According to the National Institute of Mental Health, post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, develops in some individuals who have gone through a particularly frightening, shocking, or dangerous experience. The disorder is commonly associated with members of the military who have served in a combat zone, but it is hardly limited to those in the armed forces. PTSD can affect victims of auto accidents, criminal assault, or rape, as well as those who may have witnessed a tragic or horrifying event. It can even result from accidents that occur on the job, which could make the sufferer eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
Common Symptoms of PTSD
It is difficult to know for sure how many people suffer from PTSD, as many are reluctant to seek the treatment they need. Estimates, however, place the number of sufferers at around 5.2 million each year in just the United States alone. Those dealing with PTSD may show symptoms that include flashbacks to the triggering event, nightmares, severe depression, “survivor’s guilt,” difficulty concentrating, insomnia, and memory loss. The disorder can also have a serious effect on the sufferer’s family, as his or her behavior may be erratic, unpredictable, and, in some cases, violent.