What Events Cause PTSD?

Many people don’t realize the origins of PTSD, which is post-traumatic stress disorder. Because of television shows, movies, and the media, many of us only relate it to those who served in combat. This is a problem because people who need help with PTSD may believe they don’t have it. The important thing to know is that there are many kinds of trauma that can lead to PTSD. And anyone can get it. It doesn’t affect only specific age groups, genders, or backgrounds. As we learn more through research, hopefully more people can get help. Here is more on the events that cause PTSD and how to get help.

What PTSD Is, and What We Know About Its History

Shellshock, nostalgia, and soldier’s heart. These are a few of the names for PTSD in history. While we believe that PTSD has been around since humanity, it is as recent as the 1980s when it became listed as a real mental health condition.

According to the History Channel:

For example, in the Epic of Gilgamesh, the earliest surviving major work of literature (dating back to 2100 B.C.), the main character Gilgamesh witnesses the death of his closest friend, Enkidu. Gilgamesh is tormented by the trauma of Enkidu’s death, experiencing recurrent and intrusive recollections and nightmares related to the event.

As far back as 440 B.C., some form of PTSD showed up in literature. Even with all of our technology and knowledge, we learn more every day about how PTSD happens and what causes it. The point is, you’re not alone. This is something that has been around throughout the ages. The significant thing is that we have more knowledge on effective treatment methods.

What Events Cause PTSD

As mentioned, when talking about PTSD it was combat veterans and first responders usually thought of. And yes, these people fall under the at-risk category because of their experiences. Yet, there are various types of trauma leading to PTSD. Simply put, you do not have to be in a war zone to experience the effects of this mental health disorder.

Some events causing PTSD include:

  • Combat situations.
  • Repeated exposure to trauma (police officers, EMTs, and even emergency room doctors).
  • Physical abuse.
  • Death of a loved one, friend, or anyone close to you.
  • Sexual assault and rape.
  • A life-threatening medical diagnosis.
  • Torture.
  • A natural disaster (fires, flooding, hurricanes, tornadoes, etc.).
  • Childhood neglect.
  • A plane crash.
  • Being threatened with a weapon.
  • A car accident.
  • Kidnapping.
  • Civil conflict.
  • Robbery or a mugging.

Adults aren’t the only ones who suffer from PTSD. Children involved in divorce, medical issues, adoption, or moving can show signs of PTSD.

Some people find out that a specific event affected them more than they first thought. For instance, a person goes through a major natural disaster. At first they may seem strong. Yet, as time goes on, there are cracks in their veneer, and they experience PTSD. This person finds out that the natural disaster had more negative effects than they realized.

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The difference between PTSD and PTS

There is a difference between PTSD and PTS. One is post-traumatic stress disorder, and the other has the D in disorder dropped from its title.

In fact, the military has done this for years. Unfortunately, some believe that this minimizes the effects of PTSD. And in all fairness, they may be right since they are both different things. PTS is a typical response to stress. The symptoms are like PTSD, but we measure the difference in duration, presentation, and treatment. A person who goes through a natural disaster may experience the usual symptoms of avoidance, nightmares, fearfulness, and anxiety. A person with PTSD may experience the same thing, but it does not go away on its own. For those with PTSD, we recommend treatment. Yet, PTS is shorter-lived and may often heal without seeing a professional.

PTSD can be acute or chronic. The symptoms of acute PTSD last for at least one month but less than three months after the traumatic event. In chronic PTSD, symptoms last for over three months after exposure to trauma.

Let’s say you’re in a car accident. For the first few weeks you may feel as if you don’t want to get in a car again, and this is normal. Those in severe car accidents may have nightmares and other adverse reactions for which they need help from a PTSD treatment center.

Only you know whether treatment for PTSD is right for you. But those who seek treatment have higher success rates. Even in programs that incorporate things like exercise, yoga, or meditation — these therapies lower stress. And lowered stress means minimized PTSD symptoms in some.

Help for Trauma Causing PTSD

No matter what led to your PTSD symptoms, there is help. You may think that help isn’t for you because you’re not a first responder or have not been in a combat situation. This couldn’t be further from the truth. People of all walks of life have gone through trauma and carried the weight of PTSD around.

Another thing to keep in mind is that treatment differs from the past. We know more about how the brain works, who has the risk factors, and how to minimize effects. You don’t have to go it alone because we all need help with traumatic experiences.

At a PTSD Treatment Center, you have choices. While we use traditional therapy like psychotherapy, there are other types conducive to healing. For example, experiential services encompass things like recreational activities, adventure therapy, and music therapy. This isn’t your grandfather’s treatment center. We make you as comfortable as possible to help you learn coping mechanisms, trust yourself to live again, and make choices that help you feel better about yourself. All it takes is reaching out to us. Remember, you got this!