Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a commonly known mental illness diagnoses. It is listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders and the criteria is constantly changing. You can be diagnosed with PTSD if you have experienced or witnessed a traumatic situation. It could either be a near-death experience, serious injury, or even witnessing these things happen to someone else.
Symptoms and Behaviors
A person who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder may relive the event through nightmares, flashbacks, or constant thoughts. A person will try to avoid situations, peoples, or events that may trigger these symptoms. They can experience emotions of anxiety and may act jittery and on edge most of the time. Though these symptoms are similar to the ones mentioned in the article about PTS, the intensity and severity of the condition is what makes these two conditions different from each other. These symptoms of PTSD can continue for a month or longer and can interfere with a person’s life.
People suffering from PTSD can take to drinking or smoking more frequently once they have experienced a trauma. This is used to reduce the anxiety from the event and memories of it. You will start to notice a person becoming wary of crowds, loud noises, and avoiding certain news stories that could pertain to their dramatic situation. Many soldiers who fought in wars have experienced this disorder and when they hear loud noises it can take them back to the war zone and they could react as they would overseas.
There are certain medications and therapies that healthcare providers recommend. Sertraline and paroxetine are FDA approved for treatment post-traumatic stress disorder and help relieve some of the anxiety caused by the disorder. There are some psychotherapy techniques that help patients cognitively process what has happened and can relieve stress from the event or memory.
Some of the key difference to take away from PTS and PTSD are:
- PTS symptoms typically only last a month while PTSD symptoms can last well past months and last for years even
- PTS does not usually require medical intervention whereas if you suffer from PTSD it is advice to seek professional help
- PTSD is a medically-diagnosed condition
Though there are differences in both PTS and PTSD, they are both caused by trauma and help should be sought out to deal with both conditions. Find a family member or a friend to help you get through these tough times and if it comes to the point where medical attention is needed, go to your healthcare provider.