PTSD, which stands for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, brings up images of military war zones. However, trauma is not limited to the experiences of service men or women, it also includes death and loss of relationships; physical, emotional, and sexual abuse; and medical illnesses and emergencies. Essentially, PTSD is the result of any life event that is particularly stressful or life-threatening. PTSD can be a single or recurrent event(s).
According to Psychology Today, 7.7 million Americans are living with PTSD. Trauma may look like a number of symptoms and diagnoses, including anxiety, depression, problems in relationships, low self-esteem, addiction, eating disorders, flashbacks and other high risk behaviors. Flashbacks are a common symptom of PTSD, these traumatic memories trigger a neurobiological traumatic response in the brain, often known as our fight, flight, or freeze responses to danger. The major difference for survivors of trauma is that these memories lead the person to believe they are in imminent danger, even if they are not in any physical harm, which will lead their mind and body to respond accordingly.
Now that you’ve taken some time to lean about PTSD, my hope is that you’ll move throughout your day with more mindfulness of mental health and people who have PTSD. Below are some articles on PTSD with more specific research and findings.