"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Understanding post-traumatic stress disorder – the fundamentals

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can occur in anyone who experiences or witnesses a life-threatening or violent event. These events include, but usually are not limited to, military combat, terrorist attacks, natural disasters, automobile accidents, and private attacks resembling rape or other physical attacks. Because women usually tend to experience personal attacks resembling rape and sexual abuse, women are twice as likely as men to develop PTSD of their lifetime.

Traumatic experiences affect people. It makes it hard to sleep. You may feel detached from on a regular basis life. You could also be affected by nightmares or flashbacks – the sudden reliving of traumatic memories and emotions. Over the course of a number of weeks, these symptoms normally disappear. If this is just not the case or in the event that they recur later, it known as PTSD. About one in three individuals with PTSD develop a long-term type of the disorder.

PTSD disrupts each day life. It makes work tougher and relationships with family and friends difficult. This often results in divorce and parenting problems.

PTSD is generally not an individual's only problem. People with PTSD often have problems with depression, substance abuse, and other physical and mental ailments. They are also six times more prone to attempt suicide than those without PTSD.

People (and animals) reply to a life-threatening event by fighting or fleeing. Strong chemical messengers within the brain warn us of danger and prepare us to defend ourselves. If this stimulation is simply too strong or lasts too long, it could actually cause unintended effects within the brain. Some of those unintended effects appear to contribute to PTSD.

PTSD is related to changes in brain function and structure. There can be an inclination for necessary stress hormones to change into imbalanced.

Risk aspects which will contribute to post-traumatic stress disorder include a family history of tension, early separation from parents, previous childhood abuse, or previous trauma.