PTSD may be triggered by something that:
There are many risk factors for developing PTSD. Recognizing and addressing them can help prevent PTSD, when possible. These risk factors include:
Symptoms of PTSD last more than a month. They may include:
The symptoms of PTSD may look like other mental health conditions. Always consult your health care provider for a diagnosis.
Not every person who goes through a trauma develops PTSD, or experiences symptoms at all. PTSD is diagnosed if your symptoms last more than one month. Symptoms usually begin within 3 months of the trauma, but can also start months or years later.
How long this illness lasts varies. Some people recover within 6 months, others have symptoms that last much longer.
Specific treatment for PTSD will be determined by your health care provider based on:
You may think that asking for help is a sign of weakness. In fact, taking action to make your life better takes a lot of courage. Talking about a trauma can be hard, but it can make a big difference. The main treatment for PTSD is counseling. You’ll work with a trained professional (therapist) to learn new ways to cope with your experiences. Medication may also be prescribed to help with anxiety, depression, or sleep. Most people with PTSD have a combination of counseling and medication for treatment.
Counseling is done in a safe environment, either one-on-one or in a group. Group therapy is often done with other people who have been through similar events. PTSD is often treated with one or more of the following forms of counseling. Talk to your health care provider about your options so you can decide on a counseling format that works for you.
Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your health care provider: