Hope for Those With PTSD

Health Problems
Physical health symptoms and problems can happen because of long periods of physical agitation or arousal from anxiety. Trauma survivors may also avoid medical care, because it reminds them of their trauma and causes anxiety, and this may lead to poorer health. For example, a rape survivor may not visit a gynecologist and an injured motor vehicle accident survivor may avoid doctors because they remind him or her that a trauma occurred. Habits used to cope with post-traumatic stress, like alcohol use, can also cause health problems. In addition, other things that happened at the time of the trauma (for example, an injury) may cause health problems.
 
Drug and Alcohol Abuse
Survivors may turn to alcohol and drug abuse when they want to avoid the bad feelings that come with symptoms of PTSD. Many people use alcohol and drugs as a way to try to cope, but it actually leads to more problems.
 

PTSD Symptoms: Final Thoughts

Although individuals with PTSD may feel overwhelmed by their symptoms, it is important for them to remember that there are other, positive aspects of their lives. There are helpful mental health professionals and medical resources available. What's more, survivors have their:
 
  • Strengths
  • Interests
  • Commitments
  • Relationships with others
  • Past experiences that were not traumatic
  • Desires
  • Hopes for the future.
     
Treatments are available for individuals with symptoms of this disorder.
 
Understanding the effects of trauma on relationships can also be an important step for family members or friends.
 

A Summary

Key information to keep in mind regarding PTSD includes:
 
  • Traumas happen to many competent, healthy, strong, good people. No one can completely protect himself or herself from traumatic experiences.
     
  • Many people have long-lasting problems following exposure to trauma. Up to 8 percent of individuals will have symptoms of PTSD at some time in their lives.
     
  • People who react to traumas are not going crazy. They are experiencing PTSD symptoms and problems that are connected with having been in a traumatic situation.
     
  • Having PTSD symptoms after a traumatic event is not a sign of personal weakness. Many psychologically well-adjusted and physically healthy people develop PTSD. Probably everyone would develop PTSD if they were exposed to a severe-enough trauma.
     
  • When a person understands their symptoms better, he or she can become less fearful of them and better able to manage them.
     
  • By recognizing the effects of PTSD and knowing more about its symptoms, a person is better able to make decisions regarding treatment.
     
 
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About PTSD

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