Our Therapeutic Focus
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
PTSD can happen to anyone. It is not a sign of weakness. A number of factors can increase the chance that someone will develop PTSD, many of which are not under that person’s control.
PTSD occurs after people go through, or witness, life-threatening events. These can be single, traumatic instances, or intense, long-lasting traumatic experiences. These include war and combat, sexual assault, disasters and mass violence.
Anyone can develop PTSD, and its not under a person’s control. PTSD is also more common after combat or sexual assault.1
PTSD symptoms are generally grouped into four types: intrusive memories, avoidance, negative changes in thinking and mood, and changes in physical and emotional reactions. Symptoms can vary over time or vary from person to person. PTSD can increase the risk of depression and suicidal ideation. Unlike other anxiety disorders, PTSD is significantly associated with suicidal ideation2 The only approved medicine for depression from PTSD are SSRI’s, which are all contra-indicated against suicide.
- As many as 12 million adults in the U.S. have PTSD during a given year. This is only a small portion of those who have gone through a trauma.
- Approximately 6 out of every 100 people (or 6% of the population) will have PTSD at some point in their lives.
- About 8 of every 100 women (or 8%)
- 4 of every 100 men (or 4%).
Post-9/11, The United States has lost 4x more veterans and service members to suicide than combat3.
An estimated 30,177 have died by suicide as compared with the 7,057 killed in post-9/11 war operations4. Veterans reporting threshold and subthreshold PTSD were 3 times more likely to endorse these markers of elevated suicide risk relative to the Veterans without PTSD 5
- National Center for PTSD, US Dept of Veteran Affairs, https://www.ptsd.va.gov/understand/what/ptsd_basics.asp
- Sareen J.; Houlahan T.; Cox; B.J.; Admunson, GJ. Anxiety disorders associated with suicidal ideation and suicide attempts in the National Comorbidity Survey. J Nerv Ment Dis. 2005 Jul;193(7):450-4. doi: 10.1097/01.nmd.0000168263.89652.6b. PMID: 15985839.
- Jakupcak M.; Hoerster KD.; Varra A.; Vannoy S.; Felker B.; Hunt S. Hopelessness and suicidal ideation in Iraq and Afghanistan War Veterans reporting subthreshold and threshold posttraumatic stress disorder. J Nerv Ment Dis. 2011 Apr;199(4):272-5. doi: 10.1097/NMD.0b013e3182124604. PMID: 21451353.