Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental disorder that develops after a person has been exposed to a traumatic event. Most people who have experienced a traumatic event will not develop PTSD however people who have experienced interpersonal trauma, are more likely to experience the condition. Casualty actor, Michael Stevenson experienced a traumatic experience during the birth of his twins. The actor was struck with fear when a doctor informed him that his twins might have a condition known as malrotation, an abnormality of a child’s intestine that does not form correctly in the abdomen.
Speaking to the Mirror, Stevenson said: I remember phoning my dad, they hadn’t heard anything from us for a few days and were worried, and hearing his voice, it all came out and I wept.”
PTSD has been associated with a wide range of traumatic events.
The risk of developing PTSD after a traumatic event varies by trauma type, and men are more likely to experience PTSD.
A traumatic event followed by other stressful situations will make the symptoms worse.
Stevenson explained: “There were time when I felt quite isolated. I drive two hours to work, then I work 10 hours playing a depressed person, then I drive for two hours to get home, on my own in the car.”
Modern life can lead many people to feel overwhelmed, frightened and out of control.
“Nobody is immune, everyone is affected by something, whatever walk of life you’re in.
They can suffer but help is there,” said Stevenson.
Symptoms of PTSD
- Feelings of shame or guilt
- Difficulty controlling your emotions
- Periods of losing attention and concentration
- Chest pains
It is important for a person to try and keep life as normal as possible after a traumatic event and to get back into a routine.
Exercising, relaxing, taking to someone you trust and limit your intake of alcohol are ways to help ease the symptoms of PTSD.
There are both psychological and physical treatments out there to help with PTSD and it’s important to discuss your issues with your GP.