Childhood Abuse, Sexual Assault and Rape, Physical Assault, Accidents, Fires, Natural Disasters
PTSD has been known by many names over the years, including “shell shock” and “combat neurosis,” but it became known as posttraumatic stress disorder in the 1970s when many U.S. veterans returned home from Vietnam, forever changed. Since that time, however, an increasing amount of research has shown that PTSD is not exclusive to those who have endured combat. Many individuals have shown notable symptoms of PTSD in relation to childhood abuse, sexual assault, traumatic events or accidents, and even natural disasters. “PTSD affects approximately 3.5 percent of U.S. adults every year, and an estimated one in 11 people will be diagnosed with PTSD in their lifetime” (“What Is Posttraumatic Stress Disorder?,” n.d.). “In one survey of US residents, 13 percent of the sample reported a lifetime exposure to natural or human-generated disaster” (Galea et al., 2005). That is to say, as human beings, it is possible to struggle with PTSD or trauma at some point in our lifetime without ever seeing battle.
The good news is that individuals who have the courage to undergo treatment for PTSD not only get better, but they tend to stay better. Studies show that 80% of women treated with CPT after a sexual assault were still in remission 5 years after treatment (Resick et al. 2012); once they got better, they stayed better.