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More than a quarter in a million Australians experiences the symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder, also known as PTSD, once a year. At least 5% of all Australians have reported to suffer from PTSD at least once in their lifetime. The most common cause of PTSD is serious automobile accidents.
Different people respond differently to trauma. Some wave it off as a minor scar and move on with their lives. Others may be required to take measures to battle the flashbacks and loss that seems to dominate their lives.
If your fragile personality is standing in the way of your recovery from a recent trauma, then you need to identify if you are suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder and likewise consider a suitable form of therapy.
What is posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)?
PTSD is a type of anxiety disorder that categorizes a set of reactions that occur in individuals who have faced or witnessed an incident, which posed a direct threat to their sense of safety or their lives. It may also be an event that threatened the security of loved ones or sometimes even complete strangers.
What is common to all these incidents is a feeling of helplessness, intense fear or terror that followed as a consequence. These incidents may be natural disasters, war, serious automobile accidents, physical or sexual torture. Although events like divorce and the impending death of an ill family member may prove devastating, they are not classified as triggers for PTSD.
Anybody is highly prone to developing this condition upon facing serious crippling traumatic encounters but according to surveys, those exposed to sexual or physical assault, undergoing repeated trauma or residing in war zones are most prone.
The sufferers develop unusual responses to help them deal with the anxiety of the experience. Many seek solace in avoidance of places, people or situations that may serve as reminders. Some fail to cope to the extent that they become excessively sensitive to normal life experiences (hyper-arousal).
The symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder may be classified widely under three categories. It is imperative to establish a diagnosis of PTSD if the following symptoms occur for over 30 days:
Some individuals might also develop a condition that is called survivor’s guilt and as a consequence may exhibit symptoms of anxiety or stress like agitation, irritability, dizziness, fainting, palpitations and headaches. Survivor guilt can arise when you survive a traumatic event and others don’t or are tragically impacted. The survivor is often left with feelings of guilt and thought of ‘why did I survive and not them?’.
Like any other disorder of the mind, PTSD can be effectively managed with the right treatment under the keen eye of a qualified counsellor, psychologist or therapist. A successful recovery lays its foundations on both psychological and medical interventions. The following approaches have been deemed successful:
It is rather common in PTSD sufferers to suffer from additional problems. Around 80% have been recorded to develop depression and anxiety shortly after PTSD. Some may resort to alcohol or drug abuse as a refuge from the stress. Hence timely intervention can prevent a manageable condition from inflicting more harm.
If you or someone you know may be suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder, PTSD, Australia Counselling links you with professional counsellors, psychologists and social workers in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide, Canberrs and regional areas. Search our post traumatic stress disorder page to find a counsellor near you.
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