The Facts Behind PTSD

The number of people who will develop post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is climbing every year at an alarming rate.  It is difficult, perhaps even impossible, for those of us who have not had to deal with this terrible disorder to understand exactly what pain and suffering that those,diagnosed with PTSD, go through each and every day.  The battle hardened soldiers who fight for our freedom are hit the hardest with post traumatic stress disorder, however they are not the only sufferers.  Post traumatic stress disorder is a condition that the individual can not control or simply ignore, it can happen from any form of trauma, at any stage in life.

According to the National Institute on Mental Health (NIMH), on average, approximately 7-8% of Americans will experience post traumatic stress disorder at some point in their lifetime.  Women are twice as likely to develop post traumatic stress disorder symptoms, stemming from a traumatic event.  This demonstrates that any type of trauma that can trigger severe anxious emotions within people, sometimes causing serious issues for the sufferer in every aspect of their lives.

 Combat Veterans and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

The bulk of PTSD, unfortunately, is linked to our military combat veterans.  According to Veterans Affairs, on average, one out of every three soldiers returning from a war zone are diagnosed with the symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder.  This takes the numbers from 7-8% of average Americans to a staggering 33.3% of combat veterans, and that is only includes the individuals who take the steps required to get help. Less that 40% of those suffering with the debilitating, and sometimes life altering, symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder will seek professional help.

Due to the alarming numbers of those who refuse to get help for post traumatic stress disorder, suicide has become the “only way out” for many suffering individuals.  These facts are far too grim, considering that most of the issues these soldiers suffer with can be managed, if not eliminated, through therapy and medications.  In 2009, approximately 245 soldiers, with PTSD,  committed suicide, and on average there are at least 5 veterans with PTSD, who attempt suicide, every day.  These statistics offer an apparent and bleak picture, warning that something needs to change, be it in the private sector or within the realm of military combat training.

To make matters worse,  it may come as no surprise that the resulting symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder cause problems in every facet of life. On average, two thirds of marriages fail because of the difficult and sometimes misunderstood signs and symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder.  This has resulted in over 200,000 divorces or separations, changing the lives of each party involved.  The severity of the detrimental effect that post traumatic stress disorder places on families is great and the cure is still not completely understood.


The Statistics are All Too Real, Attempt to Understand the Debilitating Disorder

To the average, healthy person who has never experienced a traumatic experience, PTSD may sound like an easy disorder to cure, leaving many individuals frustrated or impatient with an individual with PTSD.  An individual with PTSD, however, desperately wishes that he was better understood, didn’t have to explain himself, and wishes that he didn’t have to live his nightmare over and over again on a daily basis.  To better understand PTSD, open a comfortable and careful dialogue with someone you know and love, who is suffering and living with PTSD.