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In accordance with the DSM or Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder, to be identified with PTSD or post-traumatic stress disorder, one needs to experience a particular set of signs for one month or more after being exposed to a shocking or traumatic event. Post traumatic stress disorder, delayed onset, simply means that the symptoms occur six or more months after the trauma.  The traumatic event may include car accidents, criminal victimization (e.g., robbery, kidnappings, car jacking, etc.) terrorist attacks, natural disasters, and any other traumatic experience where an individual experienced or witnessed an event that involved death or the threat of physical harm.  About 8% of the U.S. population develops PTSD.

The four primary symptoms of PTSD:

1.  Intrusion: Recurrent recollections of the event

Dreams, intrusive memories, and exaggerated emotional and physical reactions to events that remind person of trauma

2.    Numbing: Emotional distancing from surrounding people and events

Depression, loss of interest in activities, reduced ability to feel emotions (particularly emotions of intimacy, tenderness, or sexuality), irritability, hopelessness

3.    Avoidance: Fear and avoidance behavior

Fear and avoidance of people, places, thoughts, or activities associated with the trauma, development of anxiety disorders (GAD, panic, specific and social phobias)

4.    Arousal: Agitated state of constant wakefulness and alertness

Hypervigilance, sleep disturbances, difficulty concentrating

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Delayed Onset

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Delayed Onset is described as a condition wherein an individual doesn’t develop a post traumatic stress disorder symptoms until at least six months after experiencing or witnessing the traumatic event. In most cases, the PSTD delayed type could be even longer. For an instance, many people may not start to experience the symptoms of PSTD until months or years of experiencing the traumatic event.

The cause of post-traumatic stress disorder delayed type is not well understood. Its concept and nature has been studied and observed by experts, and they have found that about 25% of post traumatic stress disorder may be delayed in the onset of PTSD symptoms.

The Reason Why Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Delayed Onset Occurs

While individuals who commonly encounter any dangerous event may suffer from the PTSD symptoms, this is not a sufficient criterion to meet a PTSD diagnosis. However, an individual who has witnessed a life threatening trauma, and then later encounters a dangerous event that reminds them of the original trauma, may begin to experience PTSD symptoms related to the original event.   Usually, though not always, there are triggers that help explain the delayed onset of PTSD.  If you develop delayed onset PTSD, effective treatment is available.  Because our treatment center relies on evidence based practices, our Intensive Outpatient Program shares many common methods with other successful treatment methods.  The foundation of our treatment program for relies on the principles of the stages of change, cognitive behavioral therapy, solution focused treatment, skills training and identifying repetitive dysfunctional behavioral relationship patterns to promote recovery from PTSD, depression and other mental health disorders.  In fact, our Intensive Outpatient Program in Memphis, TN that has been proven to be effective in the treatment of these disorders in six peer reviewed treatment outcome studies.   Our treatment center provides services to those who need more treatment than one hour a week, but less than 24 hour care, by providing three hours of treatment per day, three to five days per week, in an intensive outpatient setting.  If you or a loved one is showing signs of PTSD, depression or anxiety, they should be assessed by a trained mental health professional who can help design a treatment plan that can result in recovery.  Treatment for depression and anxiety can be highly successful.  Call us at 901-682-6136 to schedule an appointment.