What is PTSD?

PTSD is a term that is heard often. But what is it and how does it differ amongst individuals? Perhaps you or someone you know is wondering if they have PTSD. Or perhaps you simply want to understand the term better. Read on to find out some important facts about PTSD.

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PTSD Explained

PTSD stands for post-traumatic stress disorder and is a type of mental health problem that can develop after either long-term, repeated or individual traumatic events. It was first noticed in war veterans and was previously called ‘shell shock’. It is not just military personnel who are affected, however, as all sorts of traumatic events can prompt the onset of the condition.

When is PTSD diagnosed?

Many people will experience symptoms associated with PTSD, such as sleeplessness after traumatic events, but these normally only last for a few weeks and are often classed as an acute stress reaction. When symptoms last longer than a month, it is possible that a PTSD diagnosis is appropriate.

If your GP suspects PTSD, you are likely to be referred to a specialist and other services. There are mental health training courses Swansea and elsewhere, including those offered by training specialists such as tidaltraining.co.uk/mental-health-training-courses/swansea, which cover PTSD as well as other conditions.

Types of PTSD

You may be told you have severe, moderate or mild PTSD and this refers to the impact that your symptoms have on you. There are also different ways to describe PTSD depending on the individual case. For example, you may be told you have delayed-onset PTSD when symptoms become noticeable more than six months after a traumatic event.

Complex PTSD is another term that is used. This usually describes those who have experienced long-term trauma or traumatic events at an early age. There are more details about complex PTSD on the NHS website here.

PTSD that develops in relation to trauma around childbirth may be described as birth trauma. Secondary trauma describes a type of PTSD related to supporting someone else who has experienced trauma.

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Author: Niru Taylor

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