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Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Facts

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Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a condition that arises after a person has experienced some form of lasting trauma. Trauma, in this case, is typically characterized by something especially scary or horrifying occurring that in turn leaves a negative impression which a person is unable to shake.

Although many tend to minimize the impact of PTSD and believe that it simply occurs with ex-military personnel, this is not the case. According to many studies, approximately 60 percent of males and 50 percent of females experience at least one legitimate “trauma” over the course of their lives. For men this trauma is more likely to be physical assault, an accident, or witnessing death. For women, the trauma is more likely to be sexual assault or child abuse. Regardless of gender, however, the numbers show that trauma is very likely – which explains the growing number of PTSD cases popping up on the mental health horizon over the last decade.

According to the National Center for PTSD, nearly 7-8 percent of the population will suffer from some variety of PTSD over the course of their lives. Further, 5.2 million adults typically get diagnosed with PTSD in a given year, and of that number, females are far more susceptible. Approximately 10 percent of women come down with PTSD at some point in their lives; double that of their male counterparts.

Via the National Center for PTSD, here are the factors that increase the risk of getting PTSD:

 Were directly exposed to the trauma as a victim or a witness
 Were seriously hurt during the event
 Went through a trauma that was long-lasting or very severe
 Believed that you were in danger
 Believed that a family member was in danger
 Had a severe reaction during the event, such as crying, shaking, vomiting, or feeling apart from your surroundings
 Felt helpless during the trauma and were not able to help yourself or a loved one.
 Had an earlier life-threatening event or trauma, such as being abused as a child
 Have another mental health problem
 Have family members who have had mental health problems
 Have little support from family and friends
 Have recently lost a loved one, especially if it was not expected
 Have had recent, stressful life changes
 Drink a lot of alcohol
 Are a woman
 Are poorly educated
 Are younger

Anyone who feels as though they or someone they know may have PTSD should contact their mental health physician and get apprised of the treatment options available to them.

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