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Free consultations. Se Habla Español

Post-traumatic stress disorder affects more than just veterans

When people think of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the military is often the first thing they consider. For many decades, the most highly publicized cases of PTSD involved military veterans. In fact, many of the older terms for PTSD were specifically related to military service, such as "shell shock" and "combat neurosis."

While a number of military veterans, including those who see active duty and those who provide medical services, may develop PTSD, the condition can also result from any number of careers and lifestyles.

Medical professionals, such as first responders, law enforcement and even people who work in transportation or manufacturing can develop PTSD as a result of work accidents or trauma. Other people may develop the condition after a vehicle crash or being the victim of a violent crime. Witnessing a crime, assault or accidental death can also trigger the development of PTSD.

Roughly 3.5 percent of the U.S. population has PTSD

According to the American Psychiatric Association, roughly 3.5 percent of the United States population suffers from some degree of PTSD at any given time. Overall, roughly one in 11 people will experience PTSD in the course of their life. For some people, the symptoms of PTSD may be mild and handled with therapy. For others, however, the symptoms can persist for life, even with special treatments and ongoing therapy.

The symptoms of PTSD can be quite debilitating. They can include intense, controllable thoughts, often involving death or self-harm, reliving the event, also called a flashback, difficulty sleeping, nightmares, strong negative emotions and detachment from relationships.

One key component to PTSD is sudden responses to triggering stimuli that could include seemingly irrational or angry outbursts, reckless behavior and extreme fear or sadness.

How PTSD can leave someone unable to work

Many people imagine that PTSD is manageable, and it can be, for some people. However, different sights, smells, memories, sounds and other stimuli can trigger PTSD flashbacks and erratic behavior in sufferers of this condition. Someone who witnessed the death of a co-worker may be unable to return to the same facility, as the sounds, smells and environment trigger a PTSD response.

Others who have more generic triggers, such as loud noises or people expressing anger, may struggle with performing and keeping any kind of job. Most work requires interaction with other people, which could result in sudden triggers and episodes in those with PTSD. Even if someone with the condition acquires a job, a single PTSD outburst could result in the loss of income.

Depending on the severity of your PTSD, its origins and your prognosis, the condition could qualify you for Social Security Disability. If you have attempted treatment but suffer from intractable symptoms or frequent or common triggers, the condition may be serious enough to prevent you from working in the future.

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The Law Offices Of Martin Taller

2300 E. Katella Ave. Suite 440
Anaheim, CA 92806

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