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Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Many people with PTSD attempt to rid themselves of their painful re-experiences, loneliness, and panic attacks by abusing alcohol or other drugs as a "self medication" that helps them to blunt their pain and forget the trauma temporarily. A person with PTSD may show poor control over his or her impulses and may be at risk for suicide.

PTSD usually appears within 3 months of a trauma, but sometimes the disorder appears later. PTSD’s symptoms fall into three categories: Intrusion, Avoidance, and/or Hyperarousal

Intrusion
Memories of the trauma reoccur unexpectedly, and episodes called "flashbacks" intrude their current lives. It may be so strong that individuals feel like they are experiencing the trauma again or seeing it unfold before their eyes and in nightmares.

Avoidance
The person often avoids close emotional ties...the person feels numb, has diminished emotions, and can complete only routine, mechanical activities...avoids situations or activities that are reminders of the original traumatic event because such exposure may cause symptoms to worsen.

Hyperarousal
They are constantly threatened by the trauma that caused their illness. They can become suddenly irritable or explosive, even when they are not provoked. They may have trouble concentrating or remembering current information, and, because of their terrifying nightmares, they may develop insomnia. This constant feeling that danger is near causes exaggerated startle reactions. 
Source: www.psych.org/public_info/ptsd.cfm 

Facts about Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
www.nimh.nih.gov/anxiety/ptsdfacts.cfm

Helping Children Cope w/Violence and Disasters
www.nimh.nih.gov/publicat/violence.cfm

PTSD Alliance 
www.ptsdalliance.org/about_what.html

 

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