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Understanding What Causes Stress
The first stage in preventing
and lowering your own levels of stress is recognizing what stress
is and what the major causes of stress are.

How is Stress Affecting YOU?
How stressed out are YOU?
Let's take a look into what may
be causing your stress levels to
be where they currently are.

Develop a Stress-Relief
Action Plan

Here are some tips for staying
healthy throughout the year on campus and more.

YOUR Stress Relief PLAN : Managing Daily Habits
Knowing how to manage stress
on a day-to-day basis can be just
as tough as dealing with the
stress itself. Here is a guide to
help you along the way.

Stress Relief Products
In addition to a regular stress management program, there
are many tools available to
assist you on your path to a
stress-free lifestyle. Stress Health Network

The Facts About Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Once associated mainly with combat veterans, this trauma-induced disorder is also found among ordinary civilians who have experienced or witnessed severe, life-threatening incidents such as rape, natural disaster or seeing someone being badly injured or killed.

PTSD cases increased dramatically nationwide in the wake of the 1995 Oklahoma City federal building bombing and are expected to appear again in the wake of the Sept. 11th terrorist attacks. It's important, therefore, to understand the symptoms of the disorder and to seek appropriate help for yourself and your loved ones if needed.

Symptoms
People with PTSD typically have constant frightening thoughts and flashbacks in which they relive the traumatic event. They also feel emotionally numb and distant from loved ones. Other frequent symptoms include sleep problems, depression, violent outbursts, irritability and substance abuse. In severe cases, individuals become unable to work or socialize.

Causes
The traumatic events most often connected with PTSD in both men and women are rape, sexual molestation and childhood neglect or physical abuse. For men, combat exposure is a significant risk factor, and, for women, being threatened with a weapon is a strong trigger. Communities and workplaces also can be devastated by trauma, examples being riots, gang wars, terrorist attacks and workplace shootings.

Diagnosis
It's important to remember that not every person who experiences a traumatic event will experience PTSD. The disorder is diagnosed only if the symptoms last for more than a month without letup. Symptoms typically appear within three months, but also may be repressed for years. Many people recover naturally from mild PTSD within six months, but others have symptoms that last for years or even a lifetime.

Treatment
If you or a loved one are experiencing symptoms of PTSD, it's important to seek some form of help. Medication and professional counseling are an integral part of an effective treatment program, while support groups, family and friends also are invaluable in speeding recovery.

To find help for suspected PTSD, contact your local mental health services office or the agencies listed below:

Anxiety Disorders Association of America
212-543-5355

American Psychological Association
800-964-2000

Sidran Foundation
410-825-8888

National Center for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
www.ncptsd.org

Traumatic Stress Institute
www.tsicaap.com

© Your HealthStyle, 2002.

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