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Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

 

PSTD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) typically occurs in individuals who have lived through a severe, emotionally traumatic experience. This condition can be debilitating and may interfere with their close, personal relationships. PTSD can result in a myriad of reactions such as nightmares, sleeping disorders, daytime fears, depression, withdrawal, inability to trust others, emotional numbing, and feelings of total helplessness. Victims of PSTD, also tend to avoid situations that trigger the uncomfortable memories.

 

PSTD now afflicts more than five million each year in America, plus many more around the world, and results from any of a variety of traumatic events. Witnessing rape or sexual abuse, other criminal victimization, natural disasters, and serious car wrecks or other transportation-related injuries can all result in PSTD.

 

One of the greatest tragedies with this treatable anxiety disorder is the lengthy time delay before its victims seek treatment. The average delay is eight years. The options for treatment depend on the nature of the problems associated with any given case of PTSD. If depression and sleeping difficulties are present, antidepressants and/or anxiety-reducing medications may be prescribed.

 

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) typically forms an important part of PSTD treatment. In CBT, the attempt is made to help individuals determine what action or change their behavior in order to effect a cure. (CBT treatments are explained in Chapter 8 of Depression the Way Out.) Strong social support such as building better ties to family, friends, and the community may help to ease PTSD symptoms. Try spending more time with a trusted friend or loved one.

 

Reference: Depression the Way Out