What is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD, is something that people can develop as the result of undergoing trauma.
To this day, many people think that PTSD only happens to people who have experienced extreme things in situations such as war. It is certainly true that war veterans, refugees, and even the journalists who cover news in war zones all experience trauma that can lead to PTSD.
However, there are many different kinds of trauma. Sometimes trauma is a one-time serious event. That kind of trauma may be caused by:
- Physical or sexual assault
- Serious injury such as that from a bad car accident
- Terrifying crowd situations such as school shootings or terrorist attacks
- Devastating natural disasters
Oftentimes, though, trauma is not one single event that is easy to point to. Trauma can be a series of stressors that add up over time. One of the more common forms is childhood abuse, including emotional, physical, and sexual abuse. This abuse may come in varying degrees, but it is traumatic and complex because of its repeated and ongoing nature.
You can also experience the effects of trauma even if something doesn’t happen to you but you are a direct witness to it. That is called vicarious traumatization and it is also a very common form of trauma. It can occur when someone watches a parent go through domestic violence, for example, or is witness to a death. The experience of trauma comes in many shapes and forms, it is caused by many things, and you have the right to get treatment to help you overcome it.