Knowing PTSD and its impact
Home / Health & Wellness Articles / Mental Health / Knowing PTSD and its impact

Knowing PTSD and its impact


What is PTSD?

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is an mental health condition that some people experience after seeing or living through a traumatic event or any situation where there is a perceived threat.  Traumatic events can include tornadoes, plane crashes, murders, school shootings, car accidents, bombings, the death of a loved one, sexual assaults, abuse or any other negative event that has a significant impact on one or more people. Often, the anniversary of a traumatic event can bring about several days or weeks of anxiety, fear, nightmares, depression, and flashbacks.

PTSD can interfere with daily tasks by hindering their interests in otherwise pleasurable activities and events, compounding other mental health conditions like depression and anxiety, and have negative effects on mood and behavior.

Who can be Diagnosed with PTSD?

To be diagnosed with PTSD, symptoms must be present for more than one month, and the traumatic event must cause significant clinical distress or impairment in social, occupational or other important areas of life.

What are Some Signs of PTSD?

Complications can result from untreated PTSD, including generalized anxiety disorder, panic attacks, major depression, substance abuse and problems with health, career and relationships.

Individuals with PTSD typically experience persistent recurrences of the traumatic event. They experience intrusive thoughts, mental images and/or disturbing dreams recalling the traumatic event. Some people may experience illusions or flashbacks as if the traumatic event is reoccurring.

Any reminders of the trauma can be distressing. Avoiding anything symbolic of the event becomes a priority and can lead to alterations in behavior, general routines, or interests.

It is common for individuals with PTSD to be alert, yet unable to concentrate. PTSD can cause people to act extremely watchful to protect themselves from danger. Constant worry, anxiety, becoming easily startled and even frequent panic attacks may be common. For some people, falling asleep and staying asleep can be difficult. Rage, extreme irritability and intense agitation are also common symptoms of PTSD.

“When I see PTSD in people it just looks heavy. Many people with PTSD are very anxious — all of these symptoms create a lot of anxiety. The fear of being in traffic or running into a particular person or of a particular thing happening. People with PTSD tend to often be on-guard and it’s just very tiring and very isolating,” Dr. Jodie Robison, Executive Director of Centerstone’s Military Services explains.

PTSD and Soldiers:

PTSD is very common among soldiers and veterans, affecting 1 in 4. This is likely related to traumatic events that are often witnessed and experienced during combat situations.

In a recent report from the Center for Military Health Policy Research, early evidence suggests that the psychological toll of deployments (many involving prolonged exposures to combat-related stress over multiple rotations) may be higher compared with the physical injuries of combat.

Concerns most recently centered on two combat-related injuries in particular: PTSD and traumatic brain injury. Recent reports have referred to these as the signature wounds of the Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts.

What can I Do to Help?

  • Educate yourself. Learn the symptoms of PTSD and identify the triggers and warning signs. Knowledge and acceptance are the first steps in recovery.
  • Reduce stress. Find anxiety-reducing techniques such as prayer, meditation, exercise, yoga, deep breathing or spending time with close friends and family.
  • Manage behaviors. Practice anger control and conflict-resolution skills.
  • Practice patience. Learn to forgive yourself. Learn new things. Set both short- and long-term goals. Acknowledge your accomplishments. Count your victories in the battle of PTSD recovery in incremental steps.
  • Seek support. Talk with a counselor for guidance and support. The goal of treatment is to reduce the emotional and physical symptoms of PTSD, to improve daily functioning and to help individuals cope with the traumatic event that triggered the disorder.  Many people experience notable improvements in their PTSD with only 15 sessions of therapy.

Getting Help

If you are struggling with symptoms of PTSD, Centerstone is here for you.  We have friendly professionals who are well-equipped to help you manage and overcome your PTSD.  Additionally, Centerstone’s Military Services  is well-versed in military culture and is very understanding of the distinct experiences that veterans and other military personnel have lived through.  Connect with any of our clinicians now by calling 1-877-HOPE123 (877-467-3123).


Related Posts

No image set - Centerstone logo

Centerstone to participate in Giving Tuesday and Give STL Day

Centerstone is collecting donations to help clients continue services during this time. Centerstone, a national leader in behavioral health care, is participating in #GivingTuesdayNow on Tuesday, May 5, 2020 and #GiveSTLDay on Thursday, May 7, 2020. Donations from these online campaigns will benefit clients through Centerstone’s Changing Lives Together: Mental Health Crisis Fund. “Donations from ...

Behavioral Health Safety Net

Improving Access to Mental Health Care in Tennessee

Thousands of Tennesseans are in a mental health care gap – which means they have barriers (such as cost and coverage) to accessing services they want and need. I have dedicated 30 years to providing mental health services and alcohol and substance use treatment, and I have seen the negative impacts of that gap in ...

Mental Health

Centerstone Featured in TIME Magazine’s Health Innovation Issue

“They’re Going To Pull Out All The Stops” ~ Becky Stoll, vice president for crisis and disaster management for Centerstone Centerstone is featured in TIME Magazine’s Nov. 4 Health Innovation Issue, which includes a special report on the ways hospitals and behavioral health centers are changing their suicide prevention protocols. Below is an excerpt of TIME’s ...


Regional CEO Melissa Larkin-Skinner speaks about mental health leadership

Melissa Larkin-Skinner, Regional CEO of Centerstone based in Florida, was the special guest on “The #PopHealth Show” with Anthony Diaz. During this 23-minute podcast, Melissa speaks about her career helping people with mental health and substance use issues, and how Centerstone is leading the way to help people around the nation get the treatment they ...

Mental Health

Mental Health Needs Its Own 3-Digit Hotline

At a young age, most people know to dial 9-1-1 in an emergency. For someone amid a mental health or suicide crisis, a phone number to dial for immediate help is not easy to recall. As a nation, we’re fortunate to have the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255), which connects individuals with crisis services through ...

Call Now