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Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Posted on December 15, 2017 at 3:55 PM

Overview of PTSD

Posttraumatic stress disorder is a mental health condition that is cause by witnessing or experiencing a terrifying event. There’s a multitude if symptoms but some include: flashbacks, nightmares, severe anxiety, and uncontrollable thoughts and feelings about the event. Many people who face this mental health disorder have temporary complications adjusting and coping with these traumatic events. However, with good care and time, they will usually get better. If these symptoms continue to get worse, last for long periods of time (months/years), and interfere with your daily functions, you may possibly have PTSD. If you are one of these people it would be highly critical to get treatment right away to reduce these symptoms and improve your overall functionality.

Symptoms

Symptoms can occur as early as one month after a traumatic event but sometimes they can take as long as years after the event. PTSD symptoms are categorized in 4 categories: intrusive memories, avoidance, negative changes, and emotional reactions.

1. Intrusive Memories

• Recurrent, unwanted distressing memories of the event

• Reliving the event as if it were happening again to the person

• Upsetting dreams or nightmares about event

2. Avoidance

• Trying to avoid thinking or talking about the event that affected them

• Avoiding places, activities, and people that bring arise/remind them of the event

3. Negative changes in thinking or mood

• Negative thoughts about yourself, other people, or the world

• Hopelessness about future

• Difficulty maintaining close relationships

• Feeling detached from family and friends

• Lack of interest in activities they once enjoyed

• Feeling emotionally numb

4. Changes in physical and emotional reactions

• Easily startled or frightened

• Always on guard for danger

• Trouble sleeping and concentrating

• Overwhelming guilt or shame

Risk Factors

People of all ages can be affected by this disorder. There are some factors however that will make you more likely to develop this disorder. They include:

• Experiencing long and intense trauma

• Lack of good support system (family and friends)

• Having other mental health problems like anxiety and depression

• Problems with substance abuse

• Sexual violence

• Physical assault

• Combat exposure

• Childhood abuse

• Being threatened with a weapon

From: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/post-traumatic-stress-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20355967 ©2017

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