Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Overview

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: This is a mental health condition and should be taken seriously. PTSD is triggered by a event (usually it’s a traumatic event) that was experienced or watched.  Most who have experienced trauma may have difficulty adjusting and coping with the experience.  

Symptoms might include- Flashbacks, nightmares and sever anxiety. Getting proper treatment can reduce PTSD symptoms and improve function.

More symptoms:

          An individual with PTSD might develop symptoms right away but, a lot do not develop symptoms till years later. Generally, there are four types of symptoms- Intrusive memories, avoidance, negative changes in thinking and mood, and changes in physical and emotional reactions.

Intrusive memories

Symptoms of intrusive memories may include:

•       Recurrent, unwanted distressing memories of the traumatic event

•       Reliving the traumatic event as if it were happening again (flashbacks)

•       Upsetting dreams or nightmares about the traumatic event

•       Severe emotional distress or physical reactions to something that reminds you of the traumatic event

Avoidance

Symptoms of avoidance may include:

•       Trying to avoid thinking or talking about the traumatic event

•       Avoiding places, activities or people that remind you of the traumatic event

Negative changes in thinking and mood.

Symptoms of negative changes in thinking and mood may include:

•       Negative thoughts about yourself, other people, or the world

•       Hopelessness about the future

•       Memory problems, including not remembering important aspects of the traumatic event

•       Difficulty maintaining close relationships

•       Feeling detached from family and friends

•       Lack of interest in activities you once enjoyed

•       Difficulty experiencing positive emotions

•       Feeling emotionally numb

Changes in physical and emotional reactions

Symptoms of changes in physical and emotional reactions (also called arousal symptoms) may include:

•       Being easily startled or frightened

•       Always being on guard for danger

•       Self-destructive behavior, such as drinking too much or driving too fast

•       Trouble sleeping

•       Trouble concentrating

•       Irritability, angry outbursts or aggressive behavior

•       Overwhelming guilt or shame

For children 6 years old and younger, signs and symptoms may also include:

•       Re-enacting the traumatic event or aspects of the traumatic event through play

•       Frightening dreams that may or may not include aspects of the traumatic event

PTSD Symptoms may vary over time. Stress may cause symptoms to be heightened. Reminders can cause the PTSD to set off as well. You should always consult a dr. Always let your doctor know when you’re having disturbing thoughts and feelings.

Prevention

After surviving a traumatic event, people may have PTSD-like symptoms at first, such as being unable to stop thinking about what has happened. Fear, anxiety, anger, depression, guilt — all are common reactions to trauma. However, most people exposed to trauma do not develop long-term post-traumatic stress disorder.

Getting timely help and support may prevent normal stress reactions from getting worse and developing into PTSD. This may mean turning to family and friends who will listen and offer comfort. It may mean seeking out a mental health professional for a brief course of therapy. Some people may also find it helpful to turn to their faith community.

Support from others also may help prevent you from turning to unhealthy coping methods, such as misuse of alcohol or drugs.

You can also help a family member or friend when you notice the things that set off their PTSD. If you are aware of the trigger or triggers, you can help them or you can document it for their doctor.

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