Many people who suffer from PTSD often relive the experiences through nightmares, flashback episodes and frightening thoughts. They have difficulty sleeping and feel detached or estranged, and these symptoms can significantly impair a person's daily life. They may also experience racing heart, chest pains, trembling, sweating or shortness of breath. PTSD is typically diagnosed when symptoms last for more than one month.
Who is affected?
PTSD affects an estimated 5.2 million Americans. Studies show that approximately 70% of Americans will be exposed to a traumatic event in their lifetimes, and that approximately 8% of men and 20% of women who experience such an event will go on to develop PTSD.
What Treatment Options are Available?
The most common forms of treatment are medication and psychotherapy. Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) are the most commonly prescribed medications. SSRIs work to correct imbalances of the brain chemical serotonin. Serotonin-Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs) have also been prescribed. SNRIs affect two brain chemicals, serotonin and norepinephrine.
Reprinted with permission of Dr. Henry W. Lahmeyer