How to Recognize When Someone Needs Help
Do you know how post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is described? It’s a mental health disorder that can result from any traumatic situation, or event, that you may experience. It causes intense feelings including extreme fear, helplessness, or horror.
Any trauma can lead to PTSD. If you’ve lived through a serious accident, a natural disaster, or any kind of personal assault (including verbal abuse), you may be at risk for PTSD.
The National Center for PTSD says about 60% of men and 50% of women experience at least one instance of trauma in their lives. And nearly everyone who experiences a traumatic event will have at least some difficulty adjusting and coping. They may experience this difficulty for a long time. Symptoms of PTSD can persist and become distressing. PTSD is diagnosed when the symptoms last for at least a month.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, some of the symptoms of PTSD include
- Flashbacks—reliving the traumatic event, including physical symptoms such as a racing heart or sweating
- Recurring memories or dreams related to the event
- Distressing thoughts
- Physical signs of stress
- Being easily startled
- Feeling tense, on guard, or “on edge”
- Having trouble concentrating
- Having difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
- Feeling irritable and having angry or aggressive outbursts
- Engaging in risky, reckless, or destructive behavior
People struggling with PTSD may also change their routines to avoid any reminders of their experiences. They may stop talking to certain people or stay away from places, events, or objects that may trigger unpleasant memories or emotions.
Traumatic events can also be hard on children and teens. In young children under the age of 6, symptoms can include:
- Forgetting how or being unable to talk
- Wetting the bed
- Acting out the event during playtime
- Being unusually clingy with a parent or other adult
Children and teens can experience similar PTSD symptoms to adults. They may also develop disruptive, disrespectful, or destructive behaviors.
The most important thing to keep in mind about PTSD is that there is help. If you or a loved one are struggling with PTSD, call us at 602-777-6337 for a free, 15-minute wellness consultation. You can also click here to make an appointment online. If you are experiencing a crisis, please call 911 immediately.