How Would I Know If I Need To Look For Help?
The US National Centre for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (www.ncptsd.va.gov) suggests that whilst most people who experience a traumatic event do not develop PTSD, you are more likely to experience PTSD if you: -
- Were directly exposed to the traumatic event as a victim or a witness
- Were seriously injured during the event
- Went through a trauma that was long lasting or very severe
- Believed that you were in danger
- Believed that a family member was in danger
- Had a severe reaction during the event, such as crying, shaking, vomiting, or feeling apart from surroundings
- Felt helpless during the trauma and were not able to help yourself or a loved one
- You are also more likely to develop PTSD if you:
- Had an earlier life-threatening event or trauma, such as being abused as a child
- Have another mental health problem
- Have family members who have had mental health problems
- Have little support from family and friends
- Have recently lost a loved one, especially if it was unexpected
- Have had recent, stressful life changes
- Drink a lot of alcohol
- Are a woman
- Are poorly educated
- Are younger
A month or so after the event, if you are not experiencing any reduction in your symptoms it might be time to start to look for some additional help. You might start be completing the Trauma Screening Questionnaire.
If you answer YES – at least twice in the past week – to six or more of these questions, you might consider discussing possible next steps with your GP.