I feel very honoured and very thankful, to have been asked to share this article, by Joan Swart – Psy D @ Open Forest LLC
The importance of a good mental health online resource is undisputed. It is widely accessible, free or low cost, and usually easy to use. Together with an incredible amount of insightful information to support sufferers of PTSD, the “Healing From Complex Trauma & PTSD/CPTSD” website has won awards and showcase plenty of positive testimonials to prove the confidence of professionals and users. But, before we delve further into this valuable resource, a bit more about the prominence of PTSD.
The effects of trauma are more widespread than you think
It is estimated that 70 percent of adults in the U.S. have experienced some kind of traumatic event at least once in their lives. This equates to about 225 million people, of which up to one-out-of-five go on to develop PTSD. This means that there are approximately 45 million individuals in the U.S. alone who were or are struggling with PTSD. Furthermore, about one-out-of-nine women develop PTSD, nearly twice as likely as men.
The cost resulting from PTSD is astronomical
As one can imagine, the annual cost to society regarding healthcare services, loss of productivity and quality of life, disruptions to families and communities, and intergenerational effects are astronomical. PTSD is a psychobiological disorder. This means that it is associated with physical and biological changes, such as brain function and hormonal imbalances, as well as emotional and thought disturbances. The development and symptoms of PTSD are so varied that it is sometimes overlooked or misdiagnosed.
The onset and symptoms of PTSD are varied
Some cases of PTSD may be delayed, with only subtle symptoms showing up initially and more severe symptoms emerging months after the traumatic event. Symptoms are diverse, with official classifications listing up to 28 criteria components. These include intense and unwanted recurring memories of the event, nightmares, emotional numbness, intense guilt or worry, angry outbursts, feeling on edge, and avoiding thoughts and situations that are reminders of the trauma.
Although different people seem to develop PTSD in various ways, the effect of traumatic events appears to be cumulative. This means that every time a trauma is experienced, the probability of developing PTSD and the intensity of the symptoms are likely to increase. Taking into account that 26 percent of children in the U.S. will witness or experience a traumatic event before they turn four, the chances of PTSD increase dramatically. Certain settings and contexts further multiply the risk, such as exposure to combat, domestic abuse, sexual assault, imprisonment, terrorism, gang activities, natural disasters, and severe personal loss (e.g. employment, housing, spouse, child). Continue reading