Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may occur soon after a major trauma, or it can be delayed for more than 6 months after the event. When it occurs soon after the trauma, it usually gets better after 3 months. However, some people have a longer-term form of PTSD, which can last for many years...PTSD can occur at any age and can follow a natural disaster ... assault, domestic abuse, or rape....The cause of PTSD is unknown, but 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). Having been exposed to trauma in the past may increase the risk of PTSD. PubMed HealthPTSD is recognized by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) who defines it as:
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD, is an anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to a terrifying event or ordeal in which grave physical harm occurred or was threatened. Traumatic events that may trigger PTSD include violent personal assaults, natural or human-caused disasters, accidents, or military combat.Symptoms of PTSD fall into three main categories:
PTSD is an anxiety disorder that some people get after seeing or living through a dangerous event.
When in danger, it’s natural to feel afraid. This fear triggers many split-second changes in the body to prepare to defend against the danger or to avoid it. This “fight-or-flight” response is a healthy reaction meant to protect a person from harm. But in PTSD, this reaction is changed or damaged. People who have PTSD may feel stressed or frightened even when they’re no longer in danger.
1. Repeated "reliving" or "re-experiencing" of the event, which disturbs day-to-day activity.
- Flashback episodes, where the event seems to be happening again and again
- Recurrent distressing memories of the event
- Repeated dreams or nightmares of the event
- Physical reactions to situations that remind you of the traumatic event
- Emotional "numbing," or feeling as though you don’t care about anything
- Feelings of detachment
- Inability to remember important aspects of the trauma
- Lack of interest in normal activities
- Less expression of moods
- Staying away from places, people, or objects that remind you of the event
- Feeling strong guilt, depression, or worry
- Losing interest in activities that were enjoyable in the past
- Having trouble remembering the dangerous event.
- Sense of having no future
- Feeling tense or "on edge"
- Difficulty concentrating
- Exaggerated or easily startled
- Excess awareness (hypervigilance)
- Irritability or outbursts of anger
- Sleeping difficulties
- Agitation, or excitability
- Feeling your heart beat in your chest (palpitations)
The work I have done for the past 40 years in adoption is my coping mechanism.