An estimated 8 percent of Americans, more than 24 million people, suffer from post traumatic stress disorder. It’s commonly linked to war, but the disorder is not exclusive to those with military service.
Dr. Todd Thatcher is the Chief Medical Officer of Valley Behavior Health. He explains what is going on in the brain when someone is experiencing PTSD.
When you experience a dangerous or traumatic situation you want your brain to:
- Attach an emotion to the memory
- (Logic part of the brain) Tthink through the situation
Thatcher says when someone is a reminded of a trauma, their “fight or flight” system is activated even though there is not a threat present. The logic part of the brain doesn’t work as well in people with PTSD, so they are not able to calm themselves down.
Watch the video above to hear more symptoms and behaviors associated with this disorder.