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Over 7 million Americans suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. Find out about some of the common PTSD symptoms in this video.
Transcript: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, is a debilitating psychological condition, which affects more...
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, is a debilitating psychological condition, which affects more than 7 million Americans. PTSD symptoms usually arise soon after a traumatic event although they may not happen until months, or even years, later. While trauma ranging from an accident to combat can cause PTSD, the symptoms tend to follow predictable patterns. Generally, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder will manifest as: re-experiencing symptoms, avoidance symptoms, and hyperarousal symptoms. Re-experiencing symptoms include various ways in which a PTSD sufferer relives the traumatic event. Recurrent, frightening dreams of the experience and regular, waking flashbacks of the event are both examples of re-experiencing symptoms. Flashbacks are often caused by a trigger, like the sound of a car backfiring for a war veteran or a news story about sexual abuse for a rape-survivor. Avoidance symptoms, on the other hand, are almost the opposite. PTSD sufferers with avoidance symptoms often evade people, places, events, or objects that remind them of their particular trauma. They may turn to alcohol or drugs to avoid dwelling on their negative experience. People experiencing avoidance symptoms often report feeling numb, or emotionless. This means they are often unable to engage in meaningful relationships, or to find enjoyment in previously pleasant activities. Finally, people with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder may experience hyperarousal, or constant feelings of anxiety. Hyperarousal often involves near constant watchfulness and wariness. As a result, PTSD sufferers can have a hard time achieving restful sleep, and they often find it difficult to concentrate. Unsurprisingly, hyperarousal frequently leads to angry outbursts and irritability. Meanwhile, younger children with PTSD may experience bedwetting, loss of speech, and acute separation anxiety. If even SOME of these symptoms are present, it's important to visit a doctor for a thorough psychological examination. Your doctor may also conduct a medical exam to ensure that symptoms are indeed psychologically based. A diagnosis of PTSD isn't made unless a person is experiencing at least one re-experiencing symptom, two hyperarousal symptoms, and three avoidance symptoms. Various symptoms must be present for at least a month, and they must cause significant distress in a sufferer's daily life. Finally, symptoms must always follow from a traumatic event, often involving severe injury, death, or the potential of either. Unfortunately, many people are unwilling or unable to discuss a traumatic experience. As a result, PTSD is very frequently undiagnosed and untreated. Knowing this, it's even more important to be up-front with your doctor about potential Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Doing so will ensure that you get the medical and psychological treatments necessary to help you deal with PTSD.More »
Last Modified: 2013-10-01 | Tags »
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If you're haunted by a trauma that took place in the past, you may have post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. Check out our video to learn more about what PTSD is.
Transcript: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, is an anxiety disorder that is triggered by a traumatic event....
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, is an anxiety disorder that is triggered by a traumatic event. Sexual and physical assault, military combat, natural disasters, serious accidents, and even the death of a loved one, are all examples of traumatic events. After an experience of this nature, it is normal to go through a period of difficulty coping or trouble adjusting. Emotional symptoms - like overwhelming feelings of loss or fear and physical symptoms - like difficulty sleeping - are common reactions to a traumatic experience. But most people find that these difficulties abate with time. For about 3.5 percent of people, though, physical and emotional symptoms continue for months or even years after a traumatic event. These people may find that their symptoms get more severe as time goes on...or that they may begin to interfere with normal, everyday life. In cases like these, it is likely that Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is to blame. PTSD occurs with almost four times more frequency in women than in men, according to Mayo Clinic data. This may be because women are more likely to experience the types of violence - from rape to physical attack - that can cause PTSD to develop. But men and children can - and do - get post-traumatic stress disorder, too. Men with PTSD often have combat exposure to blame for the disorder's onset, though with a growing number of women now in active combat in the armed forces, this is becoming something that is now crossing gender lines. In fact, the condition was once referred to as "shell-shock," or "battle fatigue syndrome," for this reason. Children, meanwhile, may experience PTSD after a serious accident, or as a result of child abuse or molestation. It is important to understand that not everyone who gets PTSD has been through a traumatic event personally. Some people acquire the disorder after a friend or family member experiences severe danger. And others experience PTSD from witnessing an event, even if it's just on TV. So why do some people experience Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder while others recover without incident? No one is entirely sure, but we do know that some people have an inherited tendency to experience mental illnesses. And people who already have a mental illness at the time of a traumatic event have an increased risk of PTSD. Doctors also know that the more severe and long-lasting the trauma, the greater the likelihood that PTSD will result. Additionally, people who get hurt during traumatic experiences - and those who lack social support afterward - are also all at increased risk for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. No matter the reason for the onset of PTSD, the condition can be devastating. The good news is that psychological and medicinal treatment can help sufferers learn to cope with post-traumatic stress disorder. If you are concerned about PTSD, or just want more information about the condition, check out other videos in this series.More »
Last Modified: 2013-11-22 | Tags »
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Soldiers with PTSD -- post traumatic stress disorder -- develop what's considered internal battle wounds as a result of engaging in combat. Watch this video to discover more about this disorder.
Transcript: About 3.5% of Americans suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. But the Walter Reed Army Institute...
About 3.5% of Americans suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. But the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research found that among veterans of war, that number is 4 times higher. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, was first formally recognized about 30 years ago among soldiers returning from the Vietnam War. At that time, doctors noticed that many veterans were RE-experiencing traumatic events of the war. They observed that these vets were avoiding people, places, and things that reminded them of their combat experience and that they appeared to be constantly anxious and on-edge. Doctors saw that these symptoms were often so severe, veterans found it difficult to return to normal life. But while Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a new phenomenon by psychology standards, we know that the experiences are not new at all. In fact, as early as the American Civil War, distraught soldiers were referred to as having, "soldier's heart." And until PTSD was officially recognized, it was called other names, like "battle fatigue syndrome" and "shell shock." So, while PTSD can occur among people who suffer all kinds of traumatic experiences, it is clear that the disorder is particularly prevalent among soldiers. According to the US Department of Veteran Affairs, about 30-percent of Vietnam veterans and 10-percent of Desert Storm veterans suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. More recently, they believe that six to 11-percent of Afghanistan vets, and 12 to 20-percent of Iraq soldiers also have the disorder. Why is it that some soldiers return from war without internal battle wounds, and others develop PTSD? Many experts believe that the more direct exposure to combat a solider has, the more likely that PTSD will arise. Additional factors that make veterans more likely to develop PTSD include having a history of mental illness, experiencing little support from family and friends, and being less educated prior to entering the military. Regardless of the reason, vets already suffering from combat-related symptoms often have a difficult time adjusting to "normal," civilian life. Some of the biggest problems hit close to home, when husbands and wives become re-acquainted and when growing children and an affected parent suddenly feel like strangers. Other vets find that they are very over-controlling and disciplinary in their families, which can lead to child and partner abuse. And still other soldiers find that they are generally short-tempered, angry, or resentful with others. Additionally, many veterans deal with alcohol or drug abuse after their discharge. But however PTSD manifests, it is alarming that many soldiers who need help are not seeking it. In fact, the AP reports that only 23- to 40-percent of veterans with ongoing symptoms of trauma seek medical attention. It is this fact that offers clues as to why the Army reports suicide rates at 11-percent higher than they were during Vietnam or why, according to Veteran Affairs, there are some 130,000 homeless vets in our country. This startling news is made even sadder by the fact that effective treatment options are available to soldiers with PTSD. So, if you are a war veteran, or if you're living with one, don't become a statistic! Allow yourself or your loved one to get the help needed.More »
Last Modified: 2013-10-01 | Tags »
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PTSD, or post traumatic stress disorder, is an anxiety disorder extending from a traumatic event. While it's debilitating, there is treatment available. Learn more about PTSD treatment by watching this video.
Transcript: While Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, can be frustrating - and debilitating - there is still...
While Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, can be frustrating - and debilitating - there is still a great deal of hope for people with this anxiety disorder! Currently, two types of therapies are used to treat the symptoms of PTSD: psychotherapy and pharmacology. Pharmacology is simply the use of prescription medication to treat a condition. There are two FDA-approved drugs for use in treating Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder sertraline, which you may know as Zoloft and paroxetine, which you've probably heard of as Paxil. The American Academy of Family Physicians reports that up 60-percent of PTSD sufferers have experienced relief from these anti-depressant medications. On the other hand, some psychologists report success using alternative prescriptions to treat specific symptoms of PTSD. For example, benzodiazepines are a class of medication that can help sufferers relax and sleep better. Valium and Xanax are both examples of benzodiazepines. Antipsychotic drugs, meanwhile, may be prescribed to help control hallucinations and mania in people with PTSD. Whatever the medication though, doctors agree that it's always more effective when used in conjunction with psychotherapy. Psychotherapy is "talk" therapy, whereby a patient and doctor work through problems together. Generally, talk therapy is categorized as cognitive or behavioral. For example, exposure therapy is a behavioral approach, which involves introducing PTSD sufferers to their trauma in a safe and controlled way. Exposure therapy may include taking an assault victim to the scene of the crime or asking a war veteran to write about the experience in detail. Eye movement desensitization is another behavioral approach, which teaches people to use controlled eye movements to better process and control their symptoms. Cognitive therapy, meanwhile, includes stress inoculation training, which teaches sufferers healthy ways to reduce anxiety and cognitive restructuring, which is a technique designed to help people see trauma in a healthier way. Sometimes, doctors choose to combine both types of psychotherapy into what is known as cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT. 46% of sufferers find that CBT helps them better cope with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians. But because no one treatment is perfect for everyone, it may take a few weeks, or even months, to get just the right mix. During this adjustment period, it's important to engage in open discussions with a doctor about medication side effects and other concerns. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a serious concern. If you or someone you love is suffering from the condition, make an appointment to speak to a professional who can help!More »
Last Modified: 2012-11-17 | Tags »
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Kitty, a young rape victim is fighting depression and stress caused by a tragic event. Hear her speak about depression and PTSD recovery.
Last Modified: 2012-10-18 | Tags »
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