Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a serious mental illness that affects 3.5% of the population in any given year. Often associated with people who have been exposed to war or terrorism, PTSD can result from any traumatic experience, including childhood trauma, emotional or physical abuse, the death of a loved one, or the experience of natural disaster. Anyone can experience PTSD, regardless of age, ethnicity, or economic status.
Symptoms of PTSD include feeling “shell shocked” or numb, experiencing nightmares or flashbacks, and being particularly sensitive to loud noises or other anxiety-producing stimuli. PTSD sufferers also may experience unusually high instances of guilt, depression, and anger.
PTSD is usually diagnosed if your symptoms last at least one month, and treatment options include psychotherapy, group therapy, medication, mindfulness techniques, and even service animals. If you are experiencing PTSD, it can be hard to believe that you will ever feel normal again, but with good support, guided treatment, and the gift of time, you can feel well again.