What Is Posttraumatic Stress Disorder ?

What Is Posttraumatic Stress Disorder ?

Commonly referred to as PTSD, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder is one of the rare mental disorders, which are induced by a distressful external event. This is quite different from other psychiatric conditions, like depression, which are triggered mainly by internal disturbances.

A majority of people in the US have gone through one or more traumatic incidences, ranging from domestic violence and sexual assault to airplane and road accidents, at least once in their lifetime.

Some others claim to have experienced natural disasters, like hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes, which take a toll of many lives simultaneously. A series of biological and psychological changes, triggered by such traumatic events, lead to PTSD in at least one out of ten individuals in the USA.

The most apparent symptoms and signs of PTSD include fear of death, horror, helplessness, fear for safety and self-security, decreased efficiency at work, troubled relationships, and difficulties in parenting the children. The likelihood of developing the disorder and the severity of symptoms involved are a function of the intensity of the trauma. It has also been claimed by researchers that the anatomy and physiology of human brain gets distorted due to this disorder. Enough evidence for the same is provided by PET and MRI scan images that clearly illustrate that PTSD can change the way information is stored in essential areas of the human brain.

Following are a few interesting facts about Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD):

  • In the USA, the condition is found to be more prevalent in women (20 percent) than in men (8 percent). Majority of these American women develop PTSD after being raped.
  • Nearly 79 percent American women and 88 percent American men, who are suffering from PTSD, also exhibit one or more other psychiatric conditions, such as anxiety disorders, social phobias, alcohol abuse, and major depression.
  • The occurrence of PTSD is more in the African Americans than in the white population of the US.
  • Individuals who have experienced cancer and/or heart attacks in the past are also known to suffer from PTSD.
  • New mothers, war veterans, and victims of war are among other people who have a greater risk of developing Post-traumatic Stress Disorder at some point in their lives.

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What Is Posttraumatic Stress Disorder