You can take steps to help a loved one cope with stress brought on by a traumatic event, whether it's a result of an accident, violence of any kind — such as an assault; verbal, physical, domestic or sexual abuse; or military combat — or another type of trauma. A person with acute stress disorder ASD has severe stress symptoms during the first month after the traumatic event. Often, this involves feeling afraid or on edge, flashbacks or nightmares, difficulty sleeping, or other symptoms. If your loved one has symptoms that last longer than a month and make it hard to go about daily routines, go to work or school, or handle important tasks, he or she could have post-traumatic stress disorder PTSD. Whether your loved one has ASD or PTSD, assessment and counseling psychotherapy by a professional can make a critical difference in recovery.
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There are many different types of symptoms that someone can have after a trauma, but PTSD symptoms fall into 3 categories:. Increased anxiety or arousal, including being constantly on guard for danger, and being easily startled. John is a year-old man who witnessed his grandson die in an automobile accident. A semi-truck trailer crashed into the car John was driving. His grandson was a passenger in the front seat. Although John had some minor injuries after the accident, his grandson died at the scene. Before the accident, John ran a successful small business and was very close to his family.
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Around 1 in 3 adults in England report having experienced at least one traumatic event. Traumatic events can be defined as experiences that put either a person or someone close to them at risk of serious harm or death. These can include:. This fight or flight response, where your body produces chemicals which prepare your body for an emergency can lead to symptoms such as:. Directly after the event people may also experience shock and denial.
By Lisa Rapaport , Reuters Health. Reuters Health - Men and women with post-traumatic stress disorder PTSD may also experience sexual dysfunction and relationship difficulties, a new research review suggests. About 6 percent of men and 13 percent of women will experience PTSD at some point in their life, Yehuda and colleagues note in the Journal of Sexual Medicine. Triggers for the condition include exposure to actual or threatened death, serious injury or sexual violence, as well as witnessing a loved one endure this kind of trauma. Symptoms can include recurrent flashbacks and nightmares; instinctive avoidance of situations that might trigger a reminder of the trauma; emotions of guilt, shame, anger or feelings of alienation and disinterest in previously enjoyable activities; as well as changes in arousal and difficulties with concentration and sleep.