Various traumatic situations cause PTSD - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Various traumatic situations cause PTSD

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Erin Collins Erin Collins

An estimated 8 percent of Americans have PTSD at any given time, that's more than 24 million people.

And while we often associate PTSD with soldiers and veterans, many events can cause someone to feel an intensified level of distress.

Erin Collins, a Crime Victim Specialist at Gundersen Health System said it can happen to anyone and the time frame in which people overcome it varies.  With situations like a serious car accident, fire, sexual assault, or specifically the I-35W bridge collapse accident in Minneapolis.

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"It has nothing to do with lack of will power or morale compass or bad character and it often masks itself in other ways where it might come across as anxiety, depression, or addiction," said Collins.

For people with PTSD, it is very common for memories, scents, sounds and anniversaries  can trigger a reaction.

"When something bad happens to you that makes you feel unsafe, the most common reaction is to get over, but there's a lot of people out there for what ever reason can't seem to get past it. And when you see someone who might be experiencing anxiety or depression or anything like that after a tragedy like that, asking them if they need help is important," added Collins.

 According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, more than 7 million Americans age 18 and older have PTSD and 67 percent of people exposed to acts of mass violence are more likely to develop PTSD as opposed to other types of trauma.

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