PTSD Possibility After Natural Disaster

PTSD Facts:

  • PTSD is often thought of as occurring from experiencing trauma during military service, assault or rape, but it can also occur from living through a natural disaster such as Hurricane Harvey and the associated flooding.
  • Initial reactions to trauma may include inability to sleep and nightmares. These may happen right away and when present are called an “acute stress reaction.”
  • Symptoms of PTSD, which are the same as acute stress, must continue for at least a month before a diagnosis of PTSD can be made.
  • People who have experienced early life trauma are more likely to develop symptoms from stressors (such as natural disasters) which occur later in life.

Current PTSD treatments:

  • There are 2 medications presently FDA-approved for PTSD but no new meds have been approved in over 20 years.
  • At CCT we are running multiple trials for medications specifically for PTSD.

Post-traumatic stress disorder is defined as:

  • A mental health condition triggered by a traumatic event (either experiencing or witnessing it.)*
  • Having symptoms including unwanted thoughts, negative emotional symptoms, consciously avoiding things that remind the sufferer of the trauma and hyperarousal. Common symptoms include flashbacks, nightmares, lack of socializing, withdrawal, anger and severe anxiety.
  • Symptoms which may interfere with day-to-day living.
“If you have to climb up on a roof to get rescued, that’s pretty frightening,” said Dr. Harry Croft, Chief of CNS Research at CTT and principal investigator for CTT’s PTSD trials. “PTSD symptoms help explain why some people feel and act the way they do after a natural disaster.”

Dr. Croft, a psychiatrist, is a renowned PTSD expert.

*Mayo Clinic

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