During National Suicide Prevention Week it’s important to shed light on a variety of topics that may lead to suicide.
Post-Tramatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a condition that develops after a life-threatening event.
These events can include:
- Combat or military exposure
- Child sexual or physical abuse
- Terrorist attacks
- Sexual or physical assault
- Serious accidents, such as a car wreck.
- Natural disasters, such as a fire, tornado, hurricane, flood, or earthquake.
The symptoms of PTSD can include:
- Reliving the event (also called re-experiencing symptoms):
Horrible memories of the event often flashback to you making your relive the experience.
2. Avoiding situations that remind you of the event:
You avoid TV shows, events, places and people that remind you of the event or keep very busy to avoid thinking about it.
3. Feeling numb:
You’re unable to express your feelings about the event. Relationships with other people may become difficult as well.
4. Feeling keyed up (also called hyperarousal):
Sleeping becomes hard, you’re jittery, easily startled and find it hard to concentrate.
Other symptoms include:
- Drinking or drug problems.
- Feelings of hopelessness, shame, or despair.
- Employment problems.
- Relationships problems including divorce and violence.
- Physical symptoms.
In a survey of 5,877 people across the United States, it was found that people who had experienced physical or sexual assault at some point in their life also had a high likelihood of attempting to take their own life at some point:
- Nearly 22% of people who had been raped had also attempted suicide at some point in their life.
- Approximately 23% of people who had experienced a physical assault had also attempted suicide at some point in their life.
These rates of suicide attempts increased considerably among people who had experienced multiple incidents of sexual (42.9%) or physical assault (73.5%). They also found that a history of sexual molestation, physical abuse as a child, and neglect as a child were associated with high rates of suicide attempts (17.4% to 23.9%)
People with a diagnosis of PTSD are also at greater risk to attempt suicide. Among people who have had a diagnosis of PTSD at some point in their lifetime, approximately 27% have also attempted suicide.
Having PTSD is NOT a death sentence, with therapy people are able to get past their traumatic experiences and lead a healthy life. It’s important to recognize the symptoms and get help – before the situation spirals out of control.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) National Mental Health Information Center has put together a downloadable information sheet
Learn to take control of your mental health; go to the Dr. Owens Mental Health Prescreen Assessment and check your mental status today!
If you are in a crisis and need help right away:
Call this toll-free number, available 24 hours a day, every day: 1-800-273-TALK (8255). You will reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, a service available to anyone. You may call for yourself or for someone you care about. All calls are confidential.