Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder – PTSD
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, also known as PTSD, is an emotional illness that is classified as an anxiety disorder and usually develops as a result of a terribly frightening, life-threatening, or otherwise highly unsafe experience.
Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD) usually results from prolonged exposure to a traumatic event or series thereof and is characterized by long-lasting problems with many aspects of emotional and social functioning. Almost half of individuals who use outpatient mental-health services have been found to suffer from this. As evidenced by the occurrence of stress in many individuals in the United States in the days following the 2001 terrorist attacks, not being physically present at a traumatic event does not guarantee that one cannot suffer from traumatic stress that can lead to the development of PTSD.
Also, whether or not a traumatized person goes on to develop this disorder; they seem to be at risk for higher use of cigarettes, alcohol, and marijuana. Conversely, people whose PTSD is treated also tend to have better success at overcoming a substance-abuse problem.
Treatments for PTSD usually include psychological and medical interventions. Providing information about the illness, helping the individual manages the trauma by talking about it directly, teaching the person ways to manage symptoms, and exploration and modification of inaccurate ways of thinking about the trauma are the usual techniques used in psychotherapy for this illness. Education of PTSD sufferers usually involves teaching individuals about what PTSD is, how many others suffer from the same illness, that it is caused by extraordinary stress rather than weakness, how it is treated, and what to expect in treatment. This education thereby increases the likelihood that inaccurate ideas the person may have about the illness are dispelled, and any shame they may feel about having it is minimized.