PTSD: The Taboo Which Needs To Be Talked About!


Time heals everything? Not always, especially in the case of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). 

“I still remember when the bullets were fired inches away from me. I get flashes of that night when I try to sleep.” Says Inaya (name changed), a 26/11 survivor who escaped the brutal Mumbai terrorist attacks which shook the nation on 26th November, 2008. She was diagnosed with PTSD in 2014, 6 years after the incident.

So in this article, we shed some light on what exactly is PTSD, its symptoms and how to cope with it. Give it a read and do share with your friend and family to spread awareness about the condition.

What Is PTSD?

PTSD (Post-traumatic Stress Disorder) is an anxiety disorder that may occur in response to experiencing distressful, shocking, and life-threatening events. It causes changes in the brain that leads to impairment in emotional and thinking processes.

What Can Cause It?

Any event which feels overwhelmingly threatening or scary to the person involved such as war, rape, terrorist attack, sexual or physical abuse, or even getting ragged in college can trigger PTSD. Certain events are more likely to cause this disorder than others like sexual assault and childhood neglect.

Note that 5 out of 10 women are exposed to traumatic event! So, women are twice as likely than men to suffer from this disorder.  

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What Are The Symptoms Of PTSD?

Major symptoms fall in either of these 4 categories: 

Symptom #1: Flashbacks

– Upsetting memories of the event.

– Reliving those memories through nightmares and visual flashbacks.

– Feeling as if it is happening again. The flashbacks may get triggered with or without any reason. 

– Strange body reaction (like increased heart rate) when reminded of the event.

Symptom #2: Avoidance

– Avoiding everything, every person, every place and every thought that reminds them of that event.

– Avoiding socializing and people in general.

Symptom #3: Increased alertness

– Easily startled (may jump up when the phone rings)

– May turn self-destructive

– May feel irritated all the time with or without reason

– Unable to sleep and concentrate

Symptom #4: Negative thoughts and feelings

– May feel that the world is unsafe

– Persistent negativity and may blame themselves for the tragedy

– Unable to feel any warmth and love

– May feel detached from others

Is It PTSD Or Not? Tips To Know!

Tip #1: If you have developed any 1 symptom in each of the 4 categories AFTER experiencing a traumatic event, then you might have PTSD. (If the anxiety symptoms were already present before the trauma, then it is probably not PTSD)

Tip #2: It is normal to feel anxious right after a trauma. But these anxious feelings usually settle over time. If time doesn’t heal this anxiety, you may have PTSD.

How To Cope Up With PTSD?

– Seek the help of a therapist.

– Speak up! Share your feelings with someone you trust.

– Remind yourself of the present by telling yourself that the episode is over.

– In case of a flashback, your breathing may get disrupted. Focus on your breathing to divert your attention from the flashback.

– Engage in your hobbies and physical activity.

– Accept the fact that it will improve gradually and give yourself the time to recover.

**Consult India’s best doctors here**

Can PTSD Be Treated?

Yes! PTSD can be managed with medications and psychological therapies (such as trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy or eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) under the guidance of psychiatrists and psychologists. 

Keep in mind that PTSD is real and if unaddressed can lead to serious repercussions. So, it is important to get treated.   

Take Care!

It is said that people with PTSD will ask for help. But they don’t. They avoid talking about it. So if they do talk to you, be all ears. It’s a myth that only obviously life-threatening events can cause post-traumatic stress disorder. Recognize the facts, not fiction.

(The article is reviewed by Dr. Swati Mishra, Medical Editor)

Recommended Reads:

What Happens To Your Body When You Are Stressed?

How To Avoid Stress At Workplace: 5 Tips That Can Help!

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