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Trauma / PTSD
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (now commonly referred to as Post Traumatic Stress - PTS) can be defined as a response to an intense event or series of events in a persons life.
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Traditionally PTS has been associated with combat and warfare situations, and was referred to in the past as shell shock, combat fatigue and war neurosis.
First responders (Police, Fire and Emergency Medical Service workers) are at a high risk of being affected by PTS as well.
Personal physical or emotional abuse can also be a contributing factor for PTS. Injuries, harassment, bullying and sexual assault are just a few examples of this.
More recently PTS has been associated with a variety of other impactful situations. Many 'life-altering' experiences such as being involved in or witnessing an accident, being affected by natural disasters or impacted by terrorism attacks can all play a part in causing a traumatic response which may lead to PTS.
A person suffering from PTS will typically have experienced or witnessed a threatening event that has caused him or her to respond with intense fear, helplessness or horror.
It should be noted that a person's response to a traumatic event can be very personal. What shocks or traumatizes one person, may affect another person to a lesser degree.
Traumatic stress is a normal human response for anyone who has been exposed to an intense experience. Quite often we are able to manage our responses to many stressful situations with little or no long term affects. Often times within hours, days or weeks the intense reaction can disappear and life returns to normal.
For some of us, the intense reaction can result in a variety of difficult symptoms that can last for months, years or even a lifetime. For others, an intense reaction may take a long time, even months or years to emerge.