GET HELP NOW
After a traumatic event, it is typical to have feelings of anxiety, stress, or fear, making it difficult to adjust or cope for some time afterwards. In particular, survivors of sexual violence may experience severe feelings of anxiety, stress, or fear, known as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). While it is natural to have some of these symptoms after a traumatic event, if they last more than a few weeks and become an ongoing problem, it might be PTSD. If left untreated, the symptoms of PTSD can grow worse and last for months or even years.i
As classified by the National Institute of Mental Health, symptoms of PTSD can be grouped into three main categoriesii:
Children and teens may experience different symptoms from adults, which may includeiii:
Diagnosis is best left in the hands of a medical professionaliv. Coming to a conclusion of PTSD usually occurs because of the presence of the symptoms listed above, the duration of those symptoms, as well as psychiatric and physical testing to rule out other diagnoses.
Getting treatment as soon as possible after PTSD symptoms develop maybe prevent the disorder from becoming a long-term condition. It is important to be treated by a medical professional with knowledge of PTSD.
There are a range of treatment options for patients suffering from PTSD. Everyone is different, so a treatment that works for one person may not work for another. The type of therapy that may be best for a patient depends on a number of factors that s/he and the health care professional can discuss. Experts at the Mayo Clinic, outline the following treatments for PTSD, which may be used in combinationv:
In addition to receiving professional help, it’s important for persons with PTSD to take good care of themselves:
For Additional Help
If you know or suspect someone is suffering from PTSD:
National Sexual Assault Hotline
National Center for PTSD (For Veterans and the General Public)
National Institue of Mental Health
Anxiety Disorders Association of America
The National Child Traumatic Stress Network
i“Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD),” Mayo Clinic, 2009:
ii “What are the symptoms of PTSD?” National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), 2009:
iii Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). National Institute of Mental Health. 2009.
iv “What are the symptoms of PTSD?” National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), 2009:
v“Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): Treatments and drugs,” April 10, 2009:
This product was supported by grant number 2009-D1-BX-K023 awarded by the Office for Victims of Crime, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this product are those of the contributors and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.
Sections on this page have been adapted from: Rainn
WITH THE LATEST UPDATES
By providing your email you agree to receive
periodic emails from the JCW Website