What is post-traumatic stress disorder?
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is the name given to the feelings of distress, confusion or sadness that you may feel after a traumatic event. These feelings can occur if you’ve been involved in, or if you witnessed, a distressing event.
You might not get feelings of stress, confusion or sadness straight away. In fact, you may not feel anything. It could take years after an event for you to show symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. In some cases, though, symptoms can show straight away. You might have difficulty sleeping or find you get upset more often.
While for some, these feelings pass within a few weeks, others experience them for longer. This is post-traumatic stress disorder.
The term ‘PTSD’ was first used by veterans of the Vietnam War, but the disorder has gone by a number of different names over the years, including:
- Shell shock
- Soldier’s heart
- Battle fatigue
- Combat stress
- Post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSS)
What causes PTSD?
We’re all different, and everyone reacts to situations differently. While you may not find an event traumatic, another person might do.
We sometimes speak to people who have developed PTSD symptoms months or years after a traumatic event. This usually happens when they’ve seen something that brings back memories of the experience.
Post-traumatic stress disorder is commonly linked to soldiers returning from the front line. But experts do recognise that PTSD can also be caused by other traumatic events. These can include:
- Car crashes
- Witnessing accidents
These are just a few examples of the causes of post-traumatic stress disorder. It may be that you have experienced a traumatic event not listed.
PTSD has also recently been diagnosed in people who have experienced continuous stress, as opposed to a single isolated event. This includes working in highly stressful environments. Some of these sufferers have made successful claims for PTSD compensation.
If you think you’ve suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and may have a claim, give us a call onor click on the button below to complete our online form. We’ll then get in contact with you.
What are the symptoms of PTSD?
The experience that caused your PTSD is unique to you, and it’s common for symptoms of PTSD to vary from person to person, too. Below are some of the common symptoms of PTSD. They include:
- Difficulty sleeping
- Muscle tension
- Depression, grief, guilt or extreme anxiety
We know that symptoms of PTSD can cause problems in all areas of your life. They can affect work, family and friendships. This could be through a wish to avoid being in certain situations, such as travelling in a car.
Usually, these symptoms appear within six months of the traumatic event, but they can happen months or years afterwards.
If you work in the military, ambulance, fire brigade or police services, you’re more likely to be exposed to potential causes of PTSD due to the nature of your job.
It may be that you think you’ve suffered PTSD as a result of your job, or an experience that happened at work. We can provide free advice over the phone and confirm if you have a valid claim.
If you're considering making a claim for post traumatic stress disorder, call us on. Our legally trained advisors will discuss your experience and how we can help. All calls are free and confidential and there's no obligation to make a PTSD claim.
How do you treat PTSD?
It’s important to remember that one treatment doesn’t work for everyone. You may have tried one method of treating your post traumatic stress disorder and may still feel you’re suffering from the symptoms of PTSD.
We recommend that you speak to your GP if you believe you have PTSD or any of the above symptoms. They may be able to refer you to a mental health professional.
Common forms of treatment for PTSD include:
- Psychotherapy: There are different types of psychotherapy and many of them are suggested for sufferers of PTSD
- Counselling: This can involve education about PTSD, along with sensitive discussions about the traumatic event
- Group psychotherapy: This is usually considered to be the most beneficial for military personnel and veterans, alongside cognitive behavioural therapy
- Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) This is commonly used to help those suffering from PTSD
- Medication: Medications, including anti-depressants, can be used to treat PTSD. Medications can be effective in reducing symptoms, although they rarely cure the condition on their own.
Can I make a PTSD compensation claim?
In the past, courts were reluctant to give compensation to people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Fortunately, awareness and understanding of the life-changing nature of PTSD have improved in recent years. These days, more people are successfully claiming for this very real and potentially devastating condition.
If you have been unable to work due to symptoms of PTSD, you might be able to claim for your lost earnings. If you’ve paid for private counselling or incurred any additional costs that relate to your post-traumatic stress disorder, you may also be able to claim back for these expenses.
We can offer you free, no obligation advice on claiming for PTSD.
If you would like to find out whether you could make a claim, call us on. If we think you could claim, we can put you in contact with one of our specialist solicitors today.
Another way you can get in touch with us is to fill in the form below. We’ll call you back within 30 minutes.
You can also read about our claims process before you call us, or you can discuss this process with our advisors, who will be happy to answer any of your questions.