Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Causes, Symptons, Treatment

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

The Monster Within

Let’s take a look at the Monster. Find out a little about how it works and just what this thing is. I beleive knowledge is power, if we can begin to understand about something, we take power away from it and give ourselves that power. Sometimes, we have to look long and hard, sometimes we have to have outside help to finally regain our life. This Monster, this post-traumatic stress disorder, is a nasty beast and we need help in defeating it. So, let’s you and I make a start…

PTSD can develop after a traumatic event, such as sexualPost-traumatic stress disorder combat duty related assault, warfare, traffic collisions, or other threats on a person’s life.There is a higher risk for suicide and intentional self-harm for a person with PTSD. In the United States about 3.5% of adults have post-traumatic stress disorder in a given year, and 9% of people develop it at some point.

Most people who have experienced a traumatic event will not develop PTSD. People who experience rape or child abuse are more likely to develop PTSD than those who experience accidents and natural disasters. About half of rape victims develop PTSD. Children (age 10 and younger) are less likely than adults to develop PTSD.

During the World Wars the condition was known under various terms including “shell shock” and “combat neurosis”. The term “post-traumatic stress disorder” came into use in the 1970s in large part due to the diagnoses of U.S. military veterans of the Vietnam War. It was officially recognized by the American Psychiatric Association in 1980.

The Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) developed the Battlemind program to assist service members to avoid or to lessen the effects of PTSD and related problems. The Wounded Warrior Project partnered with the US Department of Veterans Affairs to create the Warrior Care Network, a national health system of PTSD treatment centers.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder PTSD causes

Persons considered at risk include combat military personnel, victims of natural disasters, concentration camp survivors, and victims of violent crime. Occupations that are at higher risk include police officers, firefighters, ambulance personnel, health care professionals, train drivers, divers, journalists, and sailors.

Post-traumatic stress disorder, childhood traumaIntimate partner violence  Those who have experienced sexual assault or rape may develop symptoms of PTSD; such as re-experiencing the assault, avoiding things associated with the assault, numbness, and increased anxiety and an increased startle response. PTSD symptoms is higher if they were confined or restrained, if they believed they would be killed, if they were very young or very old, and if the rapist was someone he or she knew. The likehood of severe symptoms is also higher if people around the survivor ignore (or are ignorant of) the rape or blame the rape survivor.

War related trauma  Military service is a risk factor for developing PTSD. Around 78% of people exposed to combat do not develop PTSD. The appearance of PTSD is delayed in about 25% of military personnel who do develop PTSD. Refugees are also at an increased risk for PTSD due to their exposure to war, hardships, and traumatic events. While the stresses of war impact everyone involved, displaced persons have been shown to be more affected
than non-displaced persons. The rates for PTSD within refugee populations range from 4% to 86%.Post-traumatic stress disorder, refugee related

Unexpected death of a loved one  The most common traumatic event type reported in cross-national studies the sudden, unexpected death of a loved one. The WHO World Mental Health Survey found a 5.2% risk of developing PTSD after learning of the unexpected death of a loved one and because of the high prevalence of this, approximately 20% of PTSD cases worldwide are of this type.

Life-threatening illness Medical conditions with an increased risk of PTSD include cancer, heart attack, and stroke. Intensive-care unit (ICU) hospitalization is
also a risk factor for PTSD. Some women experience PTSD from their experiences related to breast cancer and mastectomy.

Pregnancy-related trauma  Women who experience miscarriage are at risk of PTSD. Subsequent miscarriages have an increased risk of PTSD compared to those
experiencing only one. PTSD can also occur after childbirth and the risk increases if a woman has experienced trauma prior to the pregnancy. Prevalence of PTSD following normal childbirth is estimated to be between 2.8 and 5.6% at 6 weeks postpartum, with rates dropping to 1.5% at 6 months.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms

Symptoms sometimes begin within the first 3 months but may not begin until years after the event Typically, the individual avoids related thoughts, emotions, and discussion of what has happened, and may have amnesia of the event. The individual may relive through intrusive, recurrent recollections, disassociative episodes of
reliving the trauma (“flashbacks”), and nightmares. It is common to have symptoms after any traumatic event, these must cause a dysfunction in life or create levels of
distress for longer than one month to be classified as PTSD.

Drug and/or alcohol abuse commonly occur with PTSD. Recovery from PTSD or other anxiety disorders may be hindered, or the condition worsened, when combined with substance abuse. Resolving these problems can bring about improvement in an individual’s mental health levels.

Symptoms may include disturbing thoughts, feelings, or dreams related to the events, mental or physical distress to trauma-related cues, attempts to avoid trauma-related cues, alterations in how a person thinks and feels, and an increase in the fight-or-flight response. These symptoms last for more than a month after the event

Treatment for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

The psychotherapy approaches which work best are cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), prolonged exposure therapy, and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR).

A comparison of EMDR and cognitive behavioral therapy have found both to have about the same level of effectiveness in treating PTSD.

    • Cognitive behavioral therapy  CBT is currently considered the standard of care for PTSD by the United States Department of Defense. Individuals learn to identify thoughts that make them feel afraid or upset and replace them with less distressing thoughts; and to understand how certain thoughts about events cause PTSD.
    • Exposure therapy  Exposure therapy involves assisting trauma survivors to re-experience trauma-related memories in order to facilitate processing of the memory. This includes both imaginal confrontation with the traumatic memories and real-life exposure to reminders.
    • Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing This theory proposes that eye movement can be used to facilitate emotional processing of memories, changing the person’s memory toPost-traumatic stress disorder, treatment options attend to more adaptive information. The therapist initiates voluntary rapid eye movements while the person focuses on memories, feelings or thoughts about a particular trauma. The therapists uses hand movements to get the person to
      move their eyes backward and forward, but hand-tapping or tones can also be used. EMDR resembles CBT, but focuses on being asked to think about the experience rather than talk about it.
    • Medication  Evidence supports a small or modest improvement with sertraline, fluoxetine, paroxetine, and venlafaxine (the first-line medications for PTSD).
    • Exercise, sport and physical activity Physical activity can influence people’s psychological and physical health. The U.S. National Center for PTSD recommends moderate exercise as a way to distract from disturbing emotions, build self-esteem and increase feelings of being in control again. They recommend a discussion with a doctor before starting an exercise program.

In Closing…

PTSD truly is a monster. It affects everyone it touches and sometimes hides within us for years before some trigger brings it out. If you suffer from PTSD, or know someone who is, seek professional guidance. Start with your medical doctor and begin working thru him/her. Any improvement is a step in the right direction to improving your quality of life.

There is no conclusive research, but binural beats may well serve as a relaxing factor for you. During this time of year in the U.S., lots of fireworks and uotside noises intrude and seem to serve as triggers. I recommend a good set of headphones and offer a sample of some PTSD soothing Binaural Beat music. Here is some basic information and here is a sample for you to check out. Trauma Recovery Emotional Healing (let go of the past) Subliminal Messages, Theta Binaural beats

Do you have any ptsd information you would like to share? Any personal experiences? If you have any questions or suggestions on other alternative options, please do not hesitate to leave me a comment below. I will reply as soon as I can!

Walking the Path of Peace,


Click to follow and like us:

7 thoughts on “Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Causes, Symptons, Treatment”

  1. Thanks Sanders for sharing this article.. I actually know someone who have had a traumatic experience (had a car accident with her husband who was killed). Eversince, her life was different. And even her, doesn’t understand how to move on. She’s been taking medications, and even counselling.. but i hope she will find the right treatment for this. I will tell her about subliminal messages.. Thanks again for sharing this article.

    • Hi Hanna, Thank you for sharing. I do hope your friend can find the right treatment plan. You sound very supportive and that is always important. Being able to process and manage the emotions is very difficult and I encourage her to continue with the counselling.
      Walking the Path of Peace,

  2. Very good article on PTSD and very informative! I have heard of PTSD and it is a very serious mental issue for a few people. This has helped me see what kinds of symptoms to watch out for. I have had some past experiences through my life with some traumatic situations that resulted in mental health treatment. I ended up with depression and anxiety disorders over it and needed help to battle my problems and develop some coping skills. I find your articles useful, I recently lost my dad in October, this has been hard on me! He was my everything and I was very close to him and was his caregiver for many years. He died in my arms and I still hear the echo of my cries from that very night in my dreams and it still makes it hard for me to sleep at night.
    Thank you for the information ….

    • Hello Ruth, I am very sorry to hear of your loss. The cycle of life is unfair and can be very traumatic. Sometimes, we all need a little extra help in dealing with loss, especially when we are the primary caregiver. I suggest talking with a therapist and if I may presume, to focus on the good memories of your Dad. It is ok to celebrate the good memories.
      You sound like a strong and resourceful person. Please take care of yourself and continue learning and growing.
      Walking the Path of Peace,

  3. Hello Sanders,
    This is such a timely subject, isn’t it? And I truly resonate with your tag line.. walking the path of peace. That is huge in making changes in our life, isn’t it?
    My go to is always meditation. It has been a huge welcome in my world. And I am learning about neurofeedback as a method of teaching our brains new way of adapting.. have you heard or experienced this?
    I have a friend that goes to sleep listening to binural beats. He insists that it allows him healing and greater thought.
    Really great and helpful article.
    In peace and gratitude, ariel

    • Hi Ariel,
      Thanks for your comments. The tagline came from a couple of things. I am retired from the US Navy and now enjoying Peace without all the stress and worry about life; or rather the uncertainty of life. It helps keep me focused on where I want to grow and develop as a person. Good to hear you practice meditation and use it. I have noticed a big change in my own life over the years I have meditated, even though my meditation practices do not really fit under a particular teachings. I mix and match what works for me.
      Neurofeedback. I have a very general idea and I think of it as meditation on steriods. Using technology to target specific areas of the brain to help repair and strenghten, I think will show great improvements in quality of life for those with strokes and other types of brain injuries.
      Binaural beats are something gaining in popular use but you can find almost as many who dislike it as those who do. And even more who have never heard of it. If your friend says it helps, it does. We all have the things in our lives that make things easier and sometimes what works for one does not work for another. I use feverfew to control my headaches. Some of my other relatives have not gotten any relief from feverfew at all. We all find our way.
      Walking the Path of Peace,


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.