Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a type of anxiety caused by experiencing a frightening, unsafe, or life threatening situation.
We often think of PTSD just affecting war veterans; however it can affect anybody.
Situations that may trigger PTSD include:
• military combat
• serious road traffic accident
• assault, mugging or robbery
• rape or sexual assault
The symptoms of PTSD may develop immediately following the event or may take months to come on.
PTSD can develop in any situation where a person feels extreme fear, horror or helplessness. These are often unusual and unexpected events.
Symptoms of PTSD can include:
• flashbacks (feeling as though you are reliving the trauma over and over again)
• nightmares and distressing thoughts
• becoming easily startled or anxious
• feeling tense or ‘on edge’
• having difficulty sleeping
• staying away from places, objects or events that remind you of the experience
• feeling emotionally numb
• trouble remembering the event
Although the symptoms of PTSD can be very scary they don’t have to continue. The Steps to Wellbeing Service provides treatment that has been shown to be effective in treating PTSD and reducing the impact it has on an individual’s life.
If you are feeling very distressed, despairing or suicidal and need immediate help please contact your GP and request an emergency appointment, contact the Samaritans on 116 123, or go to your nearest Accident and Emergency Department.
If your GP surgery is not open, you can contact the NHS Out of Hours Medical Service on 111. NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Calls are free from landlines and mobile phones. You should use the NHS 111 service if you urgently need medical help or advice but it's not a life-threatening situation. If you feel at harm to yourself or from other – go straight to your nearest Accident and Emergency.
If you are concerned that someone else is very distressed and might be considering suicide please encourage them to contact their GP and make an emergency appointment. Alternatively you might wish to encourage them to speak to the Samaritans on 116 123.
If you are concerned that someone is about to act on thoughts of hurting themselves you might wish help them attend the nearest Accident and Emergency Department. Alternatively, you may choose to contact the Police on 999.
Similarly, if you become concerned that someone is at risk of hurting somebody else
If you feel you need to talk to someone in confidence, the Samaritans are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on:
Tel: 116 123
(TEXT MESSAGE ONLY number available on 07725 909090)
There are also local Samaritans branches across Hampshire and Dorset.