difficult.

People who suffer from this very distressing anxiety disorder will often re-live the terrible experience over and over again, these are known as Flashbacks.

Flashbacks can occur at anytime and may be triggered by something as simple as a loud noise, causing the sufferer to react in an extremely anxious manner. Indeed some war veterans will throw themselves down on the ground, thinking that they are in danger again.

Other symptoms may include:

  • Avoidance of the place or similar situations where the trauma occurred
  • They may appear to be numb and disconnected from people or places around them
  • They may shun affection
  • May become aggressive
  • Suffer from nightmares

Treating Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

As with other anxiety disorders it is important to see a doctor for an accurate diagnosis. Depending on the severity of the symptoms the doctor may prescribe medication at first, however in the long term some form of psychotherapy may be recommended.

Cognitive behavioral therapy has been shown to be very effective and long lasting relief from the symptoms of PTSD have been seen. The basic premise of the therapy is to provide support to the sufferer by talking through the experience in a safe environment, where they can learn not to fear the situation. Also breathing and other relaxation techniques are used to provide the sufferer with coping skills.

Many alternative therapies have proven to help with PTSD, such as EFT and Hypnosis. Basically what ever helps the particular suffer to be able to relax and be in more control of their thought patterns, is helpful in providing stress relief. Finding what suits you and your personality is the key.