Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

What is it?

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a real illness. You can get PTSD after living through or seeing a dangerous event, such as war, a hurricane, or bad accident. PTSD makes you feel stressed and afraid after the danger is over. It affects your life and the people around you. PTSD can happen to anyone at any age.

 

Potential causes of PTSD include:

  • Being a victim of or seeing violence
  • The death or serious illness of a loved one
  • War or combat
  • Car accidents and plane crashes
  • Hurricanes, tornadoes, and fires
  • Violent crimes
Signs and Symptoms: 
  • Bad dreams
  • Flashbacks, or feeling like the scary event is happening again
  • Scary thoughts you can’t control
  • Staying away from places and things that remind you of what happened
  • Feeling worried, guilty, or sad
  • Feeling alone
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Feeling on edge
  • Angry outbursts
  • Thoughts of hurting yourself or others

 

Children may show other signs:

  • Behaving like they did when they were younger
  • Being unable to talk
  • Complaining of stomach problems or headaches a lot
  • Refusing to go places or play with friends
Support Strategies: 
  • Assess for risk of suicide or harm
  • Listen nonjudgmentally
  • Give reassurance and information
  • Encourage appropriate professional help
  • Encourage self-help and other support strategies
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