• Define PTSD
  • Explore the basics of PTSD
  • Determine options for treatment of PTSD

What is PTSD?

PTSD is the acronym for a clinical condition known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. PTSD is an anxiety disorder that can occur after you have been through a traumatic event. Typically, the traumatic event is one in which the fear for your life or the life of another person. Commonly, others who have been diagnosed with PTSD report that they felt as if they had no control over what was happening or the situation they were involved with.

According the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, anyone can develop PTSD (National Center for PTSD, 2009). These events can include:

  • Combat or military exposure
  • Child sexual or physical abuse
  • Terrorist attacks
  • Sexual or physical assault
  • Serious accidents, such as a car wreck.
  • Natural disasters, such as a fire, tornado, hurricane, flood, or earthquake.

How does PTSD Develop?

People who live with PTSD have survived a life threatening or traumatic event. Not everyone who experiences this however will develop PTSD. How likely it is that you will develop PTSD depends on a variety of factors, including the intensity of the trauma, if you lost someone close to you, how much support you received after the event and many other factors.

What are the symptoms of PTSD?

According to the National Center for PTSD, there are four symptoms that are strongly related to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. These four symptoms are:

  1. Reliving the event
  2. Avoiding situations that remind you of the event
  3. Feeling numb
  4. Feeling keyed up or anxious

What treatments are available for PTSD?

According to the National Center for PTSD: “When you have PTSD, dealing with the past can be hard. Instead of telling others how you feel, you may keep your feelings bottled up. But treatment can help you get better. There are good treatments available for PTSD. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is one type of counseling. It appears to be the most effective type of counseling for PTSD. There are different types of cognitive behavioral therapies such as cognitive therapy and exposure therapy. A similar kind of therapy called EMDR, or eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, is also used for PTSD. Medications can be effective too. A type of drug known as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), which is also used for depression, is effective for PTSD”.

More information

For more information on PTSD, click on the handout below as published by the National Center for PTSD. If you would like to speak to one of our helping professionals regarding PTSD, please call us at 773.528.1777 or contact 2SC via a private email.