Most people go through some traumatic event in their life and some go through multiple such events. Each person experiences and perceives such an event in his or her own unique way. One may get flashbacks, nightmares, or in most of the cases both. It impacts a person’s mental health and day to day functioning as well.
When one goes through a traumatic event, the event leaves its mark inside the person’s brain and stays with them for a long time. It alters their psyche and sometimes their personality altogether. PTSD or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder can happen to a person when he/she experiences a life or death situation, or watches other people go through it from a close proximity. The symptoms include reliving parts of the event or the event as whole, having nightmares, lack of sleep, trying to avoid places or things associated with the event, hyper-vigilance, irritability, lack of concentration, etc. Sometimes if the person goes through the traumatic event at a younger age, brain tends to bury the memory which might resurface after a period of time if triggered. The trigger can be anything like watching someone else go through the same thing, or sometimes even hearing the news of a similar event. PTSD affects the day to day functioning of a human being because they feel vulnerable or threatened from otherwise normal situation. Someone might be afraid of cars and prefer walking because of an accident they were in once.
Trauma is something everyone deals with in their own way. Some overcome PTSD overtime on their own and some people might need therapy. Trauma can be from an isolated event personal to you or from a natural or man-made disaster such as bombing, massive earthquakes, or tsunamis.
Hortensia Amaro, distinguished Professor and associate dean in Bouvé College of Health Sciences of Northeastern University, says that in such events of mass destruction, health authorities should “promote a sense of safety, promote calming promote self-efficacy, and collective efficacy promote a sense of connectedness and instil hope”.