What is PTSD?
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can occur after someone goes through a traumatic event like combat, assault, or disaster. Most people have some stress reactions after a trauma. If the reactions don’t go away over time or disrupt your life, you may have PTSD. It can be the result of serious single traumatic event or the cumilitive effects of prolonged exposure to traumatic events.
Trauma is a natural emotional reaction to terrible experiences that involve actual or threatened serious harm to oneself or others. However, for some people, the thoughts or memories of these events seriously affect their lives, long after any real danger has passed. This is classified as post-traumatic stress disorder, a serious anxiety disorder.
What is PTSD? (animated whiteboard video)
Symptoms of PTSD
It is normal to have stress reactions after a traumatic event. Your emotions and behavior can change in ways that are upsetting to you. Even though most people have stress reactions following a trauma, they get better in time. But, you should seek help if symptoms:
- Last longer than three months
- Cause you great distress
- Disrupt your work or home life
What should I do if I have symptoms of PTSD?
PTSD symptoms usually start soon after the traumatic event. But for some people, they may not happen until months or years after the trauma. Symptoms may come and go over many years. So, you should keep track of your symptoms and talk to someone you trust about them.
If you have symptoms that last longer than four weeks, cause you great distress, or disrupt your work or home life, you may be suffering from acute stress that has developed into PTSD. If you are seeking answers you should seek professional help from a doctor or counsellor. Please check out the list of therapists and crisis resources on the Badge of Life Canada website listed by Province and Territory.
Disclaimer: The above listed criteria is not meant to be “all encompassing” nor used as a “check-list” for a member or family member to make a “self-diagnosis” regarding their mental wellness. If feel that you are suffering please see a medical professional for a proper diagnosis to begin the process of submitting a claim to the workplace insurance board within your Province or Territory. Early diagnosis and can lead to effective results for many members so that they do not have to suffer in silence.
Adapted from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: An Information Guide © 2009 Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
Adapted from Mental Health Commission of Canada
Adapted from Moods Disorder Society of Canada
Adapted from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs