What is PTSD?
is common for people to feel that no matter what they’ve faced
or lived with, no matter how extreme, they should be able to carry
sometimes people face situations that are so traumatic that they
may become unable to cope and function in their daily lives. Some
people become so distressed by memories of the trauma – memories
that won’t go away – that they begin to live their lives
trying to avoid any reminders of what happened to them.
person who feels this way months after a traumatic experience has
passed may be suffering from Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD,
a serious and common health condition. For these people, getting
beyond the trauma and overcoming PTSD requires the help of a professional.
PTSD may develop following exposure to extreme trauma.
trauma is a terrifying event or ordeal that a person has experienced,
witnessed or learned about, especially one that is life-threatening
or causes physical harm. It can be a single event or repeated
experience causes that person to feel intense fear, horror or
a sense of helplessness.
stress caused by trauma can affect all aspects of a person’s
life, including mental, emotional and physical well-being.
suggests that prolonged trauma may disrupt and alter brain chemistry.
For some people, this may lead to the development of PTSD.
estimated 70 percent of adults in the United States have experienced
a traumatic event at least once in their lives, and up to 20 percent
of these people go on to develop Posttraumatic Stress Disorder,
estimated 5 percent of Americans – more than 13 million people
– have PTSD at any given time.
8 percent of all adults – one of 13 people in this country
– will develop PTSD during their lifetime.
estimated one out of 10 women will get PTSD at some time in their
lives. Women are about twice as likely as men to develop PTSD.
This may be due to the fact that women tend to experience interpersonal
violence (such as domestic violence, rape or abuse) more often
17 percent of men and 13 percent of women have experienced more
than three traumatic events in their lives.
estimated risk for developing PTSD for people who have experienced
the following traumatic events is:
beating or physical assault (31.9 percent)|
sexual assault (23.7 percent)|
accident or injury; for example, car or train accident (16.8
or stabbing (15.4 percent)|
unexpected death of family member or friend (14.3 percent)|
life-threatening illness (10.4 percent)|
to killing or serious injury (7.3 percent)|
disaster (3.8 percent)|
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