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Who can get PTSD?

PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) is a condition that is caused by experiencing frightening or distressing events. It can occur months or even years after an event but can be very successfully treated.

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What is PTSD?

PTSD is a condition that will affect around 1 in 3 people at some point in their lives. It’s not understood why traumatic events have more impact on some people than others but it’s estimated that up to 70% of PTSD cases go untreated.

Symptoms of PTSD

Symptoms of PTSD can start within one month of a traumatic event, or take years to start. They vary between people and can change over time. Symptoms of PTSD are generally grouped into 4 main categories:

-Intrusive memories: This can include reliving the event as nightmares or flashbacks, or emotional reactions to things that remind you of the trauma.

-Avoidance: A common reaction to a traumatic event is to try and avoid thinking about it or avoiding any activities, places, or people that remind you of it.

-Negative changes in mood: Symptoms of negative changes in your mood can be difficulty in maintaining relationships with friends and family, feelings of isolation, and memory problems.

-Physical and emotional reactions: Reactions to trauma can include disturbed sleep, feelings of anxiety, difficulty concentrating, and feelings of irritability. Some people may also engage in self-destructive behaviours such as alcohol or drugs.

Treating PTSD

The treatment of PTSD depends on the severity of the symptoms and the time since the initial event. Antidepressants and talking therapies such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) or Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EDMR) are common treatments.

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Working with patients with PTSD

Supporting a client or patient with PTSD can be complex but it’s important to be flexible in your approach, maintain good communication, and be accepting. Providers such as https://www.tidaltraining.co.uk/mental-health-training-courses/trauma-informed-practice-training offer trauma informed training which can equip your team with the tools they need to meet all of a patient’s needs.

PTSD can impact anyone at any time, but an understanding of the signs and symptoms is a good way to make sure everyone is supported.