This edition of HH101 deals with the realities of PTSD and its most practical remedies
July is National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month and as I stated last week, all of my Hood Health articles this month will feature a different mental disorder. This week I would like to focus on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD. PTSD as defined by WebMd is a serious condition that can develop after a person has experienced or witnessed a traumatic, tragic, or terrifying event in which serious physical harm occurred or was threatened. More often than not, individuals with PTSD repeatedly re-live the trauma in the form of nightmares and disturbing recollections during the day. These nightmares or recollections may come and go irregularly or consistently with no definitive time frame. A person may be free from them for weeks at a time and then experience them daily for no reason. Individuals with PTSD may also experience sleep problems, depression, feeling detached or numb, and being easily startled to name a few. They may lose interest in the things that they used to enjoy as well as having trouble feeling or being affectionate. People with PTSD may feel irritable, more aggressive than before, or even violent. When they see things that remind them of the incident, it may be very distressing which could lead them to avoid certain places or situations that bring back those memories. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder occurs when a trauma survivor has been exposed to actual or threatened with death, serious injury, or sexual violence. The exposure to these factors can be direct or indirect. The symptoms of PTSD are mainly grouped into 3 categories which are reliving, avoiding, and increased arousal. Listed below is a detailed description of all of the categories according to WebMd:
**Reliving: People with PTSD repeatedly relive the ordeal through thoughts and memories of the trauma. These may include flashbacks, hallucinations, and nightmares. They also may feel great distress when certain things remind them of the trauma, such as the anniversary date of the event.
**Avoiding: The person may avoid people, places, thoughts, or situations that may remind him or her of the trauma. This can lead to feelings of detachment and isolation from family and friends, as well as a loss of interest in activities that the person once enjoyed.
**Increased arousal: These include excessive emotions; problems relating to others, including feeling or showing affection; difficulty falling or staying asleep; irritability; outbursts of anger; difficulty concentrating; and being “jumpy” or easily startled. The person may also suffer physical symptoms, such as increased blood pressure and heart rate, rapid breathing, muscle tension, nausea, and diarrhea. If you are experiencing symptoms of PTSD please seek medical attention. There are serious emotional concerns that can result in tragic and even deadly consequences for the individual with PTSD. This article is not intended to assist you in ascertaining a diagnosis, nor is it meant to provide you with
an in depth perspective of each illness. The articles presented this month are intended to provide you with a degree in information on a particular illness and its symptoms. If you have questions or need to be evaluated, again, please see your healthcare professional.