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The result of severe or worsening trauma

What Is PTSD?

When a person’s experience of an event, a set of circumstances, or a series of events results in trauma, that individual will begin showcasing symptoms. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a condition that occurs when trauma symptoms remain severe or worsen, leading to considerable life disruption and impaired functioning.

PTSD and Trauma

Negative Effects of PTSD

The negative effects of PTSD are significant and pervasive. One of The Meadows’ Senior Fellows, Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, is the New York Times bestselling author of The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma, which addresses how trauma manifests itself in the physical body. He states in his book, “Traumatized people chronically feel unsafe inside their bodies: The past is alive in the form of gnawing interior discomfort. Their bodies are constantly bombarded by visceral warning signs, and, in an attempt to control these processes, they often become expert at ignoring their gut feelings and in numbing awareness of what is played out inside.”

Unable to resolve the traumatic experience, a person with PTSD will suffer from disruptive psychological and physiological symptoms. Nightmares, insomnia, chronic pain, and hypervigilance are all hallmarks of PTSD. This can affect not only the person, but their relationships, work, and social life. Untreated PTSD can result in broken marriages, suicide, job loss, and a deeply impaired ability to interact normally with the world.

Approximately 15 to 35% of patients with chronic pain also have PTSD.

-US Department of Veterans Affairs

Symptoms of PTSD

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5),
here are some of the symptoms of PTSD:

  • Recurrent, involuntary, and intrusive memories or dreams of the traumatic event
  • Inability to remember an important aspect of the traumatic event
  • Negative beliefs or expectations about oneself, others, or the world
  • Negative emotional state (e.g., fear, horror, anger, guilt, or shame) and persistent inability to experience positive emotions
  • Markedly diminished interest or participation in significant activities
  • Feelings of detachment or estrangement from others
  • Dissociative reactions (e.g., flashbacks) in which the individual feels or acts as if the traumatic event were recurring
  • Avoidance of external reminders that arouse distressing memories, thoughts, or feelings about or closely associated with the traumatic event
  • Irritable behavior and angry outbursts, typically expressed as verbal or physical aggression toward people or objects
  • Reckless or self-destructive behavior
  • Hypervigilance and exaggerated startle response
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Sleep problems, such as insomnia or restlessness
  • Psychological and even physiological distress based on any internal or external cue related to the event (symptoms not connected to any illness, substance use, or other mental health condition)

PTSD by the Numbers

According to the American Psychiatric Association:

  • About 1 in 11 people will be diagnosed with PTSD in their lifetime.
  • PTSD affects 3.5% of American adults.
  • Women are twice as likely to develop PTSD than men.


According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America:

  • 65% of men and nearly 46% of women who are victims of rape will develop PTSD.
  • Childhood sexual abuse is a high risk factor for lifetime likelihood of developing PTSD.


According to the US Department of Veterans Affairs:

  • Approximately 15% to 35% of patients with chronic pain also have PTSD.
  • It’s estimated that 30% of Vietnam War veterans have developed PTSD in their lifetime.
  • Between 11-20% of veterans who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom or Operation Enduring Freedom have PTSD in a given year.
  • 12% of Gulf War Veterans have PTSD in a given year.

PTSD Treatment at The Meadows

If you or a loved one is in need of PTSD treatment, we’re here to help. The Meadows specializes in treating trauma conditions such as PTSD along with addiction and other mental health conditions. We are equipped to provide innovative trauma therapies such as Somatic Experiencing® based on the groundbreaking research of our Senior Fellows. Call us today to find out more about our program and how we can help you or a loved one recover from PTSD.

Schedule a Call


Our Admissions team is here to help 24 hours a day and is experienced in assisting others with compassion, dignity, and respect — hallmark values of The Meadows for more than 45 years. The Meadows’ Admissions Specialists are here to help you on your way to a healthier and more productive lifestyle. When you call, they will lead you through a series of questions to determine if The Meadows is a good fit, and how soon your treatment can begin. If you are interested in The Meadows for yourself or a loved one, call or fill out an admissions form today!

If you are interested in The Meadows for yourself or a loved one call or fill out an admissions form today!

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