Some people experience or witness an event that threatens their life or safety, or that of others around them. While most will recover with the support of their family and friends, a significant number of people will develop post-traumatic mental health problems.
If you are constantly on edge or irritable, are having difficulty performing tasks at home or at work, find yourself unable to respond emotionally to others or keep yourself unusually busy to avoid issues or use alcohol drugs or gambling to cope, speaking to a mental health professional will help, particularly if the problems persist more than two weeks after the traumatic incident.
There is a range of reactions that indicate PTSD. These include:
- Difficulty concentrating, calculating and memory problems
- Sleep disturbance, nightmares and flashbacks
- Reliving the event over and over again
- Anxiety, fear, guilt and grief
- Anger and irritability
- Depression and/or emotional numbing
- Exaggerated startle response
- Suicidal thinking
- Avoiding places or people concerned with the traumatic event
Treatment is available that is very effective in reducing PTSD symptoms, and that can promote recovery from the traumatic experience.