Does This Sound Like You? Have you lived through a scary
and dangerous event? Please put a check in the box next to
any problems you have.
- Sometimes, all of a sudden, I feel like the event is happening
over again. I never know when this will occur.
- I have nightmares and bad memories of the terrifying event.
- I stay away from places that remind me of the event.
- I jump and feel very upset when something happens without
- I have a hard time trusting or feeling close to other people.
- I get mad very easily.
- I feel guilty because others died and I lived.
- I have trouble sleeping and my muscles are tense.
If you put
a check in the box next to some of these problems, you may
have Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
PTSD is a real illness that needs to be treated.
Many people who have been
through a frightening experience. It’s not your fault and you don’t
have to suffer.
What is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?
PTSD is a real illness. People may get PTSD after living
through a disturbing or frightening experience. It can be
treated with medicine and therapy.
You can get PTSD after you have been:
- Raped or sexually abused
- Hit or harmed by someone in your family
- A victim of a violent crime
- In an airplane or car crash
- In a hurricane, tornado, or fire
- In a war
- In an event where you thought you might be killed
- After you have seen any of these events.
If you have PTSD, you often have nightmares or scary thoughts
about the experience you went through. You try to stay away
from anything that reminds you of your experience.
You may feel angry and unable to trust or care about other
people. You may always be on the lookout for danger. You
can feel very upset when something happens suddenly or without
When does PTSD start and how long does it last?
For most people, PTSD starts
within about three months of the event. For some people,
signs of PTSD don’t show
up until years later. PTSD can happen to anyone at any age.
Even children can have it.
Some people get better within six months, while others may
have the illness for much longer.
Am I the only person with this illness?
No. You are not alone. In any year, 5.2 million Americans
What can I do to help myself?
Talk to your doctor about the the experience that upset
Tell you doctor if you have scary memories, if you feel sad,
if you have trouble sleeping, or if you are angry all the
time. Tell your doctor if these problems keep you from doing
everyday things and living your life. You may want to show
your doctor this booklet. It can help explain how you feel.
Ask your doctor for a checkup to make sure you don’t
have some other illness.
Ask your doctor if he or she has
helped people with PTSD.
Special training helps doctors treat people with PTSD. If
your doctor doesn’t have special training, ask for
the name of a doctor or counselor who does.
Get more information.
Call 1-866-615-6464 to have free information mailed to you.
You can feel better.
What can a doctor or counselor do to help me?
A doctor may give you medicine to help you feel less afraid
and tense. It may take a few weeks for the medicine to work.
to a specially trained doctor or counselors helps many people
with PTSD. This is called “therapy.” Therapy
can help you work through your terrible experience.