Trauma is one of the most memorable incidents that humans can endure and your memory will retain for the duration of your life allowing you to clearly recall the event at any given time. PTSD is essentially the same idea except on a much higher scale. “Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that's triggered by a terrifying event — either experiencing it or witnessing it. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event,” (Mayo Clinic). PTSD is a very complex disorder and can have many causes, effects, and potential cures which all depend on the severity of the trauma.
“PTSD is a mental health problem that some people develop after experiencing or witnessing a life-threatening event, like combat, a natural disaster, a car accident, or sexual assault” (U.S. DVA). The key phrase from this quote is “life-threatening event,” as PTSD does not come from a minor event, somewhat scary event. In fact, the only situation that can trigger PTSD is a completely traumatizing and life changing incident. PTSD is most commonly seen in war veterans, many of which are unable to recover. According to the Smithsonian, there are about 270,000 Vietnam War veterans who are still struggling with PTSD, which is about eleven percent of the ones still alive (Smithsonian).
According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, people suffering with PTSD may experience at least one of four symptoms which vary depending on the severity of the case. The four potential symptoms are the following; reliving the event or having flashbacks, avoiding situations that remind you of the event (also avoiding people who could bring back memories), having negative beliefs and feelings (disappointment in yourself and fear of the world), and feeling keyed up (always on the lookout for potential danger) (U.S. DVA). Typically, the more symptoms a person has, the more severe their PTSD is. Also, According to the NIMH, a person must have recurring symptoms for up to one month to be officially diagnosed with PTSD (NIMH).
“As with most mental illnesses, no cure exists for PTSD, but the symptoms can be effectively managed to restore the affected individual to normal functioning,” (PsychGuides). As explained in the quote, although it is not possible cure to PTSD, there are treatment options available which may allow a person suffering with PTSD to return to living normal lives. According to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, there are two possible treatments for PTSD. These two treatments are therapy and medications, which are usually a last resort unless combined with therapy. They also explain that “A number of sufferers with PTSD may recover with no or limited interventions,” (NICE) but the chances of that happening are low. Unfortunately, the current available treatment options are not able to treat everyone with PTSD, which leaves many people experiencing symptoms for the rest of their lives.
In conclusion, PTSD is a mental illness caused by a severely traumatizing event in a person's life that makes them experience flashbacks and nightmares. Although there is currently no medicinal cure for PTSD, there are many treatment options which can greatly decrease, or even remove, all symptoms allowing people to live somewhat normally, with the occasional flashback or nightmare.