Mental health matters: What is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?

PTSD, or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, is a mental health problem that is caused or prompted by a traumatic and scarring incident.

Contrary to popular belief, it is not essential for a person to have experienced a terrible incident for PTSD to emerge; merely seeing such an event can “mess you up.”

People often associate the disorder with war veterans, flashing back to wars they’ve been in, triggered by something as trivial as a car backfire.

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While this is an excellent example, PTSD does not only affect military veterans. Anyone can be affected. Anyone who has experienced trauma in their lives is at risk of developing PTSD.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), over 70 per cent of people have experienced at least one traumatic event in their life. However, not all of those people will develop this illness.

This mental health disorder is highly common among rape victims and sexual assault survivors.

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According to the American Psychiatric Association (APA), PTSD affects about 3.5 per cent of US adults each year, and at least one out of every 11 people will be diagnosed with it at some point in their lives. Women are at greater risk than men.

What are the symptoms of this disease?

People with PTSD experience persistent, disturbing thoughts and feelings about the traumatic event long after it has occurred. They may have flashbacks or nightmares about the incident, feel hopelessness, dread, or rage, and feel detached or estranged from others, including family members.

Those who suffer from PTSD may avoid situations or people who remind them of the traumatic event, and they may have strong negative reactions to seemingly trivial things like loud noises or an accidental touch.

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Depression, anxiety, and substance addiction are all common illnesses that occur alongside PTSD.

What treatment options are there?

As mentioned before, not everyone who encounters trauma develops PTSD. According to APA for some of those who do develop PTSD, the symptoms may fade over time.

For people struggling with PTSD, family support can be extremely crucial.

Therapy is another vital option; seek expert assistance. Psychiatrists and mental health professionals use a number of techniques to help people cope with trauma, including medication and one-on-one counseling sessions.

Remember that mental illnesses can be just as crippling as physical illnesses. These, too, can cause extreme stress and make everyday chores impossible.


If you or someone you know wants help for mental well-being, don’t hesitate to talk to a professional. Aasra (Mumbai) 022-27546669, 98204 66726, Sneha (Chennai) 044-24640050, Sumaitri (Delhi) 011-23389090, Cooj (Goa) 0832- 2252525, Jeevan (Jamshedpur) 065-76453841 (48-48Ko) Pratheek) , Maithri (Kochi) 0484-2540530, Roshni (Hyderabad) 040-66202000, Lifeline 033-64643267 (Kolkata), Parivarthan (Bangalore) +91 76766 02602.

WION is not associated with any of these organizations and does not make any recommendations.


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