Understanding post-traumatic stress reactions can help you reach out to survivors of trauma.
Caregivers and loved ones of an individual who has experienced a traumatic event can play an important role in the recovery process, as they are in a position to recognise post-traumatic stress reactions early and provide the necessary support. Studies have shown that early intervention following a traumatic event can help reduce the risk of developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression.
While post-traumatic stress reactions usually taper off within a few weeks of the traumatic incident, some people may continue to experience post-traumatic stress reactions, and these can worsen over time. Specifically, the emotional reactions can become so intense that they impair the person’s functioning.
Therefore, if a person continues to experience post-traumatic stress reactions for more than a month, it is recommended that he/she should consult the family doctor or seek psychiatric help as he/she may be at high risk for developing post-traumatic stress disorder or depression. Counsellors and other mental health professionals may also assist the affected person by making appropriate referrals to a psychiatrist if the post-traumatic stress reactions persist and medication is needed. Psychological medicine services are available in most hospitals.
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This article was last reviewed on
Tuesday, April 6, 2021
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