In a study where PSTD screening was given to trauma level patients, over 40% exhibited signs of PTSD. While 8% of Georgians suffer from PTSD at some point in their lives, the rate of PTSD is significantly higher in communities and neighborhoods around Atlanta where several thousand report seeing or being a victim of a violent crime. Georgia has 152 acute care hospitals, with only 15 of those designated as trauma centers. Only 5 of those 15 trauma centers are found in Atlanta. Grady Memorial in Atlanta is the largest hospital in Georgia, 5th largest in the U.S. and the busiest Level 1 trauma center in the U.S.
PTSD Rates at Home Rival PTSD Rates of War Veterans
Atlanta, along with Detroit, Chicago and Philadelphia who all have high rates of violent crime also show higher levels of PTSD. Recent research studies found that in the U.S. those with traumatic injuries develop PTSD at rates comparable to war veterans. In fact, in Atlanta, the rates of PTSD in the general population are as high as or higher than PTSD seen in veterans returning from the Iraq, Afghanistan, and Vietnam wars. Life in major cities has become so stressful that the populace is more likely to suffer flashbacks, nightmares, paranoia, anxiety, fear and social withdrawal.
Untreated PTSD Impacts Life Skills
PTSD symptoms progress disrupting the ability to function effectively at home, with friends and at work. Pro Publica online reports that while an Atlanta trauma center may be able to save a life and send them back out into the community, the occurrence of PTSD following the trauma results in the patient not having all of their needs met. With better awareness of the increase of PTSD, more patients will hopefully be referred for mental health evaluation and treatment. If you or a loved one is experiencing any signs or symptoms of PTSD, working with a mental health professional experienced in community acquired PTSD is the right path in regaining control of your life.
Variety of Triggers for PTSD
PTSD can develop from a wide variety of triggers. While the disorder is often associated with being a victim of a violent crime, severe injury, exposure to war or natural disasters, PTSD can also be brought on by events that may not qualify as traumatic such as unemployment, divorce, or major life changes.
While receiving a proper diagnosis of PTSD is necessary for proper treatment, symptoms can include phobia, avoidance, recurring nightmares, flashbacks, having a negative emotional state, feeling detached from others, sleeplessness, irritability, anger, numbing of emotions, hyper-vigilance, and self-destructive behavior.
Call Dr. Hege a highly regarded PTSD psychiatrist in Atlanta. Get the help you need now.