PTSD affects 3.5 percent of the U.S. adult population, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, or approximately 8 million Americans who live with the condition. Approximately 37% of people diagnosed with PTSD display serious symptoms.
The root cause of PTSD is a traumatic event, but the symptoms are what overwhelm people to the point where it is diagnosable. People with PTSD often have recurring, distressing and upsetting memories of the trauma, and continually have upsetting memories that are hard to stop.
Symptoms can include flashbacks, night sweats, insomnia, panic attacks, and isolating themselves from friends and family.
There are other disorders and mental health conditions that can appear along with PTSD, including generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, depression, borderline personality disorder and substance abuse.
Many who experience PTSD also may struggle with suicidal ideation and may attempt to take their life.
PTSD is not necessarily preventable because individuals cannot control when trauma happens. However, they can be equipped to cope with the trauma afterward.
Causes of PTSD:
Risk factors for PTSD:
Healing from trauma can be difficult, but it is possible. If you are experiencing PTSD, seek help. And if you know someone who is experiencing PTSD, encourage them to do the same.