What to do when your plane crashes in the river

jet-in-riverSeveral media sources have been reporting on the high probability of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) occurring in those passengers who were on board the US Air jet that recently crashed into the Hudson river. Clearly, some of the passengers will have problems with anxiety, depression and insomnia after such a horrifying near death experience, but which ones?

The passengers who are most at risk are women, those with substance abuse problems, and believe it or not, a family history of post traumatic stress. Also, individuals who were able to assist other passengers and generally help out in the emergency situation are less likely to suffer from PTSD. Most of the people who end up with PTSD symptoms will develop them within about 3 months, but it could happen later.

Fortunately, there are very effective treatments for PTSD, including medications and counseling, so these passengers should seek assistance for any problems they may have, rather than simply “toughing it out.”

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Michele Rosenthal 01.22.09 at 8:51 am

As a trauma victim and PTSD sufferer for over 25 years, let me put in my two cents by saying this: the quicker trauma victims seek help and treatment the better!

PTSD habits grow stronger and more debilitating over time. I lived in the dark of PTSD for over 2 decades before I was even diagnosed, and then it was a tough thing to kick the habits formed over all those years.

But it can be done! I’m now into my second year of being PTSD-free. I’m blogging about healing PTSD at http://parasitesofthemind.blogspot.com where I run a free healing workshop.

All trauma victims must do the following three things to heal:

1. recognize that living with flashbacks, anger, insomnia, nightmares and constant intrusive thoughts is not normal and does not have to be accepted

2. find an accredited trauma/ptsd therapist

3. construct a post-trauma identity that will allow them to integrate the memories into their persona rather than allow the past to exist on its own.

It IS possible to bridge the gap between trauma/PTSD and a joyful life!

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