Frightening situations happen to everyone at some point. People can react in many different ways: they might feel nervous, have a hard time sleeping well, or go over the details of the situation in their mind. These thoughts or experiences are a normal reaction. They usually decrease over time and the people involved can go back to their daily lives.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), however, lasts much longer and can seriously disrupt a person’s life. PTSD is when you have had an experience that is so frightful, horrible, or upsetting that you have nightmares about it or think about it when you don’t want to. You are constantly on guard, watchful, easily startled. You try hard not to think about it and go out of your way to avoid situations that remind you of it. You feel numb or detached from others, activities or your surroundings. You feel guilty or are unable to stop blaming yourself or others for the events, or any problems the events may have caused. You may even have self destructive thoughts.
What are the Long-Term Effects of PTSD?
If left untreated sufferers of PTSD are likely to experience severe consequences including:
Substance abuse: Many turn to drugs or alcohol in an attempt to calm their anxiety. This only exacerbates the problem.
Anger management issues: For some the moments of recurring stress and anxiety result in outbursts of anger or rage. This may result in child or spousal abuse or public violence.
Loneliness: Because PTSD can make a person very difficult to be around and is often undiagnosed, individuals with the disease may end up isolated and alone.
Severe depression: Serious depression is always a risk with PTSD. Many sufferers may demonstrate suicidal thoughts or actions while in the midst of a PTSD episode.
Barriers to Seeking Help
- Hopelessness or Cynicism
22 veterans commit suicide daily. That number has been argued. What has not been argued is that veterans have a suicide rate 50% higher than those who did not serve in the military.
One suicide is one suicide too many.
Mission Butterfly’s goal is to help stop the needless loss of life or that of living.