Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms

Post traumatic stress disorder symptoms often include re-living the horrifying event or experiencing symptoms of denial or numbing. If you have experienced a trauma, the trauma may live on in the form of post traumatic stress disorder.

Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a result of a normal reaction to an abnormal situation, with roughly 7.7 million Americans experiencing PTSD.

While war veterans have raised the public profile of PTSD, people can experience post traumatic stress disorder symptoms following volent personal assaults, natural disasters, accidents.

You can develop PTSD following a terrifying ordeal which has occurred or you have been witness to, and felt intense fear, helplessness or horror.

This video describes some of the experiences of PTSD.


Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms

post traumatic stress disorder

Typically PTSD symptoms appear within 3 months of the trauma and include intrusion, avoidance and hyperarousal.

Intrusion

Do you experience vivid flashbacks that intrude in your life?

These distressing flashbacks may include:

  • thoughts or images of the event
  • a feeling that the traumatic event is re-occurring
  • intense distress when exposed to triggers of the traumatic event
  • nightmares of the horrific event.

Avoidance

Do you avoid close personal contact with friends and family?

Do you experience numbness and emotional detachment from activities.

These are some of the post traumatic stress disorder symptoms.

A person suffering from PTSD will probably avoid situations that remind them the original trauma. Similarly they may try to numb the painful feelings and emotions by resorting to drugs and alcohol.

According to the Australian Centre for Post Traumatic Mental Health (1999), approximately 50% of men and 25% of women with chronic PTSD have drug and alcohol issues

Hyperarousal

A person experiencing PTSD may be on hyper-alert, vigilant for potential threats and danger.

They may experience increased irritability and anger, and have trouble focusing their thoughts as they scan their environment for perceived constant threats.

When you experience PTSD it may seem that things may not get better or feel normal again. It is important to remember that you are not alone and that help is available.

Reaching out for support and treating this anxiety disorder with a therapist in combination with anti anxiety medication can help you to manage and overcome the post traumatic stress disorder symptoms and move on with your life.

References

Kessler RC, Chiu WT, Demler O, Walters EE. Prevalence, severity, and comorbidity of twelve-month DSM-IV disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication (NCS-R). Archives of General Psychiatry, 2005 Jun;62(6):617-27.

Robins LN, Regier DA, eds. Psychiatric disorders in America: the Epidemiologic Catchment Area Study. New York: The Free Press, 1991.

This site is for information purposes only and is no substitute for treatment. Please see your local medical expert or mental health professional for advice.

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