What is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and can it be cured?

What is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and can it be cured.

The kinds of experiences that may cause post-traumatic stress disorder are not simply having an argument, or losing your job but events that are potentially life-threatening, or involve serious injury or sexual violence. This includes being the victim, or witnessing such an event, or becoming aware of traumatic events experienced by a loved one.

The symptoms are fear, anxiety and memories of trauma that persist for a long period of time and interfere with their ability to function in life. Symptoms of PTSD can vary greatly, ranging from personality, withdrawal and numbness, to distressing flashbacks or physical anxiety.

Example of possible sources of traumatic events

  • Serious accidents
  • Seeing people physically being hurt or killed
  • Sexual assault
  • Sexual Violence
  • Domestic violence
  • Natural disasters such as bush fires, floods and earthquakes
  • Victim of war or a soldier

Does everyone develop stress disorders?

The reasons why not everyone develops PTSD are not completely understood, because the risks may be a complex mixture of factors. It is not the only mental health disorder caused by experiencing potentially traumatic events as depression and general anxiety are also common.

Here are the other factors that contribute

  • Previous disorder such as anxiety or depression
  • Trauma repeated such as living in a war zone for a long time or being in a domestic violence, or continued harassment
  • Being abused as a child
  • The severity of the trauma
  • Failure of social support, to be not believed etc
  • Stressful events after the trauma, such as the loss of loved ones, a home or a job
  • The type of traumatic event
    • Rape or sexual assault being more likely to lead to PTSD than other events.
    • Fatal accident and ambulance driver sees son is dead or similar.
    • War zones daily killing innocents.
    • Seeing a close relative unable to cope

It can be cured

It helps if full unquestioning support is given immediately

If someone appears to be experiencing these symptoms of PTSD for longer than one month after a traumatic event, it's important for them to talk to a qualified medical doctor who may need to refer to other specialists.