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Post-traumatic stress disorder

Frequently experiencing wartime trauma, post-traumatic disorder issue (PTSD) may occur. The PTSD can occur in light of natural disasters, mishaps, losing dear one, or violent encounters. In Pakistan, statistics show that in any case, PTSD issue is more normal than what individuals estimate. Going through trauma is not rare in our social life. Around 6 of each 10 males (or 60%) and 5 of each 10 females (50%) experience one trauma in their lives. 

The COVID-19 pandemic is one of the worst pandemics classified in the 21st century owing to its rapid transmission, unbearable death rate, and unpredictability surrounding its transmission. Healthcare assistants are not just exposed to the virus on daily basis, but may also be seeing increased number of cases and deaths. Also, patients suffering from COVID-19 admitted to the hospital experience quarantine, physical displeasure and fright for life. These exposures enhance the chance of developing PTSD. 

Any condition that creates anxiety can cause PTSD. It appears in about one in three persons. Physicians are not confident why some develop PTSD. It may develop due to certain factors like:

*  Having depression and not getting support from loved ones

*  Intensity of stressful events

*  Hereditary mental health problems

*  Facing further issues after an event

Symptoms: These signs begin within three months after a distressing event, but they can also start later. The particular symptoms can alter between persons, but mostly are:

*  Bad dreams

*  Hallucinations about event reappearance

*  Frightful notions

*  Sleeping problems

*  Fits of rage

*  Feeling stressed

*  Avoiding to talk about the event

*  Escaping from conditions that remind of the event

*  No love for life

*  Feeling disconnected from others

There are some physical symptoms like shivering, migraine and laziness etc. For children aged under 6 years, symptoms may include wetting the bed and failure to speak properly. Among the age of 5 and 12 years, they may not have flashes from the past but may reveal the trauma by stories and pictures. Aged between 12 and 18 years, the individual may show rude behaviour and may think about revenge.

Treatment: People have to see a doctor after experiencing signs like depression, anxiety for getting condition under control. Treatment mainly includes counselling, psychotherapy or medication. One type of psychotherapy involves CPT (Cognitive Processing Therapy), in which person knows how to imagine things in a new manner. There have been some cases where antidepressant medicines enhanced the suicide risk in persons under the age of 24 years. Study has proposed that testing therapies like cortisone hormone therapy and computer games etc. may help, but more verification is required to confirm their security.  

Self-Help Tips: The key part of healing is active coping in which person knows about PTSD and acknowledge that ongoing reaction is common and healing takes time. More things that can help involve:

*   Performing some physical exercise like yoga or walking

*   Doing breathing or meditation processes

*   Spending time in nature and hearing music

*   Agreeing that PTSD is not symptom of weakness but can be to anyone.

*   Taking part in entertaining activities that can give diversion.

Prevention: Many people have PTSD signs at first after going through a traumatic incident. But, mostly don’t have long-term PTSD. Few precautions are:

*  Receiving help at time may stop normal stress responses from being severe and evolving into PTSD

*  Connecting with family and friends who will listen and give relief

*  Consulting a mental health expert for a short trial of therapy

*  Assistance from others prevents someone from adopting unhealthy methods like improper use of drugs or alcohol

PTSD is a distressing state where past always remains in people. But, it also gives a chance for mental and inner growth because of the human capacity to develop well inspite of suffering hard times.

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