18. There are different criteria for diagnosing PTSD which changes every few years
Surprised? Well, The American psychiatric association (APA) and the World Health Organization (WHO) use slightly different criteria for diagnosing PTSD. This means you cannot fit the criteria provided by APA but fit the one provided by WHO.
Two different doctors may have two different diagnoses’. Moreover, the criteria for diagnosis keep changing so you may not meet the criteria one year, but meet the next year, even without a change in the symptoms. Also, you may meet the criteria this year and never in the future (but still suffering). Imagine the plight!
20. The severity of symptoms will reduce over time
Before you jump in happiness, please remember that according to research PTSD symptoms reduce over time but you may still experience the symptoms unless the root cause is treated.
In two-third of patients, the symptoms reduce without treatment. There is a significant drop in the severity of symptoms one year after the end of the trauma. But, in the remaining one-third sufferers PTSD symptoms do not change without treatment. They need to seek professional help as soon as possible and try to get rid of their symptoms.
21. There is a correlation between PTSD and cardiovascular disease
PTSD sufferers are at a higher risk of dying from a heart attack. With severity in symptoms, the blood pressure increases, which can lead to anxiety. Further, it can stimulate the sympathetic nervous system, thereby increasing cortisol (stress hormone) production and heart rate.
22. The average time between people seeking treatment and receiving it is 4.5 years
Shocked to know about such a long waiting time between diagnosis and proper treatment? It is due to this long waiting period, people diagnosed with PTSD suffer from other mental health issues. While substance abuse is a common issue for many, some people engage in self-medication resulting in negative physical and psychological effects.
For me, this is one of the most shocking facts about PTSD!
23. Treatment for PTSD may improve symptoms of other disorders
Having disorders like depression which are secondary to PTSD tends to improve when the patient receives treatment for PTSD. They improve to the point when they no longer meet the diagnostic criteria.
However, if the secondary disorder is not interfering with the PTSD treatment and is not causing harm to the patient’s health, then dealing with the root causes of PTSD resolves the problems which emerged from the branches of the PTSD.
24. Exposure therapy can help relieve PTSD symptoms
Exposure therapy refers to the process of reliving your traumatic experience. Sound counterintuitive? Well, that has helped some people cope up with the feelings and thoughts that the triggers evoke. During therapy, your therapist will guide your mind back to the trauma and help you to change the way you think about the event or experience. And, reduce your fear and avoidance behaviors.
However, only a trusted and qualified therapist can provide exposure therapy and help you achieve positive outcomes. Please note it must only be done in an environment where you feel safe.
Some More Facts About PTSD Include:
25. 4.4% of people in the UK will be diagnosed with PTSD in their lifetime
26. 70% of adults experience at least one traumatic event at some point in their lives.
27. In a given year, about 8 million people have PTSD
28. 1 in 13 people will develop PTSD during their lifetime
29. 20% of people who experienced a traumatic event will develop PTSD
30. 40% of people diagnosed with PTSD are later diagnosed with substance use disorder.
31. Over 50% of the people diagnosed with PTSD meet the diagnostic criteria for depression
32. 78% of people with PTSD will be diagnosed with other mental health problems in their lifetime
33. Lower levels of education can increase the risk of a person developing PTSD
Did you enjoy reading these interesting facts on PTSD? Drop a comment below.
Please feel free to share these facts with anyone suffering from PTSD. And always you are not the sole sufferer, there are millions suffering just like you. So make sure to seek help.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (PTSD)
- Help Guide
- National Institute of Mental Health
- The National Child Traumatic Stress Network
- U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
- U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (PTSD)