Anyone can go through a traumatic event (or trauma). In fact, about half of all men and women will experience at least one trauma, like combat, a natural disaster, a car accident, or sexual assault, in their lives. It’s normal to think, act, and feel differently than usual after a traumatic experience, but if those reactions don’t improve after a few weeks or months, it may be posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). If you or someone you know is having a difficult time moving past a trauma, take the steps to learn about PTSD and how to get help.
PTSD is a mental health concern that some people develop after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event. About 8 million adults have PTSD during a given year, and this is only a small portion of those who have gone through a trauma. Although we all react to a traumatic event, most people see their symptoms and stress lessen over time.
Everyone’s response and experience after a trauma is different, but people with PTSD have four main types of symptoms; reliving or re-experiencing the event, avoiding situations that remind them of the event, hyperarousal or being on guard, and negative changes in beliefs and feelings. Not everyone who experiences a trauma develops PTSD, but for those who do, it can have a serious impact on their life, work, and relationships.
Just like a physical injury, PTSD usually doesn’t get better if it isn’t treated. Without proper care, the symptoms may even get worse over time. PTSD treatment works and can help people make sense of their trauma, learn skills to better handle negative thoughts, feelings, and reconnect with people they care about.
This decision aid helps you learn about effective PTSD treatment options. You can read about the treatments or watch videos explaining how they work. You can even build a chart to compare the treatments you like most. At the end, you will get a personalized summary.