FAQs About Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Understanding Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Better

If you or someone you love suffers from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), you probably have a plethora of questions regarding the subject.  This is not uncommon, as it is extremely difficult for those who have not experienced the gut wrenching feelings that don’t just simply go away after a good night’s rest. Here are some of the more common questions and misconceptions regarding post traumatic stress disorder, hopefully you will better understand a difficult-to-understand disorder:

 What causes post traumatic stress disorder?

Post traumatic stress disorder, frequently referred to as PTSD, is a mental disorder that is brought on by experiencing a traumatic event.  Post traumatic stress disorder can occur in both children and adults, or can be the result of some form of trauma as a child that only comes to light later in life. The most common causes of post traumatic stress include rape, personal attack, witnessing an attack on someone else, combat wounds and war itself.

Do genetics play a role in who develops post traumatic stress disorder?

Yes, UCLA scientsts have shown a link between an individual’s  natural genetic code and the likelihood of developing post traumatic stress disorder. The genes TPH1 and TPH2 are genes that regulate and control the output of serotonin (a chemical that regulates our mood) into our bodies, specific variants of the two genes can leave people at a greater disposition to acquire mood or mental disorders, including PTSD. This explains why some people can come out of a catastrophic event and still have a smile on their face, while others just can’t cope with the event.

What are some warning signs that you or someone you love might have PTSD?

Some signs that you or someone close to you has developed post traumatic stress disorder may include changes in mood and thought processes, as well as a seemingly sudden inability to cope with stressful situations, therefore blowing things out of proportion.  After the traumatic experience has passed, people with post traumatic stress disorder still continue to re-live the incident.  A person may become angry and violent for no reason, or completely disconnect themselves from their normal life and habits.  If you or someone you know is experiencing any or all of these symptoms, it is probably time to talk to a professional and discuss the possibility of PTSD.

 What treatments are there available for those suffering with PTSD?

While there is no tried and true cure for post traumatic stress disorder, there are great treatment plans that can help aid in getting back to living a normal life.  Because of the chemical reactions in the brain and body when someone is experiencing post traumatic stress or depression, antidepressants are often used in treating PTSD.  Talk therapy is another great way to help move beyond the fear, anger and pain and put the traumatic experiences in the past.  With the help of a good doctor and support from friends and family, almost all PTSD sufferers will regain a life that they can live, happily.

Psychology Today on PTSD


Genetics and PTSD


Treatment Plan Options

1 Comment

  1. I was diagnosed with PTSD while I was at the coabmt stress clinic in F.O.B. Anaconda (Iraq). They sent me home and told me that I can rejoin in 2 years. Now that I have made it home they conveniently lost all records of diagnosing me with PTSD or prescribing me with Seraquil for sleep. The sleep problems still come and go from time to time. I just want help getting my records so that I can get my medical privileges back. I’m just looking for help figuring this problem out. Thank you!

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