At times we go through tragedies in our life. Some tragedies are so terrible; they are often life-threatening. As a result of experiencing a horrible event, some people develop an intense emotional condition called post traumatic stress disorder syndrome or PTSD. Post traumatic stress disorder symptoms include reliving the terrible event repeatedly. A person will tend to stay away from certain people or places, and can be very sensitive to normal situations. It may not even occur right after the event but can surface years later.
During war times, this condition was known by different names. During the civil war, it was referred to as having soldier’s heart. At the time of the First World War, soldiers were thought to have combat fatigue. Gross stress reaction was the name given to World War II soldiers. Other names for this syndrome were shell shock and battle fatigue. It wasn’t until the 80s that this condition received its now known identifier.
Statistically, up to eight percent of Americans will have to deal with PTSD sometime in their life. Those who have endured a rape are at least ten percent more likely to develop the illness. Close to half of the patients from mental health institutions are being treated for this problem. In children, over forty will have dealt with at least one traumatic situation. And children who have seen the death of a love one, or have suffered through any type of abuse will have a high incidence of PTSD. Those who have to deal with the symptoms are more likely to develop a smoking a habit or alcohol abuse. A personality disorder can manifest in people who have endured trauma at a young age. Children do not have the detachment and distance that adults develop and have thinner skin.
Any event that is tragic,life-threatening and emotional can effect a person through intense fear and result in post traumatic stress disorder. Symptoms of this disorder have been known to cause a person to be put on disability because they can not longer function at their work. A person with this illness can develop problems interacting socially and find it hard to become intimate with a partner. Depression often has to be treated as well in those who have endured this disorder. It is important to know however that with counseling and support many with PTSD are able to lead normal lives and come to terms with the underlying traumas. Some people have deepened their spirituality because of the challenges of dealing with an adverse situation.
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