Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a disorder that some people develop after they have experienced a traumatic event. It is common among crime victims and veterans. Usually, when confronted with a traumatic situation, the natural human "fight or flight" response takes over to protect us. Everyone will experience some initial symptoms following a trauma, but most people can recover naturally. PTSD is a diagnosis given to those who continue to experience problems stemming from that trauma for an extended period.
What Are the
Symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?
The symptoms and signs of PTSD usually begin within three months following the traumatic event. These symptoms may not start in some patients until many years following the event.
What Are the
Four Types of PTSD?
There are four different types of symptoms of PTSD: re-experiencing symptoms, avoidance symptoms, arousal and reactivity symptoms, and cognition and mood symptoms. Below, we will discuss symptoms associated with each type.
These symptoms can cause a disruption to a person's daily routines and can start with the person's thoughts. Situations, words, and even objects that serve as reminders of the initial event can trigger symptoms. Re-experiencing symptoms include:
- Flashbacks where the person relives the traumatic event
- Disturbing or frightening thoughts
Some things that remind a person of a traumatic event can trigger avoidance symptoms which can include:
- Avoiding a particular location, type of event, or objects that remind the person of their experience
- Avoiding all thoughts and feelings related to the event
Arousal and Reactivity Symptoms
Arousal symptoms are constant and can leave the person feeling stressed or angered. These symptoms may interfere with general day-to-day activities such as concentrating on something, eating, or even sleeping. These symptoms include:
- Feeling tense
- Startling easily
- Difficulty sleeping
- Angry outbursts
Cognition and Mood Symptoms
Cognition and mood symptoms commonly begin or worsen following the traumatic experience making the person feel detached from their family and friends. While these symptoms are not debilitating in the short term, if they last longer than one month, the person may develop trouble functioning day-to-day. These symptoms include:
- Problems remembering essential aspects of the traumatic event.
- Developing negative thoughts about themselves or the world in general
- Distorted feelings of guilt or blaming oneself for the event
- Loss of interest in activities they normally enjoy