Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

What is PTSD?

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a severe psychiatric disorder that may occur after a traumatic experience that involves actual or threatened death or serious injury or other threats to one’s physical integrity; or witnessing an event that involves death, injury, or a threat to the physical integrity of another person (according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM IV-TR) by the American Psychiatric Association).

Such threatening experiences maybe rape, physical attack, natural disasters, automobile accidents, military combat, or terrorist attacks.

People with PTSD often relive such experiences through nightmares and flashbacks (components of the threatening event are relived as though experiencing the event at the moment), sleeping problems, fear, helplessness and horror. People with PTSD have a higher probability to suffer from depression, anxiety or phobias.

About 8% of Americans will experience PTSD at some point in their lives. Women are twice as likely as men to develop PTSD. Next to EMDR, PTSD is also treated with somatic therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and/or drugs such as Zoloft or Prozac.

Is PTSD only for Veterans?

Although PTSD is common amongst veterans, anyone can experience PTSD. PTSD symptoms can develop from events such as natural disasters, serious accidents, life-threatening illnesses, physical abuse, and sexual assault experienced either in childhood or adulthood.




When Professional Help is Necessary

PSTD is treatable. A mental health professional should be consulted when an individual experiences any of the following circumstances:

When pain or problems outweigh pleasures much of the time;

When symptoms are so severe and persistent that day-to-day functioning is impaired; and/or

When stress seems so overwhelming that suicide seems to be a viable option.

Qualified mental health professionals can help identify the causes and sources of PTSD and can help the individual find ways to overcome them.