Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Excerpt from the book “The Truth About Fear and Depression” by Heather Denkmire

I’m including this disorder specifically because I feel that many survivors of suicide (the people left behind), especially those who found their loved one, may be suffering from it. It has been suggested by a counsellor that Daniel, my surviving son who found his brother, has this, but it is yet to be confirmed by a GP.

Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is a mental disorder that affects individuals who have experienced or witnessed life-threatening events such as sexual, physical, or emotional abuse, military combat, natural disasters, a terrorist action, a serious accident, or a violent assault like rape.

People who suffer from PTSD often relive the experience through nightmares and flashbacks. Flashbacks are memories of previous experiences that are vivid, realistic, and often frightening. PTSD sufferers also may have difficulty sleeping. They often feel detached from other people as well. These symptoms can be severe enough and last long enough to significantly affect a person’s daily life. The symptoms may appear immediately after the traumatic event or events or many years later. It may take people with PTSD months or years – even with professional help – before they recognise that their symptoms are related to something that happened years ago. Diagnosing PTSD is complicated by the fact that it frequently occurs alongside related disorders such as depression, substance abuse, or memory problems. The disorder is also associated with difficulties in functioning in social or family life.

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