Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is an emotional illness that develops after life threatening, frightening or unsafe experiences. Post Traumatic Stress sufferers typically re-experience the traumatic event. Most sufferers avoid normal life activities and tend to avoid people, places and events that remind them of the horrific event. Soldiers that have been in war are at high risk for developing PTSD. Many PTSD sufferers have a high use of cigarettes, alcohol and marijuana. Sufferers typically have a smaller hippocampus- a region of the brain that plays a role in memory which can cause the sufferer to not be able to make new memories about life events. Signs and symptoms of PTSD can include avoidance and having phobias of places and people, chronic physical signs of hyper-arousal and recurrent re-experiencing of the trauma. There are many events that cause PTSD a few are: natural disasters, kidnapping, exposure to war combat, receiving a life threatening diagnosis, victim of abuse, experience or witnessing a severe accident or physical injury or involvement in civil conflict.
Treatment for PTSD typically involves psychological and medical treatments. Treatments can include: Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, teaching PTSD sufferers approaches to coping as well as how to manage their anger and anxiety, medications such as antidepressants and those that decrease physical symptoms.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is being study as to the potential impact it may have on PTSD. Based on these studies, if hyperbaric oxygen therapy is given with in the first few minutes of this kind of injury the effect is positive.