What Are the Signs of PTSD?

As with Veterans Day, military milestones tend to spur stories about post-traumatic stress disorder, and the March 16 anniversary of the Iraq War is the latest. PTSD became an official diagnosis in 1980 and was drawn from the study of veterans suffering from trauma and extreme anxiety. Symptoms include:

–Reliving the trauma through intrusive thoughts or nightmares

–Emotional numbness

–Memory loss

–Intense feelings of anger, guilt, worry, hopelessness

–Avoidance of reminders of the trauma

Understanding of the scope of PTSD is an effort still underway. In addition to war veterans, post-traumatic stress disorder is recognized among child abuse victims, those who’ve lived in catastrophic conditions and women with breast cancer. ProPublica, a non-profit news organization, in February reported “The PTSD Crisis That’s Being Ignored: Americans Being Wounded in Their Own Neighborhoods.”

An estimated 8% of the population has had PTSD at some point, ProPublica reported in the February story. And other sources suspect the prevalence to be even higher.

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