IMPORTANT: If you are experiencing a crisis or emergency, call 911. Our hotline is NOT a crisis hotline or suicide hotline. Call 911 immediately.

Did you know a traumatic event threatening your sense of safety and well-being could have lasting psychological effects? This condition, known as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) causes a person to struggle with disturbing thoughts and feelings long after the traumatic event.

When many people think of PTSD, the image of a soldier experiencing emotional issues after returning from combat often comes to mind. PTSD affects more than just people in the military. In fact, just about anyone who suffered a traumatic event can develop PTSD.

So what exactly is PTSD? What treatments are available? And, most importantly, how can you find help for this condition? Use this guide to find out.

IMPORTANT: If you are experiencing a crisis or emergency, call 911. Our hotline is NOT a crisis hotline or suicide hotline. Call 911 immediately.

What is PTSD?

When you are exposed to an event that puts your life in danger or threatens your sense of security you may develop the mental health condition known as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Traumatic events can include a major accident, death of a loved one, physical violence, sexual assault, or even natural disasters. It can be a single event or repeated traumas like domestic abuse. Interestingly, simply witnessing an event can lead to PTSD.

As you experience a traumatic event, your mind searches for ways to cope with the effects and memories. Many people experience some difficulty adjusting after a terrifying event. With proper support, self-care, and the passage of time, they eventually recover. Others, however, experience depression, anxiety, and other PTSD symptoms years after an event. The symptoms can be so severe they interfere with your ability to function.

It’s unclear exactly why some people cannot cope and recover from a traumatic experience effectively. It’s believed a combination of factors lead to PTSD including the severity of the experience, your temperament, personal and family history of mental health conditions, and your brain chemistry.

IMPORTANT: If you are experiencing a crisis or emergency, call 911. Our hotline is NOT a crisis hotline or suicide hotline. Call 911 immediately.

Symptoms of PTSD

In general, PTSD symptoms fall into four categories:

  • Intrusive memories: This includes flashbacks (mentally reliving the event), distressing memories, nightmares, or severe distress if something triggers a memory.
  • Avoidance: Trying not to think of the event or avoiding things that would remind you of the event. For example, if your PTSD is caused by a car accident, you may do anything possible to stay out of a car.
  • Negative thoughts and feelings: After a traumatic event, you may feel a sense of hopelessness, negative beliefs about yourself and the world, and feeling detached from others. Some feel emotionally numb and lose interest in things they to love doing.
  • Intense arousal and changes in physical and emotional reactions: PTSD can cause a person to remain in a state of hyper-vigilance, the “fight or flight” response to fear. As a result, you may be easily startled and always on guard for danger. This may lead to trouble sleeping, concentrating, irritability, and aggressive behaviors.

If you experience any combination of these symptoms over a month after a traumatic event, you may want to seek professional help.

IMPORTANT: If you are experiencing a crisis or emergency, call 911. Our hotline is NOT a crisis hotline or suicide hotline. Call 911 immediately.

Getting Help for Your PTSD

PTSD can make you feel hopeless. You’re stuck in a cycle of anxiety and difficult emotions without knowing how to get your life back. Help is available. In fact, those struggling with PTSD can make a full recovery with professional help and support.

In most cases, medications, psychotherapy, or a combination of these approaches work best. There are several types of psychotherapy–sometimes referred to as talk therapy–that treat PTSD. They include cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), cognitive processing therapy (CPT), prolonged exposure (PE), and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR). As you develop a relationship with your psychotherapist, you soon discover the treatment that works best for you and your recovery.

Those suffering from PTSD experiencing suicidal thoughts or self-harm compulsions should seek help immediately. You are going through difficult times. Know that you could work through your emotional pain and eventually regain control of your life.

So where can you turn when PTSD is taking control of your life? Many people just like you took the first step by calling a PTSD helpline. Almost immediately, they felt relief as they shared their story, fears, and personal struggles. A PTSD helpline puts you in touch with a compassionate professional who understands the difficulties you are facing.

By calling a PTSD helpline, you get access to several resources dedicated to treating your condition. You don’t have to live with the fear, anxiety, and major stress anymore. You can once again go back to enjoying family and friends, your favorite activities, and thriving in everyday pursuits.

Why deal with the personal pain any longer? By calling, you can secure a better future for yourself and family. Call today… your future is waiting.

IMPORTANT: If you are experiencing a crisis or emergency, call 911. Our hotline is NOT a crisis hotline or suicide hotline. Call 911 immediately.