Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

PTSD affects 3.5% of the population, 7.7 million Americans. It occurs twice as often in women than men.

PTSD occurs in people who have experienced or witnessed or been confronted with an actual or potentially life threatening event: such as natural disaster, serious accident, terrorist incident, war, or violent personal assault.

Symptoms may include:
  • Chronic, unrelenting intrusive memories of the trauma
  • Flashbacks or nightmares
  • Sudden floods of emotions after the trauma
  • Acting or feeling as if the traumatic event were reoccurring
  • Intense psychological distress at exposure to cues that symbolize or resemble the event
  • Persistent avoidance of thought, feelings or conversations associated with the trauma
  • Efforts to avoid activities, places or people that arouse these recollections
  • Feelings of detachment, psychic numbing
  • Decreased interest in activities
  • Sense of foreshortened future
  • Hyper alertness and hyperawareness, hypervigilence

Causal Factors:
Biologic, Genetic, and/or Sociologic factors. Can be accompanied by other Anxiety Disorders, Depression, and/or Eating Disorders.

Rape is the most common trigger for PTSD, with 65% of women and 46.9% of men developing PTSD after the sexual assault.

Treatment Options:
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Exposure and Response Prevention, and/or Medication.

Specific Help for Veterans:
VA Health Benefits Service Center