PTSD can be experienced by anyone, at any age.

PTSD was first brought to the attention of the medical community by war veterans. However, PTSD can occur in anyone who has experienced a traumatic event, including child abuse and rape. In fact, victims of child abuse, sexual abuse or assault, and physical assault, are at greater risk for developing PTSD.

Additionally, women are actually more likely to develop PTSD than men, possibly because women are more likely to be victims of domestic violence, abuse, and rape.

How Is PTSD Diagnosed?

If symptoms of PTSD are present, the doctor will perform a medical history, a physical exam, and may use various tests to rule out physical illness as the cause of the symptoms.

If no physical illness is found, the PTSD sufferer may be referred to a mental health professionals who is specially trained to diagnose and treat PTSD.

PTSD Treatment Options

Treatment for PTSD may involve psychotherapy (a type of counseling), medication, or both.


Doctors use antidepressant medications to treat PTSD — and to control the feelings of anxiety and its associated symptoms — including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as Paxil, Celexa, Luvox, Prozac, and Zoloft; and tricyclic antidepressants such as Elavil and Doxepin. Tranquilizers such as Ativan and Klonopin; mood stabilizers such as Depakote and Lamictal; and neuroleptics such as Seroquel and Abilify are sometimes used.


Psychotherapy for PTSD involves helping the person learn skills to manage symptoms and develop ways of coping. Therapy also aims to teach the person and his or her family about the disorder, and help the person work through the fears associated with the traumatic event. A variety of psychotherapy approaches are used to treat people with PTSD,

What Is the Outlook for People With PTSD?

Recovery from PTSD is a gradual and ongoing process. Symptoms of PTSD seldom disappear completely, but treatment can help sufferers learn to cope more effectively. Treatment can lead to fewer and less intense symptoms, as well as a greater ability to cope by managing feelings related to the trauma and live a more fulfilling life.

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: Who Suffers The Most?  was originally published on

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