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Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is more common than many people realize.  Approximately 90% of people experience a significant traumatic event over the course of their lives.  Although most of these people eventually recover, some people continue to struggle with difficulties related to their traumatic event.  When these difficulties interfere with daily living, the person might have developed PTSD.  Common examples of traumatic experiences that can lead to PTSD include military combat, physical or sexual assault, and a work or vehicle accident.


Common symptoms of PTSD include nightmares, feeling that the event is happening again, a strong desire to avoid experiences that remind them of the trauma, feeling very aware of their surroundings, and being unusually jumpy.  However, people with PTSD can also experience several other behaviors and symptoms such as depression, anxiety, difficulty with sleep, and substance use.


Fortunately for people with PTSD (or even subclinical levels) several effective treatments have been developed specifically for PTSD.  These treatments include Imaginal Exposure Therapy, Cognitive Processing Therapy, and Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy.  It is often recommended that these treatments be implemented before, or in conjunction with medications.




Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational and informative purposes only, and is not intended to be used to help diagnose or treat PTSD.  Only a qualified mental health professional can render a diagnosis and provide adequate treatment for PTSD.

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