PTSD Awareness Day – June 27
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a psychiatric disorder that may occur in people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event such as a natural disaster, a serious accident, war/combat, or who have been threatened with serious injury. As many as 800,000 Australians have PTSD and an estimated 1 in 11 people will be diagnosed with PTSD in their lifetime.
PTSD has been known by many names in the past, such as “shell shock” during the years of World War I and “combat fatigue” after World War II, but PTSD does not just happen to combat veterans. PTSD can occur in all people, of any ethnicity, nationality, or culture, and at any age. PTSD affects is at an estimated one in 11 people will be diagnosed with PTSD in their lifetime.
The signs and symptoms of PTSD fall into four categories. Specific symptoms can vary in severity.
Intrusive thoughts such as repeated, involuntary memories; distressing dreams; or flashbacks of the traumatic event. Flashbacks may be so vivid that people feel they are re-living the traumatic experience or seeing it before their eyes.
Avoiding reminders of the traumatic event may include avoiding people, places, activities, objects and situations that may trigger distressing memories. People may try to avoid remembering or thinking about the traumatic event, resisting to talk about what happened or how they feel about it.
Alterations in cognition and mood:
Inability to remember important aspects of the traumatic evet, negative thoughts and feelings leading to ongoing and distorted beliefs about oneself.
Alterations in arousal and reactivity:
Arousal and reactive symptoms may include being irritable and having angry outbursts; behaving recklessly or in a self-destructive way; being overly watchful of one’s surroundings in a suspecting way; being easily startled; or having problems concentrating or sleeping.
PTSD is not a sign of weakness and no one should feel ashamed to seek help. If you need to talk to someone about depression or a crisis in your life, please consider calling: