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Trauma and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder are more common than most people realize.
It’s estimated that in the United States alone, 70% of adults have experienced a traumatic event, such as the death of a loved one or imminent danger. Trauma, however, doesn’t always stop when the event ends. It often continues long after the initial incident, impacting the daily activities of the person who has been traumatized.
One out of five people who have faced trauma will develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Eight percent of the total U.S. population will experience some degree of PTSD, either due to aggression or victimization and woman are far more likely than men to experience PTSD.
PTSD can have long-lasting adverse effects if left untreated. Persons suffering from the impact of severe trauma may develop work and relationship problems, depression, anxiety, and poor health.
Understanding trauma, the signs and symptoms post-traumatic stress, developing adaptive coping strategies and receiving trauma-informed treatment, can lessen the psychological impact of trauma and in many cases, prevent the development of more severe and long-lasting post-traumatic reactions.
Trauma is the psychological response to an event that threatens our physical and/or psychological safety. Some common traumatic events include being exposed to physical or sexual abuse, natural disasters, vehicular accidents, terrorist attacks, and war. Most individuals will experience at least one significant traumatic event in their lifetime. While most individuals will not develop long-last post-traumatic symptoms, some studies indicate that 10-20% of individuals exposed to extremely stressful events may go on to develop acute stress disorder and/or Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Trauma is a psychological response that results from being exposed to an event that threatens a person’s physical or psychological safety. Some common traumatic events include physical or sexual assaults, military combat, and motor vehicle accidents. Being present in an active shooter situation or surviving a natural or man-made disaster are also examples of traumatic experiences. Whether it was a single event or a set of experiences, psychological trauma overwhelms the individual, causing fear, anxiety, and distress.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a condition that can develop when a person experiences or witnesses a traumatic event so severe that it leaves a lasting and possibly crippling impression. Those with PTSD may experience disturbing thoughts, memories and image related to the incident or incidents that have happened to them. They may also experience anxiety, irritability, guilt and or shame, emotional numbing or feeling detached.
These and other symptoms of trauma can significantly affect a person’s ability to work, socialize, eat, and sleep.
The effects of trauma differ from child to child and from adult to adult. No two people experience trauma the same way, but there are general symptoms to look for.
People who have experienced trauma and are experiencing PTSD often present with several symptoms which can include:
You don’t have to manage your reaction to trauma or suffer through PTSD alone. There are mental health professionals who can help you get back to yourself once again.
A diagnosis of PTSD may require a combination of treatment options:
Behavioral Health Associates of Broward offers multiple services for the identification and treatment of emotional trauma and PTSD. Persons suffering from the impact of trauma may benefit from confidential individual therapy or from group therapy sessions. In addition, couples and family therapy sessions are available.
There is hope. Treating PTSD can improve the overall quality of life for people who have experienced severe trauma.