Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that is triggered by a terrifying event – in this case, experiences or things witnessed by military men and women have had while in service. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event.
Causes of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Doctors are not 100% sure why some people get PTSD. As with most mental health problems, PTSD is probably caused by a complex mix of inherited mental health risks, such as an increased risk of anxiety and depression, life experiences, including the amount and severity of trauma you’ve gone through since your early childhood, inherited aspects of your personality – often called your temperament, and/or the way your brain regulates chemicals and hormones your body releases in response to stress
Symptoms of PTSD
Post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms usually start within three months of a traumatic event, but sometimes symptoms may not appear until years after the event. These symptoms cause significant problems in social and works situations and can sometimes make a service man/woman unable to maintain employment and healthy personal relationships.
PTSD symptoms are generally grouped into four types: intrusive memories, avoidance, negative changes in thinking and mood, or changes in emotional reactions.
Intrusive memories: recurrent, unwanted distressing memories of the traumatic event, reliving the traumatic event as if it were happening all over again (flashbacks), upsetting dreams about said event, and severe emotional distress or physical reactions to something that reminds you of the event
Avoidance: trying to avoid thinking or talking about the event, avoiding places, activities or people that remind them of the traumatic event
Negative changes in thinking and mood: negative feelings about yourself and/or other people, inability to experience positive emotions, feeling emotionally numb, lack of interest in activities you once enjoyed, hopelessness about the future, memory problems, including not remembering important aspects of the traumatic event and/or difficulty maintaining close relationships
Changes in emotional reactions: irritability, angry outbursts or aggressive behavior, always being on guard for danger, overwhelming guilt or shame, self-destructive behavior, such as drinking too much (alcoholism) or driving too fast, trouble concentrating, trouble sleeping and/or being easily startled or frightened.
PTSD symptoms can vary in intensity over time. You may have more symptoms when you are stressed in general, or when you run into the reminders of what you went through. For example, you may hear a car backfire outside and relive a combat experience.
If you believe that you are suffering from PTSD and you are looking to get your life back in order, Nevada Veterans Alliance can help you to be connected to a health care professional to get you treatment as soon as possible to help prevent PTSD symptoms from getting worse. The goal of Nevada Veterans Alliance is “stop the cycle”. We want to help our veterans get back on their feet and get them all the help that they need.