By Janelle Ringer, Loma Linda University Health, December 2, 2019
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder — or PTSD — is usually discussed regarding men and women who serve in the military. The disorder refers to a condition that develops in individuals who have been exposed to a traumatic event or have undergone severe stress.
PTSD can affect anyone, and according to Melissa J. Pereau, MD, a medical director and psychiatrist at Loma Linda University Behavioral Medicine Center, it can develop when a person experiences a traumatizing event such as a car crash, domestic violence, military combat, sexual assault or other violent crime. PTSD can occur if a person has suffered from a traumatic event and is having trouble dealing with it. “While it is normal to have some anxiety after such an event, it often goes away in time,” Pereau says. “But with PTSD, the anxiety is more intense and keeps coming back.”
Women are twice as likely as men to experience PTSD, according to the World Health Organization. A woman’s chances of experiencing trauma are higher — 10% of women will experience PTSD versus 4% for men. “It’s tough to say there are sure symptoms of PTSD, since no two people will have the same experience,” Pereau says.