PTSD or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder affects more than just veterans. Over 12 million people every year are diagnosed with PTSD. According to the VA 6 out of 100 people will be diagnosed with PTSD in their life. Dr. Ari Lakritz, a clinical psychologist at OSF Healthcare in Alton says that PTSD describes the development of symptoms following a traumatic event, either firsthand or secondhand. PTSD diagnosis can often begin with a triggering event.
Those with PTSD may often be easily startled, irritable, and have trouble concentrating. PTSD can appear right away or months later. Treatment can vary widely depending on the person’s needs. Two evidenced-based methods he sees are cognitive processing therapy and prolonged exposure therapy.
Cognitive processing therapy has people challenge or modify their beliefs about trauma.
Prolonged exposure therapy is different and helps build up exposure to your triggers. Spending time with animals or picking up a new hobby are also options.
If you feel you have PTSD, make an appointment with a mental health provider.