DUBOIS COUNTY, Ind. (WEHT) – Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), originally called “shell shock” according to Dubois County Sheriff’s Office (DCSO), affects more people than just Veterans. Do you know the signs and symptoms of PTSD?

According to clinical psychologist and founder of the First Responder Wellness Center in Chicago, Dr. Carrie Steiner, new research is showing that PTSD is an injury rather than a disorder.

” PTSD is a biological injury that develops after a person has experienced a trauma.   It should be stated that most people will recover after a trauma incident but an average of 25-30% develop PTSD symptoms,” said Steiner. “Of those who develop PTSD, most can manage their injury with treatment but fair much worse without treatment and increase the risk of suicide.” 

The National Center for PTSD states that 6 out of 10 people will develop PTSD in their lifetime. Women are more likely to develop it with a rate of 8 out of every 100 women who do. About 12 million adults annually will deal with PTSD.

Children who experience PSTD may not have the same symptoms as adults. Symptoms for them could include re-enacting the event during playtime or having nightmares. However, symptoms may not appear for a month or even years after the trauma.

“Fortunately, PTSD is now discussed much more openly than it once was,” said Sheriff Tom Kleinhelter. “PTSD most likely has impacted someone you know. It’s important to recognize the signs and symptoms so that you can get help if you or a loved one is having difficulty coming to terms with a traumatic experience.”

According to the Sheriff’s office, some signs you may experience PTSD are:

  • Distressing memories
  • Avoidance of trauma reminders
  • Nightmares or flashbacks
  • Negative thoughts or mood
  • Always being on guard for danger
  • Engaging in risky behavior
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Interruptions in sleep pattern

Here are some resources for those struggling:

It’s vital that we all realize PTSD can affect anyone,” said Prosecutor Anthony Quinn. “It is not a sign of weakness and is not something you can control.”

If you or someone you know is struggling to function after a traumatic event, the Sheriffs office suggests to make sure the person is safe emotionally and physically. Then connect them to helpful resources like therapy. Psychotherapy, especially Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) has been shown to be effective in helping those who struggle with PTSD.