Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder which can affect anyone at any age. The disorder is caused by a very stressful, frightening or distressing event.
Older people, having lived for longer are more likely to have experienced a distressing event at some point in their lifetime, whether it be WWII, a serious accident, or most recently, the Covid-19 pandemic which required people over 65 to self-isolate for 12 weeks.
- Nightmares or night terrors
- Feeling isolated
- Feelings of guilt
- Difficulty concentrating
- Vivid flashbacks of the event
- Feeling irritable in general
- Insomnia (Trouble with sleeping)
- Emotional numbness
- A serious road accident
- Serious healthcare problems
- Neglect during childhood
- Natural disasters
- Childbirth experience
- Vicious assault such as sexual assault or robbery
- A serious injury
- War & conflict
Can PTSD be treated?
Fortunately, PTSD can be treated, even in cases where someone has complex PTSD*. The following methods of treatment are commonly used by GP's:
- Waiting to see whether symptoms pass by themselves
- Psychological therapy such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) or Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR).
Those who have been unfortunate enough to experience a traumatic event over and over again will undoubtedly be more seriously affected than those who have had a one-off experience. It may be that the person has been subject to constant domestic/mentally abuse by someone they live with. In these cases, they will be diagnosed with Complex PTSD.