Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

What is PTSD?

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, referred to as PTSD, is what can happen after you’ve experienced something particularly frightening or violent, either to yourself or having witnessed an event.

People who experience PTSD may suffer from nightmares, flashbacks or upsetting thoughts about the event.

Signs of PTSD:

Signs of PTSD may appear straight after the event or experience, however sometimes you might not notice any symptoms for a while after the traumatic event. Some people find that symptoms come and go over the years, often occurring on the anniversary of the event or when another event brings back memories of the traumatic event.

You may experience:

If you experience one or more of these signs and symptoms, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you are suffering from PTSD, but you should seek help if you are concerned.

What sorts of things can cause PTSD?

As mentioned, a traumatic event is usually what triggers PTSD, such as:

  • violence – physical, emotional, sexual
  • abuse – physical, emotional, sexual
  • car accident
  • fires – in the home or school, for example
  • natural disasters, like flooding

Who can be affected by PTSD?

Everyone can be affected by PTSD at some stage in their lives – children, teenagers and adults of all ages. However, not everyone who has experienced a serious trauma will develop PTSD; it often depends on something called ‘resilience’.

Resilience is the ability to deal with problems and issues in everyday life, and how quickly we can “bounce back”. If we have good resilience, it means that we can deal with problems more easily, whereas if we have little or no resilience, we lack the ability to recover quickly. Therefore someone who is less resilient is perhaps more likely to suffer from PTSD.

What should I do if I think I’m suffering from PTSD?

If you think you might be suffering from PTSD, it’s important to speak to a parent/carer, a teacher, a friend or another adult that you trust, who will be able to help and support you. It’s also important that at some point you speak to a GP as they will advise on the best course of treatment for you and your needs.

How can PTSD be treated?

Depending on how bad your PTSD is, will determine the best treatment for you.

Some treatments include:

                    

                    

It can be helpful to talk about what happened to help you make sense of it and to allow you to deal with your feelings and emotions. Some people worry that talking about the event or the trauma with a counsellor or another person will make things worse by reliving it all over again, and this can sometimes be the case. It is important to only talk about things if you want to - don't feel pressured into talking about things you don't want to or before you feel ready. You may find it easier to talk about how the event made you feel at the time and how it makes you feel now, which you can do without having to go into details about what actually happened.

Don’t be scared to ask for help – lots of people suffer from PTSD and it’s a totally normal reaction to very stressful or upsetting events or incidents.

Real Life Experience

If you'd like to share your story of PTSD, please email us at tewv.vrc@nhs.net to find out more information.