Erlanger Behavioral Health Hospital offers high-quality services and support for adults and senior adults who are struggling with PTSD. Located in Chattanooga, TN, Erlanger is a leading provider of PTSD treatment.
Learn about PTSD
Posttraumatic stress disorder, more commonly known as PTSD, is a mental health disorder that occurs in the aftermath of one or more particularly troubling experiences. Examples of events that can precede the onset of PTSD include military combat, acts of terrorism, physical attacks, sexual assault, automobile accidents, and natural disasters.
PTSD goes beyond temporary negative thoughts and feelings that commonly occur after a person has endured a traumatic event. For people who develop PTSD, the mental and emotional pain persists and intensifies to the point that their ability to function in a healthy and productive manner is impaired.
It is difficult to overstate the negative impact that untreated PTSD symptoms can have on a person’s life. However, when an individual who is struggling with PTSD receives treatment, their life can get much better. With the right help, you can experience relief from the effects of PTSD, learn to manage your symptoms, and pursue a healthier and more hopeful future.
Statistics about PTSD
The following statistics about trauma and PTSD were collected by the National Association for Mental Illness (NAMI), the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), and the National Center for PTSD:
- Experts estimate that PTSD affects 3.5% of the adult population in the United States in an average year, or about 8 million Americans age 18 and above.
- About 2% of adult women have experienced PTSD in the past year, as have about 1.8% of adult men.
- As many as 43% of U.S. adolescents will experience at least one type of trauma by the time they reach age 18.
- About 5% of U.S. adolescents (ages 13-18) will develop PTSD.
- Approximately 37% of people who are diagnosed with PTSD are classified as having severe symptoms.
Causes and risk factors for PTSD
Your risk for developing PTSD after living through a traumatic event can be influenced by a variety of factors, such as the following:
- Having certain mental health disorders (such as depression and anxiety)
- Experiencing significant stress or multiple traumas
- Possessing inappropriate coping abilities
- Being female
Symptoms of PTSD
Not every individual who suffers from PTSD will experience all of the symptoms listed below. However, in general, these are among the more common signs and symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder. These symptoms can also be experienced at varying levels, from mild to extreme.
- Physical and verbal aggression
- Substance abuse
- Avoiding situations, events, or people that might remind one of the trauma experienced
- Being jittery or “on edge”
- Hypervigilance (a state of elevated alertness)
- Inability to concentrate or focus
- A feeling that nowhere is safe, a consistent feeling of being in danger
- A reliving of the traumatic event through flashbacks or nightmares
- Withdrawing from family and friends
- Sharp mood swings
- Dissociation (the sensation that you are detached from your environment)
Effects of PTSD
Untreated posttraumatic stress disorder can put you at risk for a variety of negative outcomes, including the following:
- Substance abuse and addiction
- Onset or worsening of other mental health symptoms
- Problems in school or at work
- Academic failure
- Job loss and unemployment
- Financial instability
- Strained or ruined relationships
- Legal problems due to reckless or violent behaviors
- Physical injury due to reckless or violent behaviors
- Withdrawal and isolation
- Suicidal thoughts and behaviors
Your risk for negative effects such as the ones listed above can be minimized when you choose to get professional help for PTSD. While you’re receiving care, you can begin to heal from past harm. With the right type and level of services, you can overcome the effects of PTSD and once again live a healthier and more satisfying life.
Common co-occurring disorders among people who have PTSD
If you struggle with PTSD, you may also be at increased risk for certain other co-occurring mental health conditions, including the following:
- Anxiety disorders
- Depressive disorders
- Bipolar disorder
- Substance use disorders (the clinical term for addiction)
- Oppositional defiant disorder
- Major neurocognitive disorder