Living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Home » Living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

What is PTSD?

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a type of anxiety disorder that is developed after a person has experienced a traumatic life event.

PTSD Facts & Figures:

  • People who have experienced sexual or physical abuse are more likely to develop PTSD than people who experienced unintentional trauma.
  • Serious car accidents are the leading causes of PTSD in Australia.
  • About 25% of people exposed to a traumatic event develop PTSD.
  • Women are more likely to develop PTSD than men.
  • About 12% of all Australians will experience PTSD at some point in their life.
  • PTSD can affect people of all age even children and teens.

Signs & Symptoms

According to Beyond Blue, people with PTSD often experience feelings of panic or extreme fear, similar to the fear they felt during the traumatic event. There may be intense emotional or physical reactions, such as sweating, heart palpitations or panic when reminded of the event.

A person with PTSD experiences four main types of difficulties:

  • Re-living the traumatic event – They might have unwanted and recurring memories, such as nightmares or vivid images.
  • Being overly alert or wound up – This might mean sleeping difficulties, irritability and lack of concentration. They might be on constant look out for danger.
  • Avoiding reminders of the event – Certain activities, places, people, thoughts or feelings associated with the event might bring up painful memories and will be avoided, if possible.
  • Feeling emotionally numb – The person loses interest in day-to-day activities, feels cut off and detached from friends and family, or feels emotionally flat and numb.

Managing PTSD

With the right help, a person living with PTSD can learn to manage their anxiety. Anyone feeling severe stress, panic and anxiety regularly after a traumatic event, should speak with their doctor. Ignoring your condition or trying to block out these painful memories on your own can be detrimental in the long run so we always advise speaking with a health professional for effective treatment. Treatment usually involves psychological treatment but medication can also be prescribed in some cases.

If you know someone going through PTSD, your support is important. By providing care and support, you allow that person with PTSD to focus on their recovery.

If you would like to chat with your GP here at Northside Health about PTSD, please call 6652 5322 or use the HotDoc to arrange an appointment.

If you are feeling suicidal or need crisis support, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14.