After a traumatic experience, it can be hard to feel safe. You may have nightmares and are having trouble sleeping. Maybe you feel like you’re on edge and unsettled, or you aren’t finding pleasure in things you used to enjoy. Perhaps you feel like it’s just easier to be alone. After going through a trauma, it is common to have side effects as you deal with the experience. For most people, those will pass in a few weeks or months, but for others, they are long lasting and can have challenging side effects, a condition called PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). Read on as Dr. Smith outlines the specific symptoms of PTSD, and who can be affected by it. 

Who can have PTSD?

Contrary to popular belief, PTSD is not exclusive to combat veterans. PTSD is a disorder that can develop in anyone that has experienced a shocking, scary, or dangerous event. Physical or sexual assaults, abuse, accidents, disasters, the sudden death of a family member, and many other difficult events can lead to the development of PTSD. PTSD is now recognized as a disorder that can occur in anyone of any ethnicity, nationality or culture, and at any age, even children. It affects approximately 3.5 percent of U.S. adults every year.

What are the Symptoms?

PTSD symptoms fall into four categories: reliving or re-experiencing the event, avoiding things or places that remind you of the event, negative changes in beliefs and feelings, and hyperarousal or being on guard. For someone to be diagnosed with PTSD, they must have symptoms in all of the four categories. PTSD symptoms typically begin within three months of the traumatic incident, but sometimes they begin years afterward. They can happen at any age, and they can come and go.
Is It PTSD | Do I Have PTSD? | The PainSmith

How do I know if I have PTSD?

Only a mental health care provider can diagnose you with PTSD. Knowing if you have PTSD is the first step to getting effective treatment. So, it is important to talk with a doctor if you think you have symptoms. There are effective treatments even if you have been living with symptoms for years. Talk therapy (psychotherapy) and medication are the most common first-line treatments for PTSD, but new treatments like Stellate Ganglion Blocks are showing positive results.

You can learn more about PTSD symptoms at the National Center for PTSD.

At The PainSmith, we have several different options to help manage your PTSD. You can request a consultation or give us a call and we’ll discuss your options.

*The PainSmith team has reviewed this information. It is intended for informational purposes only, not to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. Please discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your provider.

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