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The causes of PTSD
Many different types of trauma have been found to put people at risk of PTSD, or contribute to it:
- Prolonged trauma over some time
- Past traumas such as sexual or childhood abuse
- Mental health issues you may already have (e.g. anxiety and depression)
- An occupation that regularly exposes you to trauma (e.g. firefighter, paramedic, police officer or military personnel)
- A traumatic event like a natural disaster (for example, a bushfire), being held captive, threatened with a weapon or tortured, war or terrorism, a car accident, or seeing someone injured seriously or dying.
What to do about PTSD
It’s normal to feel distressed and anxious following a traumatic event, however talking to a GP or health professional can help. It’s particularly important if you’re still experiencing symptoms of PTSD two weeks after the incident.
Also, if you are feeling highly anxious or distressed and your reaction to the traumatic event is interfering with your home or work life, or you are thinking of harming yourself or others, do not wait – ring 000 or Lifeline, or seek advice from your doctor immediately.
What can I do if someone I love is struggling with PTSD?
PTSD can negatively impact a person’s relationships with friends and family.
So what should you do? It’s important to remember that these behaviours are part of PTSD. People experiencing PTSD do need the support of their friends and family even if in the first instance they believe they do not need it.
Beyond Blue advises:
“Trying, as far as possible, to minimise other stressful life experiences allows the person to focus more on their recovery. If a person feels very distressed at any time after a traumatic event, they should talk to a doctor or other health professional. If a person experiences symptoms of PTSD that persist beyond two weeks, a doctor or a mental health professional may recommend starting treatment for PTSD.”
The best place to start is by speaking to your GP or health practitioner. They will be able to assess your individual situation and recommend the best next steps for your recovery.
Our team of mental health professionals are here to support you on our 24/7 Mental Health Phone Support line. It’s available to Medibank members with hospital cover 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on 1800 644 325~.
For more support and information
Looking for something else?
Visit our Healthy Mind by Medibank homepage to find more tools and services.
Things you need to know
~ OSHC members should call the Student Health and Support Line on 1800 887 283.
While we hope you find this information helpful, please note that it is general in nature. It is not health advice, and is not tailored to meet your individual health needs. You should always consult a trusted health professional before making decisions about your health care. While we have prepared the information carefully, we can’t guarantee that it is accurate, complete or up-to-date. And while we may mention goods or services provided by others, we aren’t specifically endorsing them and can’t accept responsibility for them. For these reasons we are unable to accept responsibility for any loss that may be sustained from acting on this information (subject to applicable consumer guarantees).
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