Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is becoming more widely recognized by medical experts and the general public, but there is still much we don’t know. To help educate, here are some important facts about PTSD from the National Institute of Mental Health:
PTSD can affect anyone at any age
PTSD is a real illness
You can get PTSD after living through or seeing a dangerous event, such as war, a hurricane or a bad accident
PTSD makes you feel stressed and afraid after the danger is over
A PTSD diagnosis can be frightening, but the disorder can be treated. A doctor or mental health professional with experience in treating people with PTSD can help through the use of “talk” therapy, medication or both. The typical treatment time for PTSD ranges from six to twelve weeks, but it can take longer. PTSD treatment is not the same for everyone, and what works for one person might not work for someone else.
PTSD and Addiction
Many PTSD sufferers feel the urge to self-medicate, but...
There is currently a debate over the rates of PTSD found in populations, but despite changes in diagnosis and the criteria used to define PTSD between 1997 and 2007, epidemiological rates have not changed significantly. Those suffering from PTSD are understandably eager for relief from their symptoms, but self-medicating or even taking prescribed medications under a doctor’s advice can put an individual at risk for substance use issues or addiction.
PTSD and Co-occurring Substance Abuse