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5 THINGS: Questions answered, awareness raised about PTSD

Muskogee Phoenix - 6/6/2024

Jun. 6—June is post-traumatic stress disorder awareness month. The Brain and Behavior Research Foundation answers five frequently asked questions.

1 What is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?

"Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that some people get after seeing or living through a dangerous event. This "fight-or-flight" response is a healthy reaction meant to protect a person from harm. In PTSD, this reaction is changed or damaged. People who have PTSD may feel stressed or frightened even when they're no longer in danger."

2 Who gets PTSD?

"Anyone can get PTSD at any age. This includes war veterans and survivors of physical and sexual assault, abuse, accidents, disasters and many other traumatic events. Not everyone with PTSD has been through a dangerous event."

3 What are the symptoms of PTSD?

"Re-experiencing symptoms may cause problems in a person's everyday routine. Things that remind a person of the traumatic event can trigger avoidance symptoms. Hyper-arousal symptoms are usually constant, instead of being triggered by things that remind one of the traumatic event(s)."

4 Are there effective ways to treat PTSD?

-"Cognitive behavioral therapy, to help people recognize their ways of thinking, or "cognitive patterns," that keep them stuck."

-"Exposure therapy, to help people safely face what they fear, in order to learn to cope with it."

-"Anti-anxiety medications and antidepressants can also ease the symptoms of PTSD."

5 Where can people learn more about PTSD?

"Find answers to more questions about PTSD in our Ask the Expert section."

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