When we experience an event that is severely distressing, terrifying, or that leaves us feeling in danger or out of control, it sometimes triggers a psychobiological reaction known as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD.)
This event may be an assault, rape, combat experience, car accident, death of a loved one, or any number of other events that are witnessed or lived through that injure one’s sense of safety.
Those who suffer from PTSD may have flashbacks, suffer from nightmares, be triggered by sensations or sights that remind them of the event, or live in a constant state of anxiety.
They may feel disconnected from their body, and their thoughts might feel foggy. Recent research indicates that PTSD causes changes to occur in the biological structure of the brain, particularly the amygdala, which plays a role in emotional response and fear reactions.
PTSD is surprisingly common. According to the US Department of Veteran’s Affairs National Center for PTSD, about 8% of the population will have PTSD at some point in their lives. This is only a small percentage of the total number of people who experience a traumatic event.
PTSD is more common among women than men, affecting 10% of women and 5% of men at some point in their lives. Children also develop PTSD, although few reliable statistics are available.
Those who live with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) often struggle not only with their traumatic experience, but with the anxiety, depression, and grief that may accompany it. If you or someone you love is suffering from the aftereffects of trauma, there is hope. Contact us today at (516) 221-9494 for more information on how you can start reclaiming your life with the help of one of our qualified psychotherapists.