It is natural to feel afraid during and after a traumatic situation. Nearly everyone will experience a range of reactions after trauma, yet most people recover from initial symptoms naturally. Those who continue to experience problems may be diagnosed with PTSD. People who have PTSD may feel stressed or frightened even when they are not in danger.
Anyone can develop PTSD at any age. This includes war veterans, children, and people who have been through a physical or sexual assault, abuse, accident, disaster, or many other serious events. According to the National Center for PTSD, about 7 or 8 out of every 100 people will experience PTSD at some point in their lives. Women are more likely to develop PTSD than men, and genes may make some people more likely to develop PTSD than others.
However, it is important to remember that not everyone who lives through a dangerous event develops PTSD. In fact, most people will not develop the disorder. Also, not everyone with PTSD has been through a dangerous event. Some people develop PTSD after a friend or family member experiences danger or harm. The sudden, unexpected death of a loved one can also lead to PTSD.
SIGNS & SYMPTOMS
- Re-experiencing the traumatic event
- Avoiding reminders of the trauma
- Increased anxiety and emotional arousal
- Guilt, shame, or self-blame
- Feelings of mistrust and betrayal
- Depression or hopelessness, including suicidal thoughts and feelings
- Substance abuse
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