PTSD or PostTraumatic Stress Disorder, is an anxiety condition that affects many more people than veterans. Anyone can experience a life or death experience, happening to them or to someone close to them, and develop the symptoms of PTSD.
While it is obvious that many of the troops returning from war struggle with recurring dreams and flashbacks of the traumatic event, anxiety and panic attackes, hypervigilence, irritable behaviors, night terrors, and more, children, teens and adults can also develop these same symptoms when witness to or participating in a frightening event in which they believe they will die.
Treatment varies based on the severity of the disorder and its symptoms but in a private practice, desensitization is very useful to reduce symptoms. Desensitization means to retell the traumatic experience to the therapist in a safe and comfortable environment. The telling and retelling reduces the power of the traumatic event and the symptoms abate which empowers the patient to feel more in control. And they are.
If you suffer from this disorder or know someone who does, treatment can help.