A-B-C, Women and PTSD, It’s Easy Like 1-2-3: Medical Trauma, Women and PTSD
What is PTSD?
Post-Traumatic Stress disorder, otherwise known as PTSD, is a mental disorder following a terrible or life-threatening event. Reactions to a traumatic event during or after the time of the event is completely normal. This is the body’s way of protecting itself against a perceived threat. Normally, the person will recover from the event and go back to normal weeks later. However, if a person’s reaction to the event is over one month, then they have PTSD. Almost 8% of the general population have PTSD. While 15-30% of trauma survivors will develop PTSD. Veterans have an even higher chance of developing PTSD.
Risk Factors For PTSD include: pre-existing mental health issues, familial history of mental disorders, experiencing multiple stressors and lack of post-trauma support.
To be diagnosed with PTSD the person must have at least one re-experiencing symptom, one avoidance symptom, one avoidance symptom, two reactive symptoms and two mood symptoms. Examples of each type of symptom include:
Bad Dreams/ Nightmares about the event
Re-living the trauma, including the symptoms repeatedly- otherwise known as flashbacks
Keeping away from places, people, objects or events that remind the victim of the trauma
Stopping oneself from having thoughts and/or feelings that are connected to the event
Being easily startled or having the feeling of being “on edge”
Having difficulty sleeping
Angry outburst for no apparent reason
Negative thoughts about oneself
Placing blame or guilt about the event on someone who does not deserve it- Including oneself
Loss of interest in things previously enjoyed
Forgetting elements of the event
Medical trauma is a different type of trauma where the life-threatening event occurs in a medical setting, such as a hospital or doctor’s office, to a person or a loved one. Although this type of trauma is not well known, it can also cause PTSD.
77% of women who have miscarriages or stillbirths develop PTSD.
20-60% of people that are in the ICU develop PTSD.