According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event — either experiencing it or witnessing it. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event.
While anyone who experiences or witnesses a traumatic event can develop PTSD, not everyone does. Some people may have long-lasting symptoms that don’t go away, and others may recover within a few months. If you’re experiencing the former, it’s important to seek PTSD counselling in Perth.
- Car Crashes
Car crashes are one of the most common causes of PTSD in Australia. A study published in the Medical Journal of Australia found that 10% of people involved in a car accident developed PTSD – of those who developed PTSD, 70% were still suffering from symptoms after one year.
- Sexual Assault
Sexual assault is another leading cause of PTSD in Australia. In fact, according to the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, sexual assault is the second most common cause of PTSD among Defence Force personnel. A study published in the journal BMC Women’s Health found that 26% of women who had been sexually assaulted developed PTSD as a result.
Bushfires are a major problem in Australia, with more than 100 fires burning across the country at any given time during bushfire season. It’s no surprise then that bushfires are also a major cause of PTSD in Australia. A study published in the journal PLOS One found that 17% of people who had been affected by a bushfire developed PTSD.
- Natural Disasters
In addition to bushfires, natural disasters such as floods and cyclones can also cause PTSD. A study published in the journal Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness found that 13% of people who had experienced a natural disaster developed PTSD.
- Military Combat
Finally, war is another leading cause of PTSD in Australia. A study published in the Journal of Affective Disorders found that 11% of veterans who had served in Afghanistan developed PTSD.
Seek help if you’re experiencing PTSD
With car crashes, sexual assault, bushfires, natural disasters and military combat being the five most common causes of PTSD in Australia (according to studies done by leading research journals), you may find that one of these incidents occurring in your past has contributed to PTSD symptoms without you even realising it.
If this is the case, it’s important to seek help from a mental health professional as soon as possible – early intervention can make a huge difference in your recovery.