Emotional trauma is experienced by many segments of the population. It can leave you struggling with upsetting emotions, memories, and anxiety that won’t go away. It can also leave you feeling numb, disconnected, and unable to trust other people. Emotional traumas have been classified as PTS and PTSD.
Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS) and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) share some of the same characteristics and some differences as well. Both are associated with feeling fearful and/or nervous, avoiding the activity or place associated with the traumatic event, and nightmares but they differ in the symptom intensity and duration.
PTS can be caused by common occurrences like car accidents, kidnapping, or any other scary situation. In these situations, our bodies are wired to tense up, pump more blood under stress; thus, the “fight-or-flight” response is triggered. Under this condition it’s normal to feel your heart racing fast, hands shaking, sweating, feeling afraid and nervous, restless sleep. Most times the signs of PTS goes away in a couple of days but sometimes it doesn’t and instead turns into PTSD.
PTSD, on the other hand, is a clinically-diagnosed condition. It is caused by being in situations that involve the possibility of death or serious injury or co-habiting with a person who experiences PTSD (second-hand PTSD). Under this condition, the symptoms include reliving a traumatic event through nightmares, flashbacks, or constantly thinking about it. You might avoid situations or people that remind you of the event, have only negative thoughts or emotions, and constantly feel jittery, nervous, or “on edge.” Although some of these symptoms sound similar to PTS, the difference is the duration and intensity. Symptoms that continue for more than one month, are severe, and interfere with your daily functioning are characteristic of PTSD.
The individual who experiences PTSD might also have behavior such as drinking or smoking more than usual as attempts to reduce anxiety or anger, and aggressive driving. Service members who have experienced combat can be especially nervous driving under overpasses and past litter on the roadside, due to learned behavior in the war where insurgents hide improvised explosive devices in the garbage and use overpasses to shoot at vehicles. Other behaviors may also include being wary of crowds, showing reluctance to go to movie theaters, crowded stores, or nightclubs, and avoiding news that addresses overseas combat or getting angry at the reports.
General PTSD Stats
- 70% of adults in the U.S. have experienced some type of traumatic event at least once in their lives. That’s 223.4 million people.
- Up to 20% of these people go on to develop PTSD. As of today, that’s 31.3 million people who did or are struggling with PTSD.
- An estimated 8% of Americans – that’s 24.4 million people – have PTSD at any given time.
- An estimated 1 out of 10 women develop PTSD; women are about twice as likely as men.
- Among people who are victims of a severe traumatic experience 60 – 80% will develop PTSD.
- Almost 50% of all outpatient mental health patients have PTSD.
- Somewhat higher rates of this disorder have been found to occur in African Americans, Hispanics, and Native Americans compared to Caucasians in the United States.
- Lifetime occurrence (prevalence) in combat veterans 10 – 30%.
- In the past year alone the number of diagnosed cases in the military jumped 50% – and that’s just diagnosed cases.
- Studies estimate that 1 in every 5 military personnel returning from Iraq and Afghanistan has PTSD.
- 20% of the soldiers who’ve been deployed in the past 6 years have PTSD. That’s over 300,000.
- 17% of combat troops are women; 71% of female military personnel develop PTSD due to sexual assault within the ranks.
Teens and Children
- 15-43% of girls and 14-43% of boys will experience a traumatic event
- 3-15% of girls and 1-6% of boys will develop PTSD
- As many as 30 – 60% of children who have survived specific disasters have PTSD
- According to the National Center for PTSD: “Rates of PTSD are much higher in children and adolescents recruited from at-risk samples. The rates of PTSD in these at-risk children and adolescents vary from 3 to 100%.”
- 3 – 6% of high school students in the U.S. who survive specific disaster develop PTSD
- More than 33% of youths exposed to community violence with experience PTSD
- According to the National Center for PTSD: “Studies have shown that as many as 100% of children who witness a parental homicide or sexual assault develop PTSD. Similarly, 90% of sexually abused children, 77% of children exposed to a school shooting, and 35% of urban youth exposed to community violence develop PTSD.”
- According to The Effects of High Stress on the Brain and Body in Adolescents report from Yale, Stress is believed to contribute to the physical and behavioral health problems of adolescents. Of adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17, 2.3 % have fair or poor health, 5% miss 11 or more days of school because of illness or injury, 10% have smoked cigarettes, and 17% have used alcohol; of adolescents between ages 12 and 19, 18% are overweight. Stress also impacts cognitive functioning, diminishing concentration, memory, attention, and decision-making capabilities.
PTSD good news
With the understanding that PTSD is not a mental illness, but rather a set of reactions to an event, or series of events, causing a set of symptoms and behavioral changes, Brainsweep Systems has developed unique intervention methods called, “Neurokinesis Hand Technique, Laughter Technique, and Brain Sweep©” which changes the brain’s reaction in the neurons affecting the hormonal and neurological response. The focus is on “locate and bypass the mind and the imprint on the brain, in order to release it, thereby affecting a positive change in the individual”