Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

PTSD, or posttraumatic stress disorder, is a set of reactions that can occur after someone has been through a traumatic event. The chance of developing PTSD depends on the type of event experienced.  According to the National Centre for PTSD about seven or eight out of every 100 people will experience PTSD at some point in their lives.

Women are more likely to experience PTSD

PTSD affects twice as many women as men. In the United States, almost 10 percent of women develop PTSD sometime in their lives, compared to four percent of men. A factor in this discrepancy could be linked to sexual assault. Women are more likely to experience sexual assault than men and sexual assault is more likely to cause PTSD than other events. Some research has also shown that sex hormones affect memory and learning which are critical to the development of PTSD.

PTSD symptoms don’t always appear immediately after a traumatic event

Sometimes it takes months or even years for PTSD to surface. A study of New Yorkers after 911 showed that symptoms can surface up to two years later and may even be triggered by a subsequent stressful event such a job loss.

Canada has the highest incidence of PTSD in 24 countries studied

The same study found that Canada had the highest prevalence of PTSD of the 24 countries included in the study – 9.2 percent of Canadians will suffer from PTSD in their lifetimes. The Netherlands, Australia and the US followed. Nigeria, China and Romania had the lowest levels.

Could I have posttraumatic stress disorder?

The main symptoms of PTSD are:

  • Re-living the traumatic event through distressing, unwanted memories, vivid nightmares and/or flashbacks. This can also include feeling very upset or having intense physical reactions such as heart palpitations or being unable to breathe when reminded of the traumatic event.
  • Avoiding reminders of the traumatic event, including activities, places, people, thoughts or feelings that bring back memories of the trauma.
  • Negative thoughts and feelings such as fear, anger, guilt, or feeling flat or numb a lot of the time. A person might blame themselves or others for what happened during or after the traumatic event, feel cut-off from friends and family, or lose interest in day-to-day activities.
  • Feeling wound-up. This might mean having trouble sleeping or concentrating, feeling angry or irritable, taking risks, being easily startled, and/or being constantly on the lookout for danger.
  • It is not unusual for people with PTSD to experience other mental health problems as well, like depression or anxiety. Some people may develop a habit of using alcohol or drugs as a way of coping.

If you or a loved one are struggling with PTSD symptoms find the support you need. Stop enduring and start living. Contact Lighthouse Counselling today to relieve the suffering, regain control, and begin living life again.

If you’re struggling with PTSD and in need of help contact Lighthouse Counselling Vancouver to receive your free consultation.  For more information click here, or call 604-809-5848.  Help is just a click away!