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What is PTSD?

On Behalf of | Dec 20, 2018 | Violent Crimes

Many victims of violent crimes in New York experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This condition can cause a number of emotional issues and can have a long-term impact on a crime victim’s mental health. The Mayo Clinic offers the following information on PTSD, including how you can get help.

Symptoms of PTSD fall into four different categories. These are physical and emotional reactions, changes in thinking and mood, avoidance, and intrusive memories. For example, a person may have recurring memories of what occurred, also known as flashbacks. This can cause avoidance of any reminders of the traumatic incident, as well as negative thoughts about the future, irritability, self-destructive behavior, and many other changes. Other symptoms of PTSD include problems sleeping, feelings of guilt or shame, problems with interpersonal relationships, feelings of isolation, and decreased interest in your life.

PTSD can also lead to other mental and emotional conditions. For instance, a person may become depressed and anxious, or even experience suicidal thoughts. You’re more likely to experience PTSD if you already have emotional or mental issues, have a substance abuse problem, or if you’re employed in a high-risk position where you are constantly subject to threats. This includes active military members or people who respond to emergency situations, such as paramedics and firefighters.

In terms of treatment, behavioral therapy is usually recommended. This can help a person develop coping mechanisms, as well as identify triggers that can lead to episodes. Exposure therapy may also be recommended. This involves exposing a person to their trauma in a safe and controlled environment. Other types of treatment include medications, such as anti-anxiety medications or depressants.