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Are you suffering from PTSD?

When people hear the term PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder, they usually think of someone in the military who suffers from the effects of a war-related situation. However, you may have witnessed a horrific construction accident or been traumatized by workplace violence, such as a shooting incident. You may be a firefighter, police officer or medical technician who is often first on the scene of an accident. Some of these disasters can leave lasting impressions on the toughest, most experienced professionals. After the events of 9/11, many first responders in New York suffered PTSD, and the condition is certainly not uncommon today.

How to recognize PTSD symptoms

PTSD can occur following your exposure to a terrifying or traumatic event that leaves you or someone else with serious injuries. You may have witnessed a death associated with this event or felt your own life was in imminent danger. As a result, you may avoid going back to the place where the incident occurred. You may also have troubling flashbacks or nightmares. You may try not to think about the event, finding that to do so raises your heart rate, makes you fearful or angry. At the very least, you might find that you tense up more often than you used to, are prone to angry outbursts or have difficulty sleeping. You may have a lack of enthusiasm for activities you use to enjoy. If the event you witnessed or in which you were involved happened at your place of employment, such as a construction job site, you may not want to return to work.

Treatment approaches

If you are suffering from PTSD, you may well feel that you have lost control of your life. Learning more about the condition may help you to cope, and counseling is available for you and your family. There are also medications you can take. Some people with PTSD tend to turn inward, but talking about the experience that led to the problem is beneficial. Spend time with your loved ones; something as simple as going for a quiet walk helps to reconnect you with the world.

Who to turn to for help

Remember that post-traumatic stress disorder is a normal reaction to an abnormal situation. It is not a sign of weakness in any way, and it is not uncommon. No matter what led to your PTSD symptoms, help is available. Your doctor can provide medical help and information, and you can also contact mental health facilities and support groups. If you feel the issues you are dealing with have significantly hampered your life on a daily basis, or that you are eligible for financial compensation due to psychiatric injury, you may wish to seek advice from an experienced attorney.

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