I recently read an excellent summary article that discusses common ways post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, can affect someone’s life. I’ll briefly summarize it, but if you’d like to read it in full, please click the link above.
Problems at work and relationships.
People with PTSD tend to miss more work and work less efficiently, which unsurprisingly leads those with this disorder to have higher rates of unemployment. Similarly, spouses and family members of those who have it often have multiple stressors. These can include financial stress, an added burden on the caregiver in managing their symptoms, dealing with crises, and loss of intimacy.
Mental health problems.
What is meant by this is those with PTSD are at a much greater risk of developing other mental health disorders in addition to PTSD. Depression, substance abuse, other kinds of anxiety disorders and even eating disorders are not uncommon. They are also six times more likely to attempt suicide. Non-suicidal self-harm, such as cutting or burning the self also occur.
Physical health problems.
Having PTSD also increases the risk of physical health issues, such as diabetes, obesity, heart and respiratory problems, sexual dysfunction and pain. I’m not sure anyone knows exactly why this is the case, but research has borne out it is real. Unhealthy behaviors such as smoking, unhealthy eating and a lack of exercise are also often present.
Please get help!
Treatment for PTSD is what I specialize in, but whoever you see, you are almost certainly better off than not seeking treatment. PTSD does not go away on its own. Only one third of those who have it are involved in any kind of treatment. I can speak from my own clinical experience that treating PTSD also typically causes other disorders to resolve as well. Trauma can affect us in many subtle ways, often in ways we don’t realize. It’s very possible to be treated and for your PTSD to go completely away, with no symptoms at all. It happens in my office on a regular basis, and someone nearby can help you get there too. If you’ve tried before and you didn’t get the help you want, that doesn’t mean someone else won’t be able to help you. What if you decided whether or not you would get married based solely on the first date you ever had? Try giving it another chance.
For most people it’s not difficult to get help. Asking your doctor for referrals, or going to a website such as Psychology Today which has a huge national list of of therapists, and calling your insurance provider are all good options. If you’re a veteran the VA is an additional option. If you don’t have insurance or are on state insurance or Medicare, community mental health centers will usually see you for free. Please, get help now and start living your life again!