What is PTSD?

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a type of anxiety disorder. It can occur after you’ve seen or experienced a traumatic event that involved the threat of injury or death.

 Causes, incidence, and risk factors

PTSD can occur at any age. It can follow a natural disaster such as a flood or fire, or events such as:

  • Assault
  • Domestic abuse
  • Prison stay
  • Rape
  • Terrorism
  • War

For example, the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 may have caused PTSD in some people who were involved, in people who saw the disaster, and in people who lost relatives and friends.Transformation Center

Veterans returning home from a war often have PTSD.

The cause of PTSD is unknown. Psychological, genetic, physical, and social factors are involved. PTSD changes the body’s response to stress. It affects the stress hormones and chemicals that carry information between the nerves (neurotransmitters).

It is not known why traumatic events cause PTSD in some people but not others. Having a history of trauma may increase your risk for getting PTSD after a recent traumatic event.

Symptoms

Symptoms of PTSD fall into three main categories:

1. “Reliving” the event, which disturbs day-to-day activity

  • Flashback episodes, where the event seems to be happening again and again
  • Repeated upsetting memories of the event
  • Repeated nightmares of the event
  • Strong, uncomfortable reactions to situations that remind you of the event

2. Avoidance

  • Emotional “numbing,” or feeling as though you don’t care about anything
  • Feeling detached
  • Being unable to remember important aspects of the trauma
  • Having a lack of interest in normal activities
  • Showing less of your moods
  • Avoiding places, people, or thoughts that remind you of the event
  • Feeling like you have no future

3. Arousal

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Startling easily
  • Having an exaggerated response to things that startle you
  • Feeling more aware (hypervigilance)
  • Feeling irritable or having outbursts of anger
  • Having trouble falling or staying asleep

You might feel guilt about the event (including “survivor guilt”). You might also have some of the following symptoms, which are typical of anxiety, stress, and tension:

  • Agitation or excitability
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Feeling your heart beat in your chest
  • Headache

How To Receive Help

You may call The Transformation Center and set up an appointment for a free assessment that will help you understand whether or not our program is appropriate for you. At that time you will be able to ask questions and express your possible fears or concerns about treatment. We will help you through every step along the way and encourage you that your healing and a better life is within reach. 901-755-1396.


Click here to go to our PTSD Intensive Outpatient Therapy program or PTSD Trauma Recovery Program for a detailed brochure.