Symptoms of PTSD

How much do we really know about PTSD? Here is what we all already know…

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can be an extremely debilitating condition that can occur after exposure to a terrifying event or ordeal in which grave physical harm occurred or was threatened.

But somethings that you may not know are…

  • People can often smell things related to their trauma even in their nightmares. It can also cause physical health problems. Some feel pain from injuries they no longer have.
  • The symptoms of PTSD can be very disruptive. You may feel constantly on edge or as if danger is lurking around every corner. You may feel cut-off from people and your own feelings. You may have difficulties concentrating or find that you get angry at the drop of a hat.
  • PTSD can develop at any age, including in childhood. Symptoms typically begin within 3 months of a traumatic event, although occasionally they do not begin until years later. Once PTSD occurs, the severity and duration of the illness varies. Some people recover within 6 months, while others suffer much longer.

Here are some things that might help you figure out whats going on…

Symptoms of PTSD fall into three main categories:

  • 1. Repeated “reliving” of the event, which disturbs day-to-day activity
    • Flashback episodes, where the event seems to be happening again and again
    • Recurrent distressing memories of the event
    • Repeated dreams of the event
    • Physical reactions to situations that remind you of the traumatic event
  • 2. Avoidance
    • Emotional “numbing,” or feeling as though you dont care about anything
    • Feelings of detachment
    • Inability to remember important aspects of the trauma
    • Lack of interest in normal activities
    • Less expression of moods
    • Staying away from places, people, or objects that remind you of the event
    • Sense of having no future
  • 3. Arousal
    • Difficulty concentrating
    • Exaggerated response to things that startle you
    • Excess awareness (hypervigilance)
    • Irritability or outbursts of anger
    • Sleeping difficulties

You also might feel a sense of guilt about the event (including “survivor guilt”), and the following symptoms, which are typical of anxiety, stress, and tension:

  • Agitation, or excitability
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Feeling your heart beat in your chest (palpitations)
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Paleness

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