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Coping with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
When the Past Won't Let You Go

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What Causes Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and how PTSD is Treated

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What is post traumatic stress disorder ( PTSD )?
When a person is unable to forget a traumatic event in their lives, whether they just witnessed the event or it actually happened to them, they can develop what's called post traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD for short. Those with this anxiety disorder have nightmares about the trauma they experienced or witnessed. PTSD is quite common in ex-military but civilians can suffer the same symptoms from traumatic events not relating to war. Some of the common non-war triggers include rape, being robbed, being in a bad car accident, being kidnapped, being in prison, or surviving a natural disaster like a tornado or something like Katrina.

Common Symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder:
* A tendency to isolate and not be socially outgoing, especially if the person was social before.
* Uncharacteristic state of agitation or being easily and often irritated.
* Nightmares, especially if they are about situations involving real trauma that has been exeperienced or fear tied to those situations.
* Chronic insomnia due to being too hyper aware all the time.
* Flashbacks of real traumatic events.

These are not the only symptoms. PTSD can cause different symptoms in each person so it's important to seek help and a proper diagnosis. Counseling is vital and your doctor should be able to refer you to a competent psychologist or mental health professional. Healing should never be just taking a pill to relieve symptoms because the emotional and mental aspects have to be addressed for true healing.

Risk Factors for PTSD:
Anyone who has been at war could be at risk for PTSD because the stress and trauma of being in live combat is something non-veteran's could probably never really understand. When a soldier is in the war, they hardly have the luxury of noticing how badly the stress of being on constant alert may be affecting their moods and thinking. Then, once immediate danger is gone and they come back home, either because they were wounded (which is a trauma in and of itself) or because the conflict ended or they finished their tour duty, they suddenly realize that they can't let the alertness and fear go. Sometimes, they can also suffer from flashbacks of the event. These horrifying flashbacks can occur at any time, while awake, and are very disturbing because they cannot be controlled and it's like living through parts of the trauma over and over.

All war experience is, by it's very natural, highly stressful but the ones who face the enemy eye to eye and live in that environment of battle have a lot more trauma to process than someone who works at a field office that doesn't have a lot of direct battle. If you are a veteran or in active military duty and you are suffering from symptoms such as irrational fears, chronic insomnia, nightmares and/or flashbacks to war times, you may be suffering from post traumatic stress disorder. It can be a very debilitating condition so please seek help if exhibiting symptoms.

There is a lot of very helpful information online at Department of Veterans Affairs. There is also a specific section on the site that has resources for those diagnosed with or who suspect they may have PTSD. The link below has a lot of other links leading to specific information that may be helpful, including how to find a qualified therapist in your area, how to find help for friends and family that are also affected by one person's PTSD and specific resources for veterans who are disagnosed with this health condition: Finding help for post traumatic stress disorder

Childhood abuse or trauma is a very common form of PTSD about which I have personal experience. A gift that came from healing my own childhood abuse was that I became able to assist others still mired in the pain of their past. During the time that I maintained a full-time practice as a healing facilitator, I often seemed to draw those who are ready to heal the past and reclaim their inner essence.

Health Disclaimer: The holistic health information on this website is not intended to replace any needed mental health evaluation or treatment. If you have been diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder, please follow the guidance of your chosen healthcare professional.