Can you get PTSD from parenting

Mental health
Coping with Depression and Anxiety Disorder

What is PTSD?

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can develop in people who have experienced a traumatic event. Feelings of intense fear, helplessness, or horror may arise after an event that has threatened their life or safety, or the life and safety of others around them. For example after a car accident, physical or sexual assault, war, torture or a natural disaster.

What are the signs and symptoms of PTSD?

People with PTSD often experience panic or extreme anxiety, similar to the fear they felt during the traumatic event. The difficulties experienced by a person with PTSD are divided into four main groups:

  • Reliving the Traumatic Event - The individual relives the event through unwanted and recurring memories, often in the form of vivid images or nightmares. The memory of the event can lead to strong emotional or physical reactions, such as sweating, palpitations or panic.
  • Excessive vigilance and restlessness - The person has difficulty sleeping, irritability, and lack of focus, is easily startled, and is constantly on the lookout for signs of danger.
  • Avoiding Memories of the Event - The person intentionally avoids activities, places, people, thoughts, and feelings that they associate with the event as these bring back the painful memory.
  • Emotional numbness - The person loses interest in everyday activities, feels cut off and detached from friends and family (“Nobody understands me!”), Or feels emotionally dull and numb

It is not uncommon for people with post-traumatic stress disorder to have other mental illnesses at the same time. These may have developed in direct consequence of the traumatic event or may only follow PTSD. The most common of these conditions are depression and anxiety disorder, especially if PTSD has lasted for a long time. Many people try to "treat" their symptoms with alcohol or medication in order to be able to fall asleep better, or to suppress the "images in the head". However, this is not possible - on the contrary, in the long term the feelings and thought disorders will only increase.

How common is PTSD and who does it affect?

Basically anyone can develop PTSD as a result of a traumatic event, but people are more at risk if they are harmed during the event, for example physical or sexual assault, or if they have repeated traumatic experiences, such as childhood sexual abuse or Life in a War Zone.

Regardless of the event itself, risk factors that can cause PTSD include: a past trauma or previous mental illness, ongoing stressful life events after the trauma, and a lack of social support.

If at any point a person feels desperate after a traumatic event, professional help should be sought. Even if the event was years ago, treatment is still useful.


Additional information

Treatments for Anxiety Disorder