Effects of PTSD

PTSD Shatters How People Understand Themselves, The World in Which They Live, and Their Role in It

PTSD often triggers:

  • a skewed sense of self and of how the world works
  • the loss of any previously positive sense of self
  • a sense of extreme vulnerability
  • a perception of the world and of life as meaningless and incomprehensible

PTSD May Cause An Increased Risk of Certain Disorders

  • panic disorders
  • agoraphobia
  • obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • social phobia
  • major depression
  • bipolar disorder
  • somatization disorder
  • substance-related disorder
  • dissociative identity disorder and other dissociative disorders
  • borderline disorder

Survivors may experience marked changes in their social and professional lives

  • social withdrawal, isolation and loneliness
  • difficulty understanding and/or feeling that one is understood by others
  • career changes that may become frequent
  • drastic career changes - suddenly preferring low-paid work that requires less responsibility or assuming a demanding job or position at the expense of personal relationships to a partner, family or friends

Certain factors may influence how trauma affects its victims and for how long

  • preparation for expected stress (when possible)
  • severity and length of exposure to a trauma-inducing situation
  • successful fight or flight responses
  • past experience with trauma
  • personal capacities
  • support from family, community, and social networks
  • psychotherapy

To prevent subsequent post-traumatic psychopathology, early trauma-focused psychotherapeutic intervention (i.e. during the immediate aftermath of a traumatic incident) is essential.

In other words: Get yourself enrolled in therapy before it is too late.

PTSD should not be viewed as the only potential consequence of trauma.

Other, serious side effects may result from trauma and require careful attention:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Suicide
  • Depression and anxiety are common amongst trauma survivors.

    Substances are often used to reduce, mask or numb the side effects of trauma, like depression and anxiety. Research suggests that 80% of trauma survivors experience depression, anxiety, or substance abuse/dependency. It's, therefore, essential to understand the signs of each.



    Research also suggests that suicide may be higher amongst those individuals who have experienced trauma at some point in their lives. It is, therefore critical for office managers, colleagues, partners, family, friends and others to recognize the warning signs of suicidal tendencies or thoughts.


    It's important that adequate support networks (office managers, colleagues, partners, friends, family, etc.) are in place and that appropriate treatment (therapy, medical care, etc.) is provided in order to minimize all side effects of trauma and PTSD and to help those affected feel supported and less alone.

    If you are concerned that someone you know may be suicidal:
    - Communicate with the person and listen intently and respectfully
    - Try to understand if the person has devised a plan for suicide
    - Seek professional help, regardless of whether or not the person is in agreement

    DO NOT
    - Pass judgment
    - Try to provide counseling
    - Agree to withhold the information
    - Leave the person alone