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
- Feeling your heart beat in your chest (palpitations)