Stress is part of life. Many stressors are welcome, but they are still stressors and can have negative effects if they are not managed properly. Got a promotion? Great. How are you handling the added responsibilities? How is it affecting your family? New home? Awesome. How are you handling not seeing your old friends? Those things may be “worth the cost” but there is indeed a cost, and that cost will most likely be added stress. Perhaps one of the best examples is the birth of a baby. The child is welcomed by everyone, yet everyone also knows the new parents may not get a full night’s rest for several weeks or even months. Got stress? Of course.
Contrary to popular belief, military veterans do not comprise the largest group of people with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Military personnel comprise less than 1% of the total US population and most of them never see combat, yet PTSD currently affects 5-10% of all men and 7-14% of all women in the US. Among the most frequent PTSD sufferers are domestic abuse survivors and anyone who spent significant time in foster care.
PTSD can affect anyone who experiences a traumatic event or is exposed to cumulative stress. Factors that may influence the risk of having PTSD include the following:
- Frequency, intensity, and duration of the trauma
- Feeling a loss of control and extreme fear for safety or life
- Being physically injured or seeing others who were severely injured or killed
- Insufficient support after the event
- Additional stress, such as loss of a job, home, or a loved one
- Close proximity to the event
- A history of mental illness
- Substance abuse as a means of coping
I will provide you with options that I have seen work, but only you can determine whether or not they work for your situation.