PTSD Fact Sheet: Frequently Asked Questions

National Center for PTSD, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
PTSD Fact Sheet: Frequently Asked Questions

What is PTSD?

PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder) is a mental health problem that some people develop after experiencing or witnessing a life-threatening event, like combat, a natural disaster, a car accident, or sexual assault.

It's normal to have upsetting memories, feel on edge, or have trouble sleeping after this type of event. At first, it may be hard to do normal daily activities, like go to work, go to school, or spend time with people you care about. But most people start to feel better after a few weeks or months.

If it's been longer than a few months and you're still having symptoms, you may have PTSD. For some people, PTSD symptoms may start later on, or they may come and go over time.

Who develops PTSD?

PTSD can happen to anyone. It is not a sign of weakness. A number of factors can increase the chance that someone will have PTSD, many of which are not under that person's control. For example, having a very intense or long-lasting traumatic event or getting injured during the event can make it more likely that a person will develop PTSD. PTSD is also more common after certain types of trauma, like combat and sexual assault.

How common is PTSD?

Here are some facts (based on the U.S. population):

  • About 7 or 8 out of every 100 people (or 7-8% of the population) will have PTSD at some point in their lives.
  • About 8 million adults have PTSD during a given year. This is only a small portion of those who have gone through a trauma.
  • About 10 of every 100 women (or 10%) develop PTSD sometime in their lives compared with about 4 of every 100 men (or 4%). Learn more about women, trauma and PTSD.

Personal factors, like previous traumatic exposure, age, and gender, can affect whether or not a person will develop PTSD. What happens after the traumatic event is also important. Stress can make PTSD more likely, while social support can make it less likely.

Learn more: How Common is PTSD?

What are the symptoms of PTSD?

There are four type of PTSD symptoms: reliving the event (nightmares, flashbacks, or triggers), avoiding situations that remind you of the event, negative changes in beliefs and feelings, and feeling keyed up (hyperarousal). Symptoms may not be exactly the same for everyone. PTSD symptoms usually start soon after the traumatic event, but they may not appear until months or years later. They also may come and go over many years. If the symptoms last longer than four weeks, cause you great distress, or interfere with your work or home life, you might have PTSD.

Learn more: Symptoms of PTSD

What can I do if I think I have PTSD?

The only way to know for sure if you have PTSD is to talk to a mental health care provider. Take the Self-Screen for PTSD (PC-PTSD-5), to learn if your symptoms suggest you should talk to a provider.

Read What Can I Do If I Think I Have PTSD? for more information on how to seek help and why it matters.

Will people with PTSD get better?

"Getting better" means different things for different people. There are many different treatment options for PTSD. For many people, these treatments can get rid of symptoms altogether. Others find they have fewer symptoms or feel that their symptoms are less intense. Your symptoms don't have to interfere with your everyday activities, work, and relationships.

What treatments are available for PTSD?

There are two main types of treatment, psychotherapy (sometimes called counseling or talk therapy) and medication. Sometimes people combine psychotherapy and medication.

Psychotherapy for PTSD

Psychotherapy, or counseling, involves meeting with a therapist.

  • Trauma-focused psychotherapy, which focuses on the memory of the traumatic event or its meaning, is the most effective treatment for PTSD. There are different types of trauma-focused psychotherapy, such as:
    • Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) where you learn skills to understand how trauma changed your thoughts and feelings. Changing how you think about the trauma can change how you feel.
    • Prolonged Exposure (PE) where you talk about your trauma repeatedly until memories are no longer upsetting. This will help you get more control over your thoughts and feelings about the trauma. You also go to places or do things that are safe, but that you have been staying away from because they remind you of the trauma.
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), which involves focusing on sounds or hand movements while you talk about the trauma. This helps your brain work through the traumatic memories.

Medications for PTSD

Medications can be effective too. Some specific SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) and SNRIs (serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors), which are used for depression, also work for PTSD. These include sertraline, paroxetine, fluoxetine, and venlafaxine.

IMPORTANT: Benzodiazepines and atypical antipsychotics should generally be avoided for PTSD treatment because they do not treat the core PTSD symptoms and can be addictive.

Who do I contact for help with PTSD? How do I locate specialists or support groups for PTSD?

How can I help a family member who has PTSD?

It is important to learn about PTSD so you can understand why it happened, how it is treated, and what you can do to help. But you also need to take care of yourself. Changes in family life are stressful, and taking care of yourself will make it easier to cope. Learn more: Helping a Family Member Who Has PTSD

As a professional, I need to locate a specific assessment instrument for PTSD. How do I do that?

Proper assessment of trauma exposure and PTSD is best accomplished with validated measures. You will find information and online courses about assessment tools and best practices on the National Center for PTSD website, here: PTSD Information for Professionals: Assessment Overview. There you will find information on a variety of measures assessing trauma and PTSD. These measures are intended for use by qualified mental health professionals and researchers. Measures authored by the National Center for PTSD staff are available as direct downloads or by request. Measures developed outside of the National Center can be requested via contact information available on the information page for the specific measure. See a list of all measures or see Using PILOTS for Assessment Information.

Posted on BrainLine November 28, 2017. Reviewed July 26, 2018.

From the National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, US Department of Veterans Affairs.

Comments (168)

Please remember, we are not able to give medical or legal advice. If you have medical concerns, please consult your doctor. All posted comments are the views and opinions of the poster only.

There are centres for PTSD for the ones suffering from it.However how dos a family member realise or understand that the person is unders stress and its not a normal one but a start of a disorder? What are the basics that need to chanage within the society to accept PTSD as an issue that need to be paid attention to?How to overcome the social stigma from the society?We need reforms and training centres for these as well . If taken care of at the start itself,PTSD can be take care off within the society as well. I am writing this as I have seen the clack attitude of the society on people having stress and depressive disorders.Any opinions on this???

It’s been years since Some guys left me stranded in a forest about an hour away from town and I still have ptsd every night and I try to ignore the fact that I got stranded in the middle of no where at 3am when I was underage and almost got raped ( that’s why they left me stranded ) & I just want the guys to go to jail now that they are already 18+ that can help my ptsd but idk if the police would even care because they didn’t care when that happened to me and they didn’t want to do anything to them because it was my fault for going with those guys and they were underage so they didn’t want to lock them up but if someone can plz help me and tell me what I can do :(

Hi. I don't really know what to say haha. I don't think anyone will see this. I feel what I went through is not as bad as what others went through. Like it's not a big deal, you know? But I have no one to talk to so um that's why I'm here. My life is not exactly normal compared to a lot of peoples. My family world travels, I'm usually surrounded with only my sisters and my mom and dad. I don't have close friends, we usually leave places before I can make any. And I think you'd expect my sisters and I to be close but most of the time we just want space. We're not rich, despite what many would think, we live in small apartments with usually two beds. It's hard to get space. But that's beside the point. A year ago my family had a falling out. A lot of things happened, they've always been pretty strict. My sister went to a party with some people she met. My parents found out, she had some alcohol, not really that bad. Despite it only being her their anger (my dads) was taken out on all of us. At the time we had our own room and were staying in an apartment for a whole year to make some money from English teaching. My dad took all of our stuff into his room, and when I say everything I mean everything. He locked all the doors in the apartment and made us sleep in the living room. The doors were locked every time they left the house. The only time we could go outside was when they wanted us to make dinner for them (chores) so we had to get food. There were fights every day. I struggle with adhd and with this happening all the time it just got so hard. A lot of things happened. they're buried somewhere in my brain, I'd rather not relive them. This is dragging on a bit long, isn't it? There was no abuse. well, I at least not physically. We were ruining their relationship, we were horrible children, we always miss behaved, they didn't love us. Remarks like that. My dad wanted to send me off to a boarding school, he only wanted to be with my mom. The reason my dad disliked me the most is that he is a naturalist. Meaning he walks around naked all the time and expects, no, more like force(ed) us to the same. He wanted us to literally be the perfect family, that's what he said. The second we entered the house our shoes, and clothes must be at the door. I hated this. If we did not do this our stuff would continue to be taken away, we would not be able to go outside, etc. My sisters accepted naturalism out of fear. One of them wasn't allowed to go to college unless she followed his rules. And who were we to call for help? The police? We didn't speak the language, and what was happening to us, it wasn't that big of a deal compared to things others have gone through. Despite being afraid I was so uncomfortable. I've always hated being naked, I don't know why. And this made everything so much worse. I was bullied for not accepting their way of life. I must do my schooling and nothing else. my dad took my bras and underwear and hid them. He thought the way I was acting was hilarious. I was terrified of him, still am. When I went to sleep, since they took away my bras I found my swimsuit and slept in that. My dad told me to take it off. He was really angry. I stood up for my self and I told him no. He said that if I didn't he would force it off me. But I still told him no. He grabbed me and forced off my swimsuit. I kicked him, but he wouldn't get off. He left some burns and rashes in the process. I wanted to die. This is it. This was the rest of my life. I went to the store by myself and hid there. When I came back home they told me they were setting some rules. that I have to take off my clothes, no matter what. I had to be a naturalist, or they wouldn't let me go outside (although I was used to this) I was painfully aware that if I didn't run they would take my clothes off for me. I was so scared, I can't even describe it. It's hard to even write about it. My dad saw me reach for the door. He grabbed me but I got loose, I sprinted barefooted to a store nearby and locked myself in the bathroom. I love locks so much. When I locked myself in the bathroom at home my dad took them out of the door. I just wanted to be alone but I wasn't allowed. I suppose I should've just accepted naturalism. Life would've been easier. But whenever I thought about it this horrible feeling washed over me. I was going to try to kill myself, to get away from him, but I was too scared to do that as well. Because this really wasn't that bad if you look at the big picture. After this experience though, unexpectedly life got better. My dad decided to leave and go back to America. He was done living with us. This is where the whole "you're ruining our relationship" comes in. It happened so quickly. He just left. My mom cried every day. I avoided being at home. My moms not that bad. I don't know if I can forgive her for trying to make me become a naturalist. For making me change in front of her even though she knew how uncomfortable I was. For letting him make me feel like I was nothing. But I know she was trying her best to be a good mom. She just was sucked into his horrible way of "living". He was gone for a year. He's back now, despite all the threats he made in his emails to her. I can't say we're living happily, we don't talk very much. I hate that he's here. But whenever I try to mention the past to my mom she gets mad at me as if it was all my fault. So that's why I'm here. I'm sorry for such a long message. I don't think I have ptsd. I have nightmares about being naked sometimes but don't we all haha. You know, forgetting to put your clothes on and them leaving the house? So yeah. so yeah that's it. That's my long and complicated story. All in all just wanted to talk to someone. It gets awfully lonely. ok bya

Honestly You Should never belittle your situation if it makes you feel a certain way Maybe people have had “worse” Pending on what you consider is worse than that Put in my personal opinion your situation does matter I know it feels little and stupid to talk about but I promise you It’s not I don’t know if you’ll ever see this again but know that you matter and that if something makes you feel distressed or distraught it dies matter the key to relive your “ptsd” Or strong emotions from what happened in my opinion is to talk about it there’s several different ways to get through it although they might not be a cure it is a treatment keeping things bottled up and never talking to anyone won’t help I promise you that I recently went through an accident which was life-threatening and I’m about a week out The feelings are terrible at first and trust me they don’t ever really get better but the key is to make them happen less often and stay in a good routine for me what works is is a really good support base therapy/counseling and oddly enough I know it’s hard to go back but if you avoid the very thing that’s causing you to feel this way in the first place it’ll never get better you got a face your issues head-on and beat them the first few days I was OK mostly still in shock but other than that I was OK couple more days went by and I started to feel anxious about certain things or events related to the accident and that caused me to stop sleeping and stop eating but lately I’ve been trying to think as positive as possible it’s been working I’ve been sleeping and eating and all of the such I still feel the emotions here and there but that’s normal for the first month or so but slowly and slowly They fade as well as the fear that was created from that accident I promise you the cops on him. That's what you should do.

i haven't even read everything you said because it's so much. you are going through alot . this does seem legit and the way your dad treats you is kinda not good. i think you should be treated better. we all love our parents but you know there is an extent where you should be mistreated you know. you may be young i don't know but if you are a young adult that can provide for yourself i would move out make some boundaries with your parents, but in a respectful way, and hopefully get some family counciling. they may not want it but getting help for me is a sign of respect for your family you know you just want the best but if they still treat you bad then.... live your life without them but keep in contact show that you still love them. hahaha i don't know... but yeah hopefully all goes well and wish you the best

Is it possible for PSTD to abuse a daughter, who perhaps initially shows love & sympathy for the father?

I was thinking, how would you say anxiety and PTSD differ? I have anxiety and so I've always ruminated past in some way, but there's this one event that I just ruminate more than the rest. It always upset me, but lately it just starting hurting more for some reason(and I know PTSD can develop later). I've gotten clammy from thinking about, I've cried randomly, I've had nightmares about it(though not a ton), I try avoiding shows and stuff that make me think of it. But I've also had this happen with phobias, so I'm not sure. But yeah, it's like the most painful thing ever for me to talk about, and I actually I used to talk about it somewhat casually but now I can't. So yeah, how would these differ?

I'm 15 Girl with childhood trauma due to neglect, psychical abuse, then leaving in a car as an infant I know my older brother raped my older sister... my mother was a druggie and alcoholic. she has been in jail contently and left her 5 kids in a car to starved (had a grandmother that fed us while she was in jail luckily but when she was out we went back to her) i watched her be taken by police and they took me and put me in the system. I didn't cope well and started bagging my head at 4-6 i was put into a mental institution where i then seen teens fighting and blood on the walls. The safe didn't have the restraints they now have to make sure it doesn't hurt us. i remember being thrown down or thrown against the wall as they have multiple people on you. leaving bruises and sometimes they give you a bloody nose or cuts not on purpose but as a kid it wasn't pleasant. to see adults and feel adults that was told to me they was here to help me but they was actually hurting me . as a child they diagnosed me with PTSD do to the symptoms I was showing. I hate therapy cause I have done it all my life since the age of 6. they left me do to there life issues as in leaving the job, moving etc. every time i got a new therapist they'd repeat what I have been taught by the others. I don't know if is still have PTSD but if someone touches me I have a bad reaction to punching, yelling, etc. I don't have the nightmares anymore, I don't really think of the past, well I never try to think of what happened. I block it out and move on. i have multiple other illnesses as in GAD, ODD, ( had depression) ADHD, mood disorder ( they say its unknown whatever that means) PTSD ( they wanted to take it off but my mother said no due to my outburst i have and i remember the smell of the soap from when i was in the mental institution. as in i remember things just from a smell but its no big deal right. doesn't mean i still have PTSD right?

im 19 and i have a very similar life story and a similar experience except when i was 17 at a mental hospital that got shut down for child abuse. i think it is ptsd..

I'm not sure if I have PTSD or not, but I'm too scared to talk about it with my therapist. I suffered from emetophobia for less than 2 years and it was extremely traumatic, I tried killing myself during that time and it's traumatizing to even remember it. I have nightmares a lot not related to the trauma but to my worries, I'm sensitive to loud noises such as yelling, doors slamming, etc. I'm loosing interest in some things I used to be interested it and can't stop thinking about the traumatic memories of that time. Do you think I have PTSD?

I am very sensitive to yelling, screaming, door slamming, sudden loud noises, car horns & alarms, and disrespectful people in general just to name a few things. It does not have to be directed at me, just occurring around me. If there is such a thing as a calm respectful child I cant remember the last time I met one (note: teachers are far under paid dealing with everyone else's kids all day). Anyway, I need classical music, a good book, the sound of a water fountain & intelligent engaging adult conversations...otherwise Im a recluse. Ill never make it to Walt Disney World. Maybe outskirts of Japan..

My loved one of 5 years has had ptsd symptoms come up due to my heart surgery. She has distanced herself from me until she gets help. This hurts because I seem to bring on anxiety for her. I am now feeling like what we had in our relationship she is giving up or letting go. She says she still loves me more than ever and cares about me, but feels shattered and can't be in our relationship with what she is feeling.
I have a feeling of anxiety now, and sadness that this may never get back to where it was. What should I do?

The only thing you can do. Respect her.

Either she is lying to u because she unable to broach another topic that has caused the disconnect; or, she doesn't know how to handle things and the distance between you two is something this person is at least convincing themselves is creating relief.

Hi Sweetheart,
First off, I want to let you know that you are a very strong person for have going through what you've gone through and are still pushing forward. That is the best you can do is to keep yourself occupied with things like work, if possible, hobbies, going to the gym. Im not talking about a full hardcore workout if you do not have the strength for that, but definitely something light because it helps tremendously when it comes to your mind body and soul. Plus you will start meeting others who are regulars and therefore, meet new people. I am going through a very very hard time in my life. It has not involved surgery, but I don't want to write a book because my problems are so severe at the moment, I can hardly leave my house. I have dealt with manic depression/anxiety all my life but about two years ago, I moved into a new place for a job position and I was doing well up until then. Long story short, I managed the apartment part-time where I was living and the owner was the devil. She would abuse me by harassing me since day one, yelling at me, calling me names, accusing me of things I was not doing, all the while the tenants said I was one of the best managers they had because any problem they had, they always got a hold of me that very day, and it was taken care of within 24 hrs. Even if it was something a simple as a light bulb change. When I came there, no one trained me to what there standards were or proceedings. I have been in management for 20 yrs but my occupation is a personal trainer for the elite and I am also a certified nutritionist who competes in body building as well so I have a lot of clients and I was able to balance these two things no problem. When I first got there, she had 4 vacancies. I rented them all in 2 months. The rents were sky high because it was Hollywood so we only had studios the time I was there and the last one I rented was $1795. All in all, since I lived there, I rented a total of 9 units and the building was at capacity. But she accused me of not being there, of tenants not being able to get a hold of me, and I bent over frontwards and backwards for this woman. At the time, I also met this man that traumatized me. I never felt this way about any man in my life. I am usually very picky, I dont get attached easily and even if I do, I will hurt a bit when its over but get over it. To this day I cannot let go of my feelings for this man. It is an obsession to where I cry everyday because of him. I shake severely, cannot sleep, can hardly shower, I snapped. I was super social and know a lot of people, had a ton of friends, would go out every time I would be depressed. I would die if I stayed home. Its been a year since I have gone out. Im sorry to drag this on. Im not trying to vent about myself but I just want to give you support and understanding that you are not alone and that others are going through this God awful disease that I dont wish on my worst enemy. All my friends are gone. I have maybe 3 friends that I still talk to. They have all tried to get me out and I can't even meet them for coffee. The gym was my addiction and i haven't trained in over a year. I have no strength, all I do is what is absolutely necessary and quickly come home and barricade myself in my room and watch tv. And then it starts. The severe shaking, my mind fills up with dread. I feel so abandoned, alone and I am terrified that this is it. I will die alone, no one will ever want to be with me, time is ticking, I will never be my normal self again and it sends me into extreme shock and I start crying uncontrollably. Honey, your friend gas probably went through a trauma of her own or has depression or anxiety and is dealing with her own demons and I'm positive she feels so guilty for not being able to be there for you but some people have so much on their plate that they can't bare to have any other problem and don't know how they can help you because they hardly know how to handle things themselves. But she still should be there for you in some way and not abandon you at the time in your life where you need her the most. You know how the saying goes, you know who your true friends are when when they stand by you through your toughest time. If she can't help you, or doesn't know how to deal with it, she can still call you and offer to have lunch with you or coffee, or act like she did before this so you are not alone and at least distract you from the situation but to if she is not willing to do that then what I would do is simply move on and wish her the best even though it may be hard but in the end, the meaning of a friend is someone who loves you, cares for your well being and is by your side at your worst time, but if she isn't even there for you emotionally, physically or in anyway, then you have to stop and think "how am I even benefiting from this friendship in any way if I am alone?" Focus on yourself and getting better and like I said before, you can even join a therapy group session of people who are going through the exact same thing you are going through and you will meet new people and not only that but people who need someone like you just like you need them and know your not alone. I guarantee that you will make new friends and even learn new coping techniques. All in all, don't be afraid to join groups, or forums with people going through the same thing your going through. It can definitely help change your outlook on life. I hope I was able to help in some way. Sorry for the novel I just wrote but I hate seeing people in pain and suffering alone because i know the feeling of not having anyone understand what your going through and that feeling of abandonment. I wish you well and if you ever need someone, I am more than happy to speak with you and try to kelp as much as I possibly can.

I agree with your statement that there are many different treatment for PTSD. I read from a blog at E-Care Behavioral Health Institute that a soldier revisits the traumatic event differently each time. Also, there are many triggers that forced the soldier to visit that event which they themselves dont know.

I have PTSD due to my ex husband when he constantly beat me over and over again. I can still see the days that he did that to me. I had a dr'S note because of it but the so call president of my communitiy ignored that because I have cats that help me with it. But the so call president made me rehome most of my cats which wasnt fair. But like i said i suffer from it and have the time i dont know what to do because all i see if when my ex husband abused me. As today i can still see it all the time. it makes me cry because of it

Hi, my name is Cassandra and I am 24 years old. I was diagnosed with PTSD at the young age of 16. I witnessed my boyfriend at the time accidentally shoot himself in the head while playing around. I can’t stress how graphic and horrific that experience was and to this day I remember every single detail to this day. I was in therapy for a short amount of time and that’s where I was diagnosed. My issue is that when I was 16, I was still too young to fully process what I had gone through. I’m the beginning I was distracted and used it as a means to live my life to the fullest because I knew that he’d never get to do anything I was just beginning to do. He never got a license, never went to prom, graduate high school or college, or even be a father. I struggle now, 8 years later more than I ever have with this experience. I have extreme anxiety about literally anything, more often than not I feel like an empty shell or just completely withdrawn from anything I can or want to feel. I’ve lost many friends recently due to me being so withdrawn to anything I used to find joy in. I haven’t been able to keep a job over the last 8 months and to people I look like this worthless and lazy person who doesn’t wanna do anything for themselves but the truth is I physically can’t. I have moments where I am okay on the outside and can function normally but more often than not anymore I can’t do anything but be in bed with my thoughts. I will be reading a book or watching a show and flash back to his lifeless body on the floor and I see brain matter and blood so much blood, and out of nowhere I snap out of it and am fine. I am currently trying to seek professional help again because I feel as if I keep getting worse with age. If anyone can offer me any advice or wants to reach out with similar situations please comment back and maybe we can speak via email. I appreciate everyone who took the time to read my story and I’m sorry that each and every one of you struggle with it one way or another.

I know you may not get this message, but gonna write it anyway in hopes that you do. I hope that your ptsd eventually gets better. What you experienced at 16, isnt easy to forget or get over. Even if you tried to suppress the memory, most likely it would have come back in some way years later. If you believe in God, only he can help you through this. Sometimes we ask, "why me"? It may not make sense but maybe there's a reason, and I believe we all have a purpose here. I decided to help others through their depression, ptsd, etc., and in some way it may in turn help me to get through. Maybe through your testimony, it may help someone else out. You will struggle but remember God doesn't look for us to be perfect, as long as we are striving to do better every day, even when there are times you cant get out of the bed that day. I hope what I've written makes sense, and God bless you.


Thanks for sharing this information. There are some conferences happening in which medical specialty would be Trauma and here is one of those conferences the conference details are given below.

American Osteopathic Society of Rheumatic Disease Organizing Congress of Medical Excellence 2.0: 48th Annual Conference of AOSRD and Integrative Health Alliance from Feb 28 - Mar 01, 2020 at Peppermill Reno, Reno, Nevada, USA.

For more information please follow the below link:

I'm currently 15 and was diagnosed with ptsd not too long ago. It's almost been 2 years, my biggest triggers are certain dates, 6/12 months I'm struggling reliving the experience. It's really hard trying to get better since my mom doesn't believe in me, although I’ve gotten better to the point of getting off meds and sticking to seeing my therapist only once a month, she still can’t help but tell me I'm not trying hard enough. My symptoms are getting worse, now I see him when he's not there, I feel like I'm falling, I don’t exactly know who I am at times, I completely zone out and although I hear others I cannot respond until it's over, I’ve been getting nightmares instead of the normal flashbacks. I get scared of the thought of never getting better, but thinking negative gets you nowhere. Anybody can get better, believe in yourself, that is the first step to getting better.

Hi Alex
I have complex PTSD and I also support othee people who have experienced mental distress for my job. I was really impressed with how you are taking responsibility for your recovery especially as you are so young. I just wanted to say in support that it's good to build up a focus on the things that make you feel good. Focus on your wellness. It doesn't matter what those things are, they are your well-being support structures that you use to make your bridges or steppingstones through recovery. It can be cuddling a per or walking a dog, cooking, baking, listening to music, doing yoga, hearing others positive recovery stories, making art of some kind, joining a laughter workshop or doing exercise and so much more. Whatever it is that makes you feel better or happy. These are the things we focus on gaining our wellness strength with and these are what help us if we get down. See if you can add some to your recovery kit. I think you are an amazing person. Kia kaha. (Go well.
I am from New Zealand and that is Maori)

I'm a 16 year firefighter in a rough city. I got into this career because my wife became pregnant while we were both going to school. I switched career paths from Botanist to Firefighter. I always had a fear of blood but was able to overcome it after passing out only once on my first day of fire academy.(They showed us a video of the results firefighters not wearing their proper gear in real fires and I had a syncopal episode). The fear drove me to become the best I could be so that knowledge I gained could outweigh my fear of the emergency by being as prepared as possible. I saw many shootings, stabbings, suicides, dead infants. I am currently on 6 blood pressure medicines a day and 2 psych meds. I turn 40 next month. Ive been going through disability and was given a therapist because they couldn't find one thing wrong with my body. I started having chest pain last year and was catheterized and was found to have a clean heart. Going to the therapist has opened up locked doors of demons Ive tried to keep shut for years. Now I can't even work on light duty because I cry when I'm there. They put me in city hall to scan papers and when my Lt came to give me my yearly evaluation today I started having chest pain and a panic attack. I don't know how to handle this and feel like therapy isn't helping.

I understand a bit because I am extremely claustrophobic. It might not be good to expose yourself to blood to much as it might increase your fear. But if you get used to it it might not cause you as much anxiety.

I am currently in counseling for PTSD as a police officer. I have been shot on duty years ago and just now seeking help. My question is should I seek a new counselor? My current counselor who specializes in EMDR said she needs a heads up before I talk about the horrible things I have seen and dealt with on the job. She said she is a trauma victim too, and that I need to remember she is a civilian and I am a police officer. So she said that she is not use to for example seeing people’s heads blow off...... what do I do? Stay and now I feel I have to be more concerned about her trauma?? Or play it out and try in the middle of the EMDR session cognitively try to Remember to prepare herself.... I mean who can I talk to if I can’t talk to my counselor

Request a referral to another counselor

Anna, as a paramedic of 25 years and former provincial police officer and ex-military, I understand your plight. If you are going out of your way to see this counselor just because she provides EMDR then let me just say two things; I received all my treatment and even though it did not include EMDR, it worked fine. There is no proof that it works (long term) and it is well known that it does nothing for many people.
May I suggest you find yourself an independent psychologist that specializes in ptsd. Your law enforcement career gives you access to these types of providers and usually covers those costs. Your treatment is more important right now than trying to prevent this counselor from getting vicarious trauma through you. Find someone who is an expert and who you can trust and feel open with. Without these elements I would have serious doubts about the long term effectiveness of any other treatment.

Anna, your medical well-being in this situation comes first. As a counselor, you are trained to deal with overwhelming/frightening situations such as what you have experienced, but that gives your counselor absolutely no reason to not provide you with the help you are seeking. Don't hesitate to seek out a new medical professional, because you definitely deserve the best for yourself. It is important to note that if you decide to transfer to a different counselor, it will by no means offend your current one. She definitely might work for some people, but as it happens, she doesn't work for you. And that is okay! Just seek out the best help for you, and remember the goal is to heal and be able to live comfortably and peacefully in your community.

I would say switch therapists. It’s hard work for any sort of therapy, and I’ve been through enough therapists to realize that it’s exhausting repeating everything over and over and over. My final therapist was who really got me through, she was a sexual abuse survivor as well, and I truly believe that is what helped me with my breakthrough. Just knowing that she really did understand. I am shocked that your therapist didn’t refer you to someone else. I am not a therapist, but I definitely feel like asking someone to give a heads up on their trauma, is crazy. No one goes into therapy thinking oh well today will be my breakthrough... I don’t even think about therapy until the day of, on the way, much less five days previous. You’re paying her, she should be accommodating you, ESPECIALLY when it’s her job. I’d seek another therapist ASAP. It honestly annoys me that this is happening to you... I’ve been to many therapists... that’s never ever happened.

I have voices and they're really bad right now!

I hope that you have found someone to help you... I just wanted you to know that you are not alone!

When I was a teen I was in a very bad relationship and was beat and my life threatened constantly the mental manipulation had me believe that if I were to leave I would die or someone in my family would. I stayed to protect them and live.
It's been 10 years since this happened and symptoms are starting to reappear over the course of a this too short to say it's a relapse? I'm getting a lot of vivid memories, nightmares and panic attacks daily

Hello there everyone, I’m here seeking some advice. I’ve had a few traumatic experiences in my life that were literally only two to four years ago. I’m a young teenager and I’m going to a psychologist but everything is just messing me up.

I have no idea if I have PTSD, I seem to have a lot of symptoms, but one major thing I do not have is nightmares? I have like 75% of the symptoms but since I don’t get nightmares, it makes me feel like I don’t actually have PTSD.

Some big factors are:

I have this huge rage storming inside me that has made me slam doors and throw small items as hard as I can at walls. It’s made me snap at my really nice friends as well.

I have this horrible pain, yet numbness as well. The pain makes me not want to eat, and I don’t really feel anymore.

I have triggers, every single time someone raises their voice, snaps, seems angry, or makes a loud noise.

I am dissociating. I don’t feel like the world around me is real. Nothing is real. I don’t even recognize myself anymore.

Whenever someon startles me, I hear the noise a lot louder and right next to me and I suddenly feel like I’m in danger.

I scratch myself. Not a lot but probably once a week or two.

There’s lots more, and I can explain in more detail if anyone wants me to, I’m just begging, please, anyone with PTSD, in your own opinion do you think I have it? It’s eating me up and I just can’t wait a few more months :/

Do you have an email address I can contact you on? I've suffered from PTSD since childhood along with other disorders so I've personally experienced a lot of what you described. And although I may not have all or the answers yet, years of therapy and self-healing have truly opened my eyes and taught me so much!

I'm so glad I found your comment cause that's I feel that's me. I'm diagnosed with major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, and PTSD I begged everyone to fix me or help me... stay strong

PTSD comes in many forms. Some have few symptoms some have more.

Every now and then when I hear loud noises to close to me I'll dive on the ground and reach for my gun that isnt there, havent been out of the houses in over a week now, normally 5+ nightmares a week, cant sleep more than 45 to 60 mins without waking up, short term memory loss, anxiety, depression, social withdrawal, afraid to be around another person, outside of being startled loud noises make me sweat profusely and vomit, and few times I wake up to gunshots or mortars and feel like im back overseas.

My friend has been diagnosed and his only issues are people getting to close to him and new or unknown areas give him anxiety, hes easily startled, irritable, loss in interest in daily activities, and hypervigiliance.

Just because he doesnt have as many symptoms or the same symptoms as me doesnt mean he doesnt have PTSD. Everyone is different.

See a psychologist and just talk about what happened. I wouldnt say not to take meds, but CPT (Cognitive Processing Therapy) helped me a lot. Also, I used to worry whether or not I had PTSD as if once someone told me itd give me closure and help or something. All in all, it doesnt matter. We just have issues and need help every now and then, get a therapist. You'll be fine, I'd say you have PTSD, but im not qualified to make that decision

I suffered some anxiety after being in my car late at night when one of the tires got stuck in a ditch. Was surrounded by some "friendly" locals who intimidated more than threatened. Gave them $50 to help me out and off I went but it triggered some memories of several violent muggings 12 years earlier, an episode where I was locked in a house until I paid to get out and even more relevant an episode where an angry crowd rocked my car with me in it until I could get off a stretch of road work and back onto the main road. I was surprised to have all this come back so strongly because I had not thought about it much at all and if I did I joked about it. But for around three to four months, I felt depressed, irritable and again mostly anxious in a general way. Someone recommended picturing my assailants and then yelling at them to recover some of my "lost control." It enabled me to use some colorful swear words but more important it really did help me regain some confidence and humor about the situation. Not a solution for everyone but I channeled by inner hotel lady from the movie Dragnet and voila kind of enjoyed the experience. Whenever I get those feelings of anxiety, I engage in the same directed swearing.

I have been diagnosed with PTSD from the VA. To make the story short an IED went off next our humvee back in 2006. I was the gunner on that patrol, I remember the shockwave and after that my memory is distorted remembering bits and pieces. That IED was intended for us, to kills us, but it went off too late. Seeing dead mangled children constantly , getting mortared, and taking fire can make even the baddest elite soldier shit their pants, but that IED changed my life forever. It left me in a state of constant shock and edginess and that was back in 2006, its 2019 now! all this bullshit is taking a toll at work now. I'm calling in more, social anxiety is crippling me, no friends, complete reclusiveness, horrible fucking memory, losing keys and wallets.....AT WORK!! mispronouncing words, the list goes on. I'm 34 at the moment but I fear the future. Going to war made me feel invincible at 18. Now I'm like a Guinea pig, mentally scared and experimented on.

I'm so sorry you're experiences have you feeling this way. My PTSD was caused for much different reasons, but the symptoms are the same. It's so challenging lately just to go into the grocery store. Sleep well I get that in increments. I have found that my dog (which I've trained myself for my PTSD), and my horses, animals are a place where I find comfort. Much more predictable. I hope you think about reaching out further, I have myself. Sounds like both of us have gotten "stuck" so to speak. Someone out here hears you, and as hard as it is to feel safe I fully believe that you can do this.

I am married to a marine that is now 54. He was diagnosed with ptsd when he was 19
I can’t stress enough how important to seek help please. Our oldest child is now 28 and she is going to have a meeting with him to talk about addressing it or he will loose his family by default ...The sad part is we still have one more daughter at home that is 15 who doesn’t feel comfortable address the issue but is very affected by it. I have now told my husband I am scared of you and you are the Incredible Hulk. So if you can fast forward and see yourself at that age I promise it doesn’t get better it gets worse. I will pray I don’t know why I signed on to read about this but I was wondering if I was suffering alone and I can’t truly see I’m not.

I grew up in a battlezone with my family. The abuse and twisted lies and violence and abuse all my life as a child caused my PTSD, no help from Police in community or Courts or Counselors. I was not allowed to talk of abuse with Mental Health Counselors and with Domestic Violence Counselors was not allowed to talk about PTSD and was told that no one counselor can discuss both. Most counselors terminated sessions when I wanted to discuss Police, stigma and their abuse towards me that happenend over 20 yrs and they refused to take real crime reports from others towards me even with pictures, tape recorded abuse and therefore I have no support system or protection from anyone. I have shared with professionals but repeating abuse stories over and over to counselors with no feedback is Counterproductive while they twist their records and label you pushing more drugs.

I am a Holistic, Wellness RN, BS who had to search and find Holistic ways of healing myself because the doctors, counselors and support groups would not let me share without labeling and traumatizing me further when I shared my stories.

CONNECTION and ACCEPTANCE is what the world is looking for and ability to help others with our stories helps us.

Healing starts with living food in fruits, vegetables and green spring mix salads to fuel our bodies with energy food which helps increase our immune system and give us energy. Flush toxins (alcohol, meat, drugs, (street and prescription) with spring water. Take a high Vitamin B Complex daily. Eat 1-2 salads a day of Spring Mix in Produce Dept, get on a Sleep Cycle for 8 hrs. I use Pillow Spray Eucalyptus on your pillow at night to Sleep, take Vitamin D for bones and sleep, wear waxy earplugs for hypervigilant loud sudden noises to sleep without fear, hot shower, Epsom Salts in Bath Water for Pain.

Tumeric (Indian Spices for inflammation and pain in body/ Put in soups, stir fry, omellettes. All Indian Spices help with inflammation. ex. Curry, Cumin, Cayenne Pepper, Chili Powder, Cilantro.

Journal Events and give facts in writing and write feelings to find your own answers to your issues and mentally remove flashbacks from brain because they are on paper. Join a writing group at Mental Health Association in your area.

Attend a Meetup in your area called VeganMeetup,com (put in google with name of your city) and attend it even if you are not vegan.



I had an abusive step parent who was a police officer. I would be handcuffed to beds and beaten by both parents. I understand the complete and utter aloneness you feel in that. I went to multiple therapy sessions after I was finally placed in foster care at 13. I live daily with spinal damage and the inability to have children of my own. I was 3 when he entered our live, but my mother was abusive to me from birth. What an honor to be the child picked to endure the blunt of the abuse right? I appreciate you advocating the connection and acceptance of yourself. I sadly accepted my abuse, and even had a dream when I was 4, that I chose this life before God put me in my mom's belly, so that my siblings wouldn't have to be hurt so bad. Sad sad stuff. I had to learn to love, protect, and connect with that little girl inside of me that in my dreams was still so brave and even saving me from danger. She was so strong! Makes me sad she had to be that way.

I just wanted to say I am so sorry & how horrendous, you should never have had to endure such cruel abuse. (I was also cruelly abused as a child & my family swept it all under the carpet). You will be in my prayers & I hope that you have or find good friends, I find people that have not been abused or that are not thoughtful & do not have the tools, do not understand ptsd & it can be a very lonely place. But there are better churches these days & some online ones, that are safer & equipped to care - than they used to be. I hope you find a nice one. Much love to you, I know Jesus is amazed by you & holds a special place in heaven for you in his heart.
I hope my words are bring some comfort & that I have said the right things for you, it is hard to know what to say, you did not deserve what you got, may you have much unexpected joy in your life now

With ptsd can I go in the service or no ?

Jasmyn; Read the reasons / causes of PTSD. If you suffer now, I don't think entering the Military would be in your best interest. There are other programs one can do to help others if that is what your looking for. If your looking for a "job" to help other, a Hospital may be one place you will find something to volunteer for and keep your eyes and ears open for positions that might fit you better. Even jobs in the civilian area that you may like, keep looking, find something that you could love to do instead of a job that may cause further pain and trauma to you. Best wishes!

I would not know where to begin because the event that occured my reaction saved my life during this event. I have problems separating types of confrontations I black out. I'm fairly sure this ptsd

I have Complex PTSD, and I have had a change martazpine. I also given chlorpromazine for Flashbacks as I self harmed afterwards. I was given 25mg and still the flashbacks happen. Am I on the wrong dose?

My mother has PTSD and I live with her as I am underaged. She hasn’t done anything to get better and I was wondering if this makes me more likely to get PTSD?

While PTSD is caused by life threatening situations, it is possible to get it without being in one yourself. Some people can be traumatized from simply hearing about what someone with PTSD went through, especially if you're close to them. I think you would know, however, if that was the case. If you're asking if PTSD can be passsd down genetically like anxiety or depression, then the answer is a resounding no.

No. PTSD is a reaction to extreme stress, that causes the victim to be in “fight or flight” mode all the time, after experiencing a high stress incident. It cannot be acquired by simply living with someone with PTSD.

The best thing to do in your situation would be to realize that your mom can and will get better with the right treatment overtime. Love and acceptance are important and can help you all get through this together as a family. Possibly you can do your research and find a better treatment for your mom if she’s not getting better.