As figures emerge which suggest that one in five veterans suffer from the effects of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, it also appears that there are a number of myths and misnomers which surround the condition.
Not only do these myths make it difficult for those suffering with PTSD to cope with their everyday lives, but also make it difficult for those with little experience of the condition to have empathy for those suffering.
One of the first myths is that only people returning from active service suffer from PTSD whilst other people who have experienced traumatic situations do not. Evidence suggests that people who have been the victims of violent crimes or situations, those who have been involved in accidents or incidents which left them or others with injuries, and those who have suffered sudden bereavements as the result of sudden or traumatic situations are just as likely to suffer from PTSD as veterans and those returning from active service. In fact, people from everyday lives are just as likely to make Post Traumatic Stress Disorder claims as those from a military background.
There are four main groups of symptoms of PTSD and as a result, many people have the mistaken belief that a sufferer will have all four.
The first is re-experience which is to say nightmares, flashbacks or having triggers which can bring about a memory. The second is avoidance which is where the sufferer refuses or is unwilling to discuss, consider or be exposed to anything which reminds them of the event in question. Thirdly there is avoidance of social situations, lack of trust and detachment and finally there is arousal which is where a sufferer can be seen to be on a constant state of alert. They may have insomnia, over-reactions to stimulus, may be agitated or unable to rest.
Because these are the main symptoms, it is expected that all people suffering from PTSD will suffer from all four groups of symptoms. However, just as some pregnant women experience sickness and others don’t, people with PTSD don’t all show the same symptoms and individuals may experience them to varying degrees.
There is a very common misconception that everyone suffering from PTSD will be violent or exhibit a poor temperament. This has been mis-proven and psychologists now believe that a person with PTSD is no more likely to exhibit violent or erratic behaviour than anyone else.
The final myth relates to the potential for the future. Many people with inadequate information on head injury claims might believe that once a person has PTSD they will continue to suffer for the rest of their lives. However, just as many other psychological disorders, such as depression, anxiety and stress may be cured with the right treatment, as can PTSD. Many of the people suffering now may, through the correct treatment which can be procured through Blackwater Law in Essex as part of a PTSD claim, go on to lead a full and enjoyable life free of their symptoms.