When we survive a situation in which our life or that of others is endangered, such as a war, a car accident, a natural disaster or a sexual attack, the damage can be more than physical. In fact, it is quite common that people who experienced these kinds of challenges then suffer havoc with their mental health.
Painful memories, problems sleeping, nightmares and irritability are some normal symptoms when we have lived extreme situations. These symptoms can interfere with our daily tasks, such as going to work, study and share moments with our loved ones, but usually begin to fade and disappear after a few weeks or months.
However, in some cases, these symptoms persist, and that is where we already talk about Post Traumatic Stress, or PTSD for its acronym in English: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. In this post, which we share with the awareness efforts for the PTSD month, we will learn a little more about this disease, its symptoms, treatments and legal aspects.
Who are more likely to suffer from PTSD?
Any person who experiences a near-death experience is prone to suffer from post-traumatic stress. The PTSD is not, under any criteria, a sign of weakness of character, but quite the opposite: that the person was able to survive under extreme conditions. But there are factors that can make a person more prone to suffer from this evil. For example, when the traumatic event lasted a long time or was extremely intense. Also when the extreme situation results in an injury or long-term or permanent physical damage.
We can also mention personal factors, such as previous exposure to other extreme situations, age and personality. It is also worth considering the type of life that the person encounters after the traumatic experience. High stress situations make the person more likely to develop PTSD, while a supportive, supportive, and supportive environment reduces the chances of suffering from this disease.
How do we identify it?
In many people, the symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress are manifested immediately, but in some cases they do not occur until months or even years after surviving a traumatic experience. There are also people whose symptoms come and go sporadically.
While each person experiences PTSD in a different way, this picture can manifest itself in four main ways:
Relive the incident. Memories of the event can come back to our mind both when we are awake and when we sleep, like nightmares. It is possible to even feel that we are once again living the heartbreaking situation that struck us, in the manner of reviviscencias or flashbacks.
Compulsively avoid situations that remind us of the experience. Places, smells, sounds, even people could serve as a trigger to trigger bad memories. When this happens, it is not uncommon for the person to avoid even talking about their experience, even with close relatives such as family members or close friends.
Feelings and negative thoughts. Trauma can affect the way we see ourselves and others. It is common to feel shame and / or remorse after what happened, as well as distrust in everything and everyone. It can also prevent us from enjoying activities that once pleased us, or completely take away our interest in them. These symptoms could be compared to a situation of numbness, in which it is very difficult for us to feel happy.
Live in a state of permanent alert. A near death experience can leave us in a constant sense of danger, which can manifest itself with uncontrollable nerves, problems to conciliate the dream, and irritability. This state can also trigger reckless behaviors, such as driving the car irresponsibly, or harmful to physical health, such as smoking, abusing alcohol, or using illegal drugs.
How is PTSD cured?
When we talk about a “cure” we can be talking about different things to different people. For some, the cure may mean the complete disappearance of the symptoms. For others, a successful treatment could be one that reduces the symptoms to manageable levels, that allow to carry out a normal life, without interfering in interpersonal relationships, work and life as a couple.
There are many types of treatment for post-traumatic stress, but we can divide them into two main categories: psychotherapy and medication.
Psychotherapy treatments involve visits or conversations with a professional therapist. Within this category, there are several techniques, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, cognitive processing therapy, prolonged exposure therapy, among others.
On the side of medication, it is necessary to have the prescription or prescription of a specialized doctor before acquiring them. Both anxiolytics and antidepressants can greatly help people suffering from PTSD.
What does the law say?
When a person has suffered a near-death experience, such as a traffic accident, a serious construction accident, or a sexual assault, PTSD is one of the factors that your lawyer will take into account when seeking just compensation for the victim. Post-traumatic stress can be one of the main causes of loss of the ability to enjoy life, in addition to involving treatments and therapies that are not free for the patient.
If you suffered an extreme experience due to the negligence of others or during work hours, contact a doctor for a preliminary check. Once you get professional help, talk to a lawyer.