Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a type of anxiety disorder that can develop after you have experienced, witnessed or been associated with a terrifying event or ordeal. These kinds of events can cause you to fear for your safety, your life, or for the lives of others. Anyone who has experienced a life-threatening event can develop PTSD. Examples of these experiences include:
- Military or combat situations
- Crime scenes
- Natural disasters (fire, flood, earthquake, tornado, etc.)
- Severe accidents (car, train or airplane crash)
- Physical or sexual assault
- Childhood sexual or physical abuse
How Does PTSD Develop?
Intense emotions associated with a terrifying or life-threatening event (or series of events) can cause changes in the brain that can lead PTSD. Development of PTSD may depend on:
- The severity and length of the event
- The intensity of your reaction
- Whether or not you felt in control during the event
- Whether or not you were hurt or lost someone you loved
- The level and quality of support you received after the event.
What are the Symptoms of PTSD?
Symptoms of PTSD can occur soon after a terrifying event, or months or years later. Symptoms can also come and go over periods of time. There are four main types of PTSD symptoms can adversely affect your daily activities, your work, family and relationships:
- Reliving the event (flashbacks, intrusive memories, etc.)
- Avoiding things that remind you of the event (people, places, movies, TV shows, etc.)
- Emotional numbness
- Hyper-arousal (feeling “super” alert or keyed up in anticipation of danger or a disaster).
Can PTSD be Treated?
Yes. Effective treatments for PTSD are available. Usually a combination of counseling, medication and various types of cognitive and behavioral therapy work best. Treatment also addresses issues that commonly accompany PTSD such as alcohol and drug abuse, physical problems (migraine headaches, obesity, back problems, etc.) and career and marital difficulties.
Trauma and trauma-related disorders are some of the many reasons why people seek services at the Brattleboro Retreat, including our Uniformed Services Program designed exclusively for police, firefighters, active & retired military, corrections personnel and EMTs.
For more information about the Brattleboro Retreat’s programs & services for treating PTSD and other mental health or addiction issues, call 802-258-3700 or go to our Central Intake Department.