Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Did you know that annually, more than 1.5 million Nigerians suffer from
stress-related disorders? Sadly, a sizable portion of people is still unaware of
what it is. People who undergo traumatic experiences, such as an accident, terrorist
attack, sexual harassment, or rape, or simply suffered a significant injury, may
develop PTSD, a psychological disease.
It was also called "shell shock" and "battle exhaustion" during the World Wars,
titles that do not accurately reflect the intensity of that period in the lives of
It's critical to avoid the misconception that PTSD only affects a particular
It is neither selective nor discriminatory; anyone, regardless of gender, color,
religion, cultural group, or ethnicity, could experience it. The national health
center for PTSD estimates that 7 to 8 persons out of every 100 will get PTSD at some
point in their lives.
Traumatic and risky circumstances caused patients to have PTSD.
After a traumatic event, it's normal to feel fear. However, fear causes many
split-second changes in an individual (coping mechanisms), which aid in defending or
combating danger. While everyone will react differently to stress, some people will
not be able to overcome their first symptoms on their own and will require
assistance and guidance to recover from PTSD.
The majority of the time, symptoms appear within three months, though they can
potentially show up three years later.
PTSD Warning Signs
Those in need of assistance always have access to it, but to receive it, we must
first recognize the signs.
One must have been exposed to a traumatic event to receive a diagnosis of PTSD,
this exposure need not always be direct; it could be as a result of learning
about a loved one's violent death or as a result of harassment such as police
violence, child abuse, or rape.
Signs of avoidance
Avoiding sights, behaviors, and even physical things that may serve as triggers
or reminders of a traumatic incident. Victims frequently avoid discussing what
occurred or expressing their views about the circumstance.
Consider a woman who is robbed while out for a stroll in the neighborhood. She
might decide to stop taking a stroll altogether, move out of the area, carry
pepper spray, or get a weapon. Changes in behavior or regular patterns are
brought on by avoidance symptoms.
It is important to remember that to be diagnosed with PTSD, symptoms must persist
for longer than a month and must significantly disrupt daily activities. It is
normal for people to experience these symptoms because they are prone to be
provoked in certain situations.
Three months after a traumatic occurrence, many individuals start to exhibit
symptoms. It might also appear alongside other disorders like depression or
other mental illnesses.
People with PTSD experience it in different ways, so a treatment that is
effective for one person may not be as effective for another. PTSD is one
condition that needs to be handled with extreme caution because it primarily
affects mental health. For example, if a child has PTSD and was raised in an
abusive environment, both the abuse situation and the PTSD itself need to be
It is important to remember that not everyone who experiences trauma goes on to
acquire PTSD, and there are various non-psychiatric treatments available for the
Simple guidelines to follow:
The condition is not age or gender specific and can affect any human. Although
women are more likely than men to develop PTSD, genes may also play a role in
this condition. Given that the sickness is brought on by trauma, it would also
be a good idea to safe-proof the surroundings for kids and teenagers. If you
have the illness, do not feel inferior or ashamed of yourself because you have
no control over it. Instead, strive for improvement.
Joining a study group or group therapy sessions could help someone else who is
struggling with the same condition find the inspiration they need to combat it.
At the end of the day, keep in mind that you're not alone and that developing
effective coping mechanisms may speed up your recovery.