• Post-traumatic stress disorder facts

    PTSD, MHFA training
    September, 2019

    Post-traumatic stress disorder facts

    PTSD, MHFA training

    PTSD Facts

    • 12 % of Australians will experience post-traumatic stress disorder in their lifetime.
    • Serious accidents are one of the major causes of PTSD in Australia.
    • Anybody can develop PTSD, women are more likely to develop PTSD compared to men.
    • 86% of men, 77% of women with PTSD are likely to have another disorder, such as, depression, anxiety or substance use disorder.
    • PTSD diagnosis, symptoms must last for more than one month, create distress or functional impairment.
    • People with PTSD can make a full recovery.

    What is post-traumatic stress disorder?

    Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a group of stress responses that can develop after the person witnesses a traumatic incident or event, such as death of a loved one, serious injury, accident, incident, war, torture, natural disaster (bushfires, flood, earthquakes) or physical or sexual violence to themselves or to others. These traumatic events might occur over a period of time, or can be a single event.

    Around one million Australians experience PTSD in anyone year.

    Risk factors:

    Trauma exposure is the initiating factor behind PTSD, however, there could be additional factors that might contribute to the likelihood of developing post-traumatic stress disorder. We need to consider that an event which is traumatising for one person, may not be traumatising for another person.

    •  Biological and neurological factors
    • Social past experiences
    • Societal factors
    • History of mental health
    • Genetical factors
    • Life stressors

    Signs and Symptoms of PTSD

     PTSD has four main types of symptoms:

    1. Re-living the traumatic event:

    • unwanted and repeated recollections of events, flashbacks or intense nightmares.
    • Reliving the event which could leads to sweating, heart palpitations or panic.

    2. Avoiding reminders of the event:

    • thoughts, emotional state, people, places, activities, conversations or circumstances that bring back memories of the event.

    3.  Negative changes in feelings and thoughts after trauma:

    • feeling angry, afraid, guilty, flat or numb,
    • developing beliefs such as “I’m bad” or “The world’s unsafe”
    • feeling detached from others

    4. Being overly alert or ‘edge’:

    • indicated by sleeping difficulties, irritability, lack of attentiveness, becoming easily frightened and continually being on the lookout for signs of danger.
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