What is PTSD?

June 27th is PTSD Awareness Day and the team at our assisted living community in Gloucester County is raising awareness about this condition to help people better identify, treat, and cope with it.

What is PTSD? 

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a mental health condition that can be triggered by a highly stressful or traumatic event that either happens to a person or is witnessed by them. People with this condition often suffer from nightmares, severe anxiety, flashbacks, racing heart, and sweating. These can be triggered by the environment (noise, sight or smell), by something someone says, or even the person’s own thoughts.

The post-traumatic stress reaction often differs from person to person, but people with PTSD are often vulnerable to things like negative thoughts and reactions, fear, guilt, anger, outbursts of verbal or physical violence, reckless behavior, difficulty concentrating, avoidance (physical and verbal), and a lack of interest in activities they previously enjoyed.

To be diagnosed with PTSD, you need to be evaluated by a psychologist or psychiatrist with the necessary experience and specialization. Generally, a person must have documentation noting specific recurring symptoms for at least a month.

What Causes PTSD? 

There is no known specific cause or risk factor for developing this condition, as it affects people of all backgrounds, nationalities, races, culture, and age. However, women are twice as likely as men to suffer from PTSD. While one person may walk away from a traumatic event without experiencing PTSD, another may not. It’s unpredictable and affects around 3.5% of adults in the USA.

While we often associate PTSD with soldiers fighting in a war, any type of traumatic event can trigger this disorder, even if the trauma is not firsthand. For example, people have developed PTSD after receiving a phone call to tell them that a loved one has died. It can also result as exposure over time to trauma, like that experienced by police officers who deal with particularly violent, stressful, or upsetting cases.

The important thing to remember is that PTSD is treatable, and psychiatrists can work with patients to develop control over these symptoms and prevent them from getting worse, through a combination of therapy and medication.

Join Our Community and Let Your Loved One Thrive in Assisted Living, Gloucester County 

Pitman is an assisted living community in Gloucester County, NJ, offering high quality, scalable assisted living services in a comfortable, well-supported and beautiful environment. As part of the United Methodist Communities network, we also offer rehabilitation, access to therapists, hospice care, respite care and memory care and support services. We welcome seniors from all faith backgrounds.

To find out more about our assisted living community, please visit our website at https://pitman.umcommunities.org/ contact us today or book a personal tour.