What is PTSD?

A traumatic experience can affect people in different ways. If you have been through something tragic in Louisiana, whether you were physically harmed or not, it could lead to post-traumatic stress disorder. PTSD, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, is a continuing issue involving fear, anxiety and other emotions associated with extreme trauma. 

Not everyone who goes through a serious situation will develop PTSD. It is also completely normal to experience symptoms that are associated with PTSD without actually having the disorder. Normal reactions to stress, fear or a tragic situation are what make up this disorder.

The disorder is made up of four different types of symptoms. You must experience all the different types of symptoms to be diagnosed. The types of symptoms include re-experiencing, which are where you re-experience the incident in some way and avoidance, which is when you stay away from things that could remind you of the event. You must experience at least one of each of those symptoms. The other types of which you must experience two symptoms are arousal and reactivity, which include reactions you have when triggered, and cognition and mood, which are symptoms of issues with your thinking and feelings.

It is the prolonged experience of such symptoms that lead to a diagnosis. For example, after a serious car accident, you may have bad dreams or flashbacks for weeks after the accident. For most people, these symptoms eventually stop and do not reoccur. If you have PTSD, the symptoms will not stop. If symptoms last for at least a month, you may be diagnosed with the disorder. This information is for education and is not legal advice.