Crime has a devastating impact on its victims. Criminal victimization can cause both short-term and long-term stress reactions. While many people who experience long-term stress reactions continue to function, those who cannot may be suffering from Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
PTSD can appear at any age and occurs in survivors of crime-both direct victims and family members of victims. Victims will react differently depending on the type of violation endured and their personality, experiences, and support systems.
PTSD is the diagnosis mental health professionals apply to people who have suffered sever trauma in their lives and have developed certain symptoms as a result. Many, but not all, crime victims experience PTSD.
Being in crisis does not mean a victim of crime will develop PTSD. However, victims who do not have the opportunity to work through their experience and begin to heal are more likely to develop PTSD. When victims seek and receive appropriate crisis intervention and counseling, the chance of developing PTSD is reduced.
Counseling is available at bot SAICS and CAISA.
Victims who are diagnosed with PTSD persistently re-experience the traumatic event in at least one of the following ways:
Not all victims will develop PTSD. If the trauma is dealt with quickly, the severity of reactions may be eased. A therapist or counselor can help victims restructure the fragments of their lives and accept some irrevocable changes brought about by the trauma.