What is PTSD Symptoms?
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a specific set of reactions that can develop in people who have experienced a traumatic event which have threatened their safety or life, so does everyone around them. This could be a small incident or other serious accident, such as physical or sexual abuse/assault, post-war trauma, bullying/tortured, or disasters such as bushfires or floods. As a result, the person begins to feel some intense of fear, helplessness or horror.
It’s normal to feel afraid during and after a traumatic situation. The fear triggers a “fight-or-flight” response. This is how your body normally works to protect itself from possible harm. It made some certain changes in your body, such as the release of particular hormones, abnormal increase on alertness, blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing.
By the time passes, most people do/could naturally recover from this situation. But people with PTSD aren’t feeling any better. Long after the trauma is over, instead of getting better, they feel stressed and frightened. In some cases, symptoms of PTSD may start later on. They could also come and go over time.
Some people with PTSD might experience long periods when their symptoms couldn’t be identified earlier, followed by periods where they get worse. Generally, people who suffered from PTSD, might have contstant severe symptoms.
The specific symptoms of PTSD can be vary widely between individuals, but they generally fall into certain categories described below.
Most people who had gone through traumatic events may have temporary difficulty with adjusting and coping into things in their life, but with time and good self-care effort, they could possibly get better. If the symptoms get worse, last for long period of time (months or even years) and interfere your daily basis functioning, you may have PTSD.
Getting effective treatment after PTSD symptoms start to progress can be critical to reduce those symptoms and improve function.
Post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms may start within one month (or less) of a traumatic event, but sometimes these symptoms might not appear until months or even years after the event. These symptoms lead onto some significant problems in social life or work environment and also in relationships matter. They can also interfere with your ability to perform on your normal daily tasks.
PTSD symptoms are generally categorized into four types: intrusive memories, avoidance, negative changes in thinking and mood, and changes in physical and emotional reactions. Symptoms can vary over time or vary between each individuals.
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What are the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)?
There are four types of PTSD symptoms, however, they may not be the same for everyone. Each person experiences symptoms in their own way. The types are;
- 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 some sort of physical reactions to something that reminds you of the traumatic event
Avoidance symptoms, where you try to avoid people, places, things, or situation that could possibly trigger memories of the traumatic event. This might cause you to;
- Avoiding to think or talk about the traumatic event or even things that related to the trauma.
- Avoiding people, places, and things (activities / situation) that might remind you of the traumatic event.
- Staying away from places, events, or objects that might be the reminders of the traumatic experience. For example, if you had a trauma about motorcycle accident, you might never want to use motorcycle again in the future.
- Avoiding thoughts or feelings related to the traumatic event. For example, trying to get as much distractions in order to avoid your traumatic thoughts.
Arousal and reactivity symptoms, which may cause you to be anxious or be cautios for danger. They include;
- Being easily startled
- Feeling tense or agitated
- Trouble sleeping
- Explosive anger
- Negative thoughts about yourself, other people or the world
- Having no hope about the future (hopelessness)
- Memory problems, including not remembering important aspects of the traumatic event
- Having a difficulty at maintaining close relationships
- Feeling detached from family and friends
- Lack of interest in activities you once fond of
- Having a difficulty in experiencing positive emotions
- Feeling emotionally numb
Cognition and mood symptoms, which are negative changes in beliefs and feelings. They include;
- Having trouble remembering important things about the traumatic event
- Negative thoughts about yourself or the world
- No longer interested in things you enjoyed
- 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
Intensity of symptoms
What is PTSD Symptoms? And What causes post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)?
PTSD symptoms can vary in intensity over time. You might have more PTSD symptoms when you’re experiencing stress in general, or when you come across reminders of what you went through. For example, you may hear a car backfire and relive combat experiences. Or you may see a report on the news about a sexual assault case and couldn’t get over from memories of your own assault.
PTSD symptoms usually start soon after the traumatic event. However, sometimes they might not appear until months or years later. They also may come and go over many years.
If your symptoms last longer than four weeks, because you great distress, or interfere with your work or home life, you might possibly have PTSD.
Getting timely help and support would be a good precaution to deal with normal stress reactions from getting worse and developing into PTSD. This might be turning to family and friends who will listen about your problem and giving comfort. It may means seeking help from a mental health professional for a brief course of therapy. Some people 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.