Who is affected by PTSD?
PTSD can occur in anyone who has experienced a traumatic event. It is most commonly associated with war veterans returning from active war zones. However, robbery, mugging, car accidents, plane crashes, physical attacks, or natural disasters may induce PTSD in certain individuals.
PTSD can begin in childhood or by an unexpected trauma. As a result, many people are unaware of their disorder until later or are unable to recognize the signs and symptoms and do not seek treatment.
Because the causes of PTSD vary so widely, nearly any demographic can be affected. However, women are twice as likely to develop PTSD than men.
What is current treatment like?
Current treatment for PTSD includes a variety of psychotherapeutic methods and medicines. Sufferers are usually treated with one of three methods:
- Exposure Therapy: Exposes patients to trauma in a physically safe manner.
- Cognitive Restructuring: Helps patients make sense of bad memories.
- Stress Inoculation Training: Teaches patients how to reduce anxiety.
Therapy is often coupled with the use of antidepressants to help quell feelings of sadness, anger, worry, or numbness. However, many of these medicines come with side effects, such as headaches, nausea, sleeplessness, drowsiness, agitation, and sexual performance problems. As a result, many people with PTSD find themselves in an endless cycle of reactionary treatment.