Symptoms of PTSD

Symptoms of PTSD

Have you experienced a traumatic event in your life? Do you get frequent flashbacks of this event? Do you have regular nightmares? If any of these ring true to you, then you may be experiencing symptoms of PTSD.

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What is PTSD?

PTSD, otherwise called as posttraumatic stress disorder, is a diagnosis given to a person experiencing difficult symptoms relating to a very traumatic event. People with PTSD are usually victims of rape or those who have been to war. Since these situations are very traumatic, the memory plays over and over in your head even while you’re awake.

Though people with this disorder appear to be perfectly normal, when they are not around anyone the feeling of regret, fear, nervousness, anger, hate, and all other types of emotions associated with the traumatic event, consume the person.

Soldiers experience this every day. For a soldier, killing an innocent or even a bad person can still be very traumatic. This is why they are often referred to a psychologist right after their tour because their experiences can be very heavy for them to handle on their own.

But soldiers and rape victims aren’t the only ones suffering from PTSD. Anyone who has experienced something traumatic at some point in their life, like getting into a serious accident and losing someone they love can have PTSD.  It is basically reliving the trauma over and over again.

When dealing with PTSD, the symptoms may defer depending on the person, but the stages of these are all the same. Here are some ways that you can find out if you have PTSD:

  • Re-experiencing the trauma through flashbacks, nightmares, and recollections of the event.
  • You feel numb, or you don’t have any feelings, neither positive nor negative.
  • You try to avoid certain places, people, activities, or things that remind you of the trauma you experienced.
  • Difficulty in sleeping
  • Difficulty on concentrating on a daily basis.
  • Feeling jumpy, irritated or angry all the time.
  • Constant self-pity, and self-punishment.
  • Always on-guard, or defensive.

People with PTSD also end up experiencing other disorders that relate to anxiety, like depression, substance abuse, memory lapses, and cognition. These disorders when combined altogether hinder the person from being able to function properly around family members and friends. Including downward performance in work life, marital problems, and difficulty in parenting.

 

Suicidal thoughts

There are a lot of people with PTSD who attempt to commit suicide. Because the symptoms can sometimes become so intense, it becomes harder and harder for the person to cope with, which is why they try the easiest way out.

If you are the type of person who have suicidal thoughts, knowing that you have this kind of disorder, it is important that you call someone immediately to stop you from doing it.

If you are having those urges, make sure to follow these steps, to ensure that you do not push yourself into committing suicide:

  • Reach out to one of your closest friends, family members or role models that have a significant impact in your life, that you know you can listen to. It is important that you look for someone you trust so that they can assist you from avoiding to commit suicide.
  • Contact a suicide hotline, if you are alone all the time, and starting to get those heavy emotions. Suicide hotlines can be very useful, there are trained professionals there that can help talk you through your attempt, and make sure that you are fully relaxed.
  • Make sure to set an appointment with your doctor, doctors will help diagnose and give you the right medications to help you cope with your PTSD. It is important that your doctor knows what you experience and how you feel when you experience these flashbacks because they will be able to give you a solution suitable for you.

 

When to seek emergency help

A lot of people who have symptoms of PTSD have the tendency to become really destructive and depressed. Because they experience these types of feelings, they can often end up hurting themselves in the process.

PTSD is a serious thing, and it can be a dangerous condition that people would normally take for granted. If you have PTSD and you are starting to have those urges of wanting to commit suicide or hurt people around you, make sure that you call for emergency help right away.

You need to get your depression under control, and if you cannot do it on your own, ask someone close to you to call for emergency or at least be there to try and calm you down. A lot of people get really hurt, and because people with PTSD black out, they are oblivious to what they do wrong.

When you have a relative with this condition, stay calm and try to assess the situation. If you cannot handle it yourself, call someone that can do it for you, like a doctor or nurse.

If you also know someone who is at risk of committing suicide, do not rethink the situation, call for help immediately, because people with this disorder are severely troubled, and only need someone to calm them down and talk to them properly regarding their condition.

Assure them by telling them that you can help them get some professional help.

 

Changes in reaction emotionally and changes in mood

People with a posttraumatic stress disorder sometimes start to develop negative changes in their behavior and way of thinking. If you think that you have a friend or relative that has PTSD, make sure that you take note of these symptoms:

  • Difficulty in maintaining a close and stable relationship amongst people.
  • Memory loss including difficulty in remembering certain instances in the traumatic event that they have been a part of.
  • Lack of interest in activities that they have once really enjoyed doing.
  • Feeling of numbness (like they are not capable of feeling anything emotionally anymore. Love, hate, care, etc.)
  • Have lost the nerve to feel happy.
  • Negative thoughts about themselves and other people around them.
  • Hopelessness about their future. (Like not being able to get married, or have kids.)
  • Irritability.
  • Aggression.
  • Anger outbursts.
  • Defensive.
  • Extraordinary feelings of guilt or shame.
  • Self-destructive. (Tendency to drink too much or eat junk, knowing it’s harmful but they cannot stop.)
  • Troubles in concentration.
  • Insomnia.
  • Frightened or startled easily.

 

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Conclusion

Experiencing symptoms of PTSD is not easy. If you know someone that suffers from PTSD symptoms, the best way that you can be a good friend or family member is by always assuring them that they will be ok and that you will always be there for them. You should also make sure they get professional help because there are methods and treatments that can be used to help them manage their mental problem so they can have a better quality of life.

 

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