Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health problem first recognised in war veterans, you may develop after experiencing any traumatic event (natural or human-caused disasters, accidents, violent experiences…).

According to the statistics, 70% of adults experience at least one traumatic event in their lifetime and 20% of those develop PTSD. And around 15% of people, will experience a delay of months or even years before symptoms start to appear.

People who experience it often relive the event(s) through nightmares, flashbacks and thoughts, experiencing sleep problems, such as insomnia. They may also experience feelings of isolation, numbness, irritability and guilt.

In severe forms, the disorder can significantly impair a person's ability to function at work, at home, and socially. However, it's more common than what many believe, with 8 million people experiencing PTSD every year.


Types of PTSD

There are 3 main types of diagnosis with symptoms that can go from mild, moderate to severe.

  • Delayed-onset PTSD is when you are still experiencing symptoms after more than six months since experiencing trauma.
  • Complex PTSD (C-PTSD) happens when you have experienced trauma at an early age or it lasted for a long time.
  • Birth trauma PTSD might develop after a traumatic experience of childbirth.

When you go through something you find traumatic you could experience some symptoms of PTSD afterwards, such as feeling numb, having trouble sleeping or anxiety. This is called ‘acute stress reaction’. However, if those symptoms continue for longer than a month and are affecting your day-to-day life, PTSD or C-PTSD may be present.


What is recommended?

If you think you have Post-traumatic stress disorder or active symptoms, or you know someone who might have it. Prompt treatment involving psychotherapy or counselling with a qualified professional will help prevent it from getting worse.

Our platform Instant Counselling with qualified counsellors specialised in different mental health problems, may be a good option since we offer telephone counselling 24/7. We have an active network of counsellors available to talk 12 different languages all of whom can provide help in English.

Also, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) have researched and noticed that people who can reach out and seek support, develop coping strategies, as well as, a feeling of positivity around their trauma are able to recover from it more quickly. Some people are able to make a recovery within 6 months, meanwhile for others may last several years.

Treatment often includes a combination of psychotherapy or counselling and medication. Talk therapy will help process the trauma approaching the event slowly. Medicines are sometimes necessary and will help cope with symptoms like anxiety, depression and sleep problems.


Don’t worry

All of us experience trauma and we do it in different ways. PTSD is a complex mental health condition, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be treated or you are alone on this. Seek support, try to learn and explore coping strategies. You may find helpful joining a support group, try to do something about your trauma, there’s professionals always ready to help you.