How long does PTSD usually last?

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    Jan 13, 2012 6:16 PM GMT


    Skip to 3:26 in the video.


    8 months ago, I survived a tornado and I worked at the building behind me in this video. This is me and a co-worker. Does it depend on the person? Sure I'm better at it that I can talk about it but, sometimes I have my moments of relapse.
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    Jan 13, 2012 7:24 PM GMT
    PTSD as a diagnosis lasts as long as your clinician says it lasts. Symptoms of PTSD, whether you have enough of them to qualify for a PTSD diagnosis or not, may last as short as a few days to many years. It all depends on each person's mental resilience, neuroendocrine make-up, etc. If you're concerned about the intensity, duration, and/or frequency of symptoms, find a trauma specialist. Also, make sure you're getting enough sleep and eating well. Low levels of serotonin and melatonin will make PTSD symptoms worse.
  • monet

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    Jan 13, 2012 7:49 PM GMT
    Unfortunately PTSD can last a very long time. My older brother still has flashbacks of fighting in Vietnam 40 years ago.
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    Jan 13, 2012 8:09 PM GMT
    its doesn't have a time limit. its set by the amount of time you have the symptoms (1month). anything less than a month is considered acute stress disorder.
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    Jan 13, 2012 8:50 PM GMT
    It lasts until you die.

    Deal with it or it will kill you.
  • SoDakGuy

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    Jan 13, 2012 8:53 PM GMT
    It's a forever thing. I have it; it never goes away, but you learn to cope and you learn to deal w/ it.
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    Jan 13, 2012 8:58 PM GMT
    Unfortunately it can last a long time, possibly the rest of one's life. I think a lot of ex-military people of my parents' generation who were part of Vietnam still experience terrible flashbacks and other symptoms of panic when recalling that time. I wouldn't be surprised if any surviving veterans of WWII and Korea might still have symptoms of PTSD especially at their advanced age.
  • Hokenshi

    Posts: 387

    Jan 13, 2012 9:15 PM GMT
    It's been over 9 months since I survived the Tohoku quake in Japan and I feel fine, even during the small quakes we often get out here.
    However, sometimes I get a little freaked out by things that normally wouldn't have bothered me in the slightest - a huge truck going by which makes the earth shake slightly or walking across a suspension bridge which bounces due to other people walking across it etc.

    I notice it, process it and move on from it, it's the only way to cope.

    I also think that when you're time is up it's up, tornado, quake, cancer or bus, something is going to get me so I might as well enjoy as much time as I have.
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    Jan 13, 2012 10:44 PM GMT
    I usually lasts as long it takes for you to schedule sessions with a psychotherapist. In my case, living in Manhattan on 9/11, it lasted two years until I finally talked about it with a therapist (under a form of mild hypnosis called EMDR).

    Get some help.
  • Nautical

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    Jan 13, 2012 11:01 PM GMT
    it varies from person to person, the best thing you can do for yourself is to see a professional or someone with experience in dealing with this kind of trauma. i hope it gets better for you.
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    Jan 14, 2012 12:12 AM GMT
    Yeah, make sure you're seeing someone about that, it's serious business.

    I can only kinda fathom how much PTSD can hurt, it's heartbreaking. I just want to hug someone with PTSD and never let go. icon_sad.gif
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    Jan 14, 2012 12:39 AM GMT
    It's forever, yeah. I faced a few yrs of sexual/mental/physical abuse when I was a kid. Stopped talking and pulled away completely. But one day, I just woke up, and I wanted to be happy. I think the human heart just wants that, and it'll lead you to a better place when you're ready. I still have the terror from those yrs with me, but it's manageable. A friend with a similar experience who really had problems connecting with people killed himself a few yrs back. Sometimes the darkness is this thing you have to wrestle everyday. To anyone with similar experiences, I just want to say, I love you.
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    Oct 22, 2012 7:34 PM GMT
    I have been back from Iraq since Jan 2009 and I am still dealing with it. it is a forever issue. what changes is how it affects you and how you choose to deal/work with it. and how you let it affect you. but sometimes the triggers will just never go away.
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    Oct 22, 2012 10:02 PM GMT
    I know nothing about PTSD other than a few veterans who have it who shared some of their experiences. One of my uncles had it from "nam" (it killed him - hung himself in the nuthouse). So far there's no way to cure it, because erasing specific memories from the brain isn't medically possible...yet.
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    Oct 22, 2012 10:21 PM GMT
    That video was INTENSE
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    Oct 22, 2012 10:36 PM GMT
    Warning this has a lot of psychology jargon (mumbo jumbo): I like using what I learn in class icon_smile.gif

    PTSD stems from intense reactions (intense fear, helplessness, horror) to what is known as acute stressors which is connected with dangerous jobs, natural disasters, etc. You suffered what is known a primary exposure (the event happened to you). The primary symptoms of PTSD include: intrusive recollection, avoidance/numbing, and arousal. Intrusive recollection is when a person re-experiences the event through distressing recollections, reliving the experience, or distress and physiological reactivity from stimuli related to the event. Avoidance deals with making efforts to avoid stimuli that will remind you of the event. Also it is a sense of desensitization. Finally it is found through hyperarousal (difficulty of sleep, irritable outbursts, etc.). All of this can lead to cognitive, affective, relationship, and behavioral difficulties. There are 4 types of PTSD:

    Acute: short-term reactions (3 months max)
    Chronic: long lasting
    Delayed: Is shown about 6 months after event
    Complex (most severe): associated with chronic trauma

    If it gets really bad there are different treatment options:
    1. Medication
    2. Exposure
    3. Clinical Sessions
    4. Cognitive-behavioral therapy

    SORRY for all the hoopla hope that it helps! icon_biggrin.gif
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    Nov 02, 2012 12:00 AM GMT
    Medications didn't help me. only therapy. Ambien actually made the nightmares more vivid.
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    Nov 02, 2012 12:18 AM GMT
    It never goes away but it is nice to make bigger gaps between an episode! Hang in there man! You are not alone and you don't have to be in a war to get PTSD.
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    Nov 02, 2012 12:39 AM GMT
    www.ptsdforum.org

    I found this site. It is a large community of people suffering from PTSD.
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    Nov 02, 2012 12:40 AM GMT
    www.ptsdforum.org

    I found this site. It is a large community of people suffering from PTSD.
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    Nov 02, 2012 1:01 AM GMT
    From what I've been reading, PTSD can have epigenetic effects, which could hypothetically extend beyond your own life to your childrens' (if any).
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    Nov 02, 2012 1:09 AM GMT
    It never really goes away. Something happened that broke you down into little pieces. Whenever you put them back together again, you're something different - hopefully, stronger.
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    Nov 02, 2012 3:49 AM GMT
    www.ptsdforum.org

    I found this site. It is a large community of people suffering from PTSD.
    I am part of a forum group for combat PTSD. there is good support in the forums