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What is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?

A few days back Lady Gaga was in the news for her struggle with PTSD where she explained that dealing with this mental illness has been a daily effort.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental disorder that can happen to someone who is affected by a traumatic event or sees another person close to him in danger or of immediate harm.

Some of the awful experiences that could lead to PTSD are sexual assault, warfare, traffic collisions or some other danger to a person’s life. This illness could affect a person because of one unfortunate or incident or a series of events that take place over a long period of time.

PTSD can also cause health problems like somatoform, cardiorespiratory, musculosekeletal, gastrointestinal and immunological disorders. It can also trigger suicidal symptoms in the patient as per the study published by NCBI.

WHO states that “An estimated 3.6% of the world’s population has suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the previous year.”

Symptoms of PTSD

According to National Institute   of Mental Health website, the symptoms for this illness start within the first 3 months of a traumatic event but there have been cases when the symptoms occurred after a year. The time period for PTSD could be different for different people, it could last for 6 months to sometimes a longer period of time when it turns chronic.

A person suffering from PTSD symptoms may behave in the following manner:

  • easily startled
  • tense or “on edge”
  • difficulty sleeping
  • angry outburst

Prevention of PTSD

According to WHO, PTSD can be avoided by  timely availability of PsychologicaL first aid , stress management and social support .

Treatment for PTSD

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): With this therapy, an individual suffering from PTSD will be encouraged to understand and alter his perspective about the traumatic incident in his life.
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EM​DR): This treatment is considered very effective for coming out of this illness as it aids in processing the unhappy memories, thoughts and feelings and then gives some relief from the effects of trauma.
  • Some medicines like a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) also help in curing this illness.

Last but not the least is a lot of love and support from the family and friends. Mental illnesses are usually looked down upon in the society and considered as a stigma. But only with the correct counselling and strong family and friend bond will the patient overcome from this illness.


Source: DNA

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