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Can post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) be prevented?

Though it is difficult to stop a traumatic event from happening, you can work to prevent symptoms. Most people who have survived a traumatic event experience some PTSD-like symptoms. Getting support and assistance can prevent these symptoms from getting worse. Discussing your symptoms with a professional can help prevent you from using alternative methods, like drugs and alcohol. The reactions of fear, anger, guilt and depression are all common reactions to trauma.

Pam Hays
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

Resiliency Training is being researched as a way to prevent post-traumatic stress.  The Army has initiated a program for all of its troops that will train them in resiliency. The training, the first of its kind in the military, is meant to improve performance in combat and head off the mental health problems, including depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and suicide,  that affect about one-fifth of troops returning from Afghanistan. Though there has been no direct research conducted on soldiers to see if such a program will be beneficial,  other research in this area suggests that by teaching people some of these basic psychological coping skills, a person will be better positioned to deal with stress and stressful situations in a more positive manner. The Army is also going to track the results of this program, in time providing them with some hard data about its effectiveness.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.