Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a serious condition often found in combat veterans. However, almost anyone who has survived a traumatic event can suffer from PTSD. This could be a police officer who lost a fellow officer in the line of duty, a person who lived through a severe car accident that took someone else’s life or a firefighter who could not save everyone from a burning building — just to name a few examples.
No matter why it happens, PTSD can be disabling. It can lead to flashbacks, nightmares, anxiety attacks and the inability to mentally and emotionally cope with situations that remind a person of the event that caused the trauma. A person who was in a car accident may not be able to drive, for instance. With that in mind, consider these statistics about PTSD in the United States:
- It’s more common in men than women, at a rate of 10% of the population, compared to 4% for men.
- Overall, experts believe that about 7% to 8% of people will experience it.
- Some cases only last for a month or so, but it can last much longer.
- It does impact young people, as it has been found in 5% of adolescents.
- Even in children, it happens less often with boys, at 2.3%, and more often with girls, at 8%.
If you have PTSD, you understand how it can change your life. You know the challenges it can bring and how you may never be able to work again. If that’s the position you’re in, you need to know what options you have to seek the benefits you need.