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What is PTSD?

Some mental disorders can occur suddenly in a person who has no family history of them. One of those is post traumatic stress disorder, which is a psychiatric disorder caused by trauma of some type, according to the American Psychiatric Association. PTSD can happen to anyone in West Virginia. Although, it is often associated with people who have serviced in the military, specifically in combat zones, and those who have been through a seriously traumatic experience.

PTSD causes intense feelings and thoughts that are linked to traumatic experience. It can cause flashbacks, depression and emotional distance. Some people with the disorder may also start abusing drugs or alcohol. It may make people retreat away from others or react strongly to certain situations or triggers, such as sounds, people, smells or other sensory stimuli. The severe reactions that characterize PTSD can be triggered by anything that even remotely relates to the trauma the person went through.

If you have been through a traumatic experience, you may have symptoms of PTSD immediately or shortly after the experience. However, it can also manifest later on, even months, afterwards. It should not be confused with normal reactions to trauma. Many people will experience symptoms right after an experience, but they get better and the symptoms go away. To be diagnosed with PTSD, you would need to have symptoms continuously for more than a month.

If you think that you may have PTSD, you should seek medical help. Treatment can help you to better cope with the symptoms. This information is for education and is not intended as legal advice.