Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

About 8 million American adults are affected by post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) each year. PTSD can affect anyone who has experienced a traumatic and life-changing event. Causes of PTSD can range from military combat, sexual assaults and physical attacks to natural disasters.

Individuals with PTSD often relive their trauma through flashbacks and nightmares or disturbing thoughts, sometimes feeling detached, numb, irritable or aggressive. Signs of PTSD can also be identified with loss of interest in normal activities, detachment to friends and family, difficulty sleeping and concentrating and angry outbursts.

While some may recover from PTSD after a few months, others can develop chronic PTSD, in which symptoms will continue to occur for more than three months. People with PTSD can receive help through medication, therapy and alternative treatments such as meditation, yoga and aqua therapy such as surfing.

(Information courtesy of stopstigma.samhsa.gov and the National Alliance on Mental Illness, nami.org)