How PTSD Impacts the Survivors of a Crime?

A girl sitting depressed

Experiencing any kind of traumatic incident can have a huge impact on a person’s mind. It deeply affects a person’s overall well-being and impacts their mental and emotional state. Experiencing events such as accidents, crime, the death of a beloved person or family member, or disasters can cause a lifelong negative effect on the mind that doesn’t go away easily. If a person suffers from a traumatic incident like a crime, its prolonged effect could affect a person both mentally and emotionally. It could also lead to the development of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The following article will try to explore ways in which Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) affects a person’s life and how they cope with it.

What is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental disorder condition that can be caused by experiencing or witnessing a traumatic incident. Incidents such as violence, injuries, accidents, death, sexual or physical abuse, etc. Its symptoms can be long-lasting and severe for the person.

Automatic Thoughts and Flashbacks:

    Experiencing something traumatic as a crime is horrible for any person. In PTSD the effect of traumatic memory haunts the survivors in the form of distressing flashbacks. Flashbacks usually have clear images and scene form. The crime, the memory of the incidents is automatically triggered without even thinking. These automatic thoughts interfere with the normal life of a person, they feel like losing control over their actions and their mind.

    Emotional Turmoil:

    The impact of a crime can be huge on an emotional state of a person. The survivors of the crime have to face intense emotions such as anxiety, fear, shame, guilt, and sadness that continuously remind them of the traumatic incident. A load of guilt and regret is so much among the survivors of sexual violence which is triggered by the flashback of the incident. They also face difficulty expressing their feeling due to their overwhelming emotional state.


    In PTSD the survivors of the crime often become hypersensitive to the surroundings. It means they become extra conscious and alert to what is happening around them. They start to react easily to small and unimportant things. They become so alert and scan every possible source of threat from the environment. This hyperactivity never allows them to be calm and they become restless and exhaustive. They have trouble sleeping due to being alert and having nightmares that tell them it is not safe.

    Avoidance and Isolation:

      The effect of the crime can be so traumatic for the survivor that they often try to avoid and shut themselves away from anything that reminds them of the crime which they had suffered with. They might avoid going to a place, and stop meeting a particular person related to the crime. Due to the avoidance, they try to be isolated away from friends and family. They start to lose interest in activities and hobbies they use to enjoy once.

      Negative Self-Perception and the World:

      PTSD can affect a person’s ability to understand things. It changed the way they were used to perceiving the world. As the survivors deal with guilt, shame, and self-blaming for the crime it negatively impacts their self-esteem and self-confidence. It stops them from seeking help from anybody due to the blame. they put on oneself.

      Physical effects of PTSD:

      Apart from the psychological effects of PTSD, it can also affect our physical well-being. Survivors of any crime have to deal with severe headaches, fatigue, muscle tension, and stomach issues. These physical problems caused by PTSD are the result of trauma that further enhances their emotional pain.

      Disrupted Relationships:

        Survivor of PTSD has difficulty maintaining relationships after the incident of crime. The reasons might be trust issues, concern about safety, and previous traumatic memories, all these issues lead to strained relationships with friends and families. Those suffering from PTSD may further want to push away their loved ones away. The problem with emotional regulation causes them to suffer alone.

        Coping Mechanisms and Recover:
        Seek professional help

        Survivors of PTSD could reach out to mental health professionals and support groups to deal with their issues. Seeking therapy would help them deal with the traumatic memories of the crime. A Professional like a therapist or psychiatrist could provide an assessment of your condition and provide methods to deal with symptoms of PTSD.

        Practice Relaxation Techniques:

        Meditation and mindfulness training would help stable their overwhelming emotions caused by the incidents and help them trust people who care about them. Practicing deep breathing exercises help to reduce anxiety and stress caused by PTSD.
        Support groups

        One of the major ways to deal with safety and trust issues caused by PTSD is to join a support group. A network of people in support could help the regain rust over time. Sharing experiences and emotions of the traumatic memory from others who have similar experience help the survivors gain insight into the condition that they are not alone. It helps to a bond out of shared connection with others. With the help of a support group, the person deals with the problem of self-blaming as they understand that they are not responsible for the incident that has occurred to them.

        The impact of PTSD can be very challenging for the survivors. Even after suffering from such a traumatic incident as a crime, PTSD exists as a reminder of their horrible experience that disrupts their normal life and mental peace. By understanding About PTSD in depth society could offer better help to the individual with PTSD. Providing support, care, and understanding of their situation we can help people deal with their problems at a slow pace.

        Exit mobile version