Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that is triggered by frightening events, either experienced or witnessed. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event. Let’s check Types of PTSD Symptoms You Need to Know.
Most people who experience a traumatic event may have temporary difficulty adjusting and coping. However, with time and good self-care, they can usually get better. If the symptoms worsen, last for months or even years, and interfere with daily activities, then a person can be said to have PTSD.
Types of PTSD Symptoms
Symptoms of PTSD fall into four categories, and specific symptoms can vary in severity. The four categories include:
Disturbing thoughts such as recurring and involuntary memories; sad dream; or flashbacks of a traumatic event . Flashbacks may be so vivid that people feel they are reliving the traumatic experience or seeing it before their eyes.
Avoiding reminders of the traumatic event can include avoiding people, places, activities, objects, and situations that can trigger distressing memories. People may try to avoid remembering or thinking about the traumatic event. They may also refuse to talk about what happened or how they feel about it.
Negative Changes in Thinking and Mood
Symptoms of negative changes in thinking and mood may include:
- Negative thoughts about yourself, others, or the world around you.
- Despair about the future.
- Memory problems, including not remembering important aspects of the traumatic event.
- Difficulty maintaining close relationships.
- Feeling separated from family and friends.
- Lack of interest in activities that used to be hobbies.
- Difficulty experiencing positive emotions.
- Feeling emotionally numb.
- Changes in physical and emotional reactions.
Changes in Physical and Emotional Reactions
Symptoms may include:
- Easily startled or frightened.
- Always be aware of danger.
- Self-injury or self-destructive actions, such as drinking too much or driving too fast.
- Trouble sleeping.
- Difficulty concentrating.
- Irritability, emotional outbursts or aggressive behavior.
- Extreme guilt or shame.
If you find someone close to you has the symptoms mentioned earlier, don’t hesitate to discuss it first with your psychologist. If needed, you can also make an appointment at the hospital to check with a psychologist or psychiatrist. Remember, handling that is done properly and quickly will help prevent the sufferer from unwanted things.
Why Doesn’t Everyone Develop PTSD?
It’s important to remember that not everyone who experiences a hazardous event develops PTSD. In fact, most people will not develop the disorder.
Quite a number of factors play a role in determining whether a person will develop PTSD. There are several risk factors that make a person more likely to develop PTSD, including:
- Experiencing very dangerous events and trauma.
- Seeing other people injured, or seeing corpses.
- Childhood trauma.
- Feeling horrified, helpless, or very afraid.
- Has little or no social support after the event.
- Dealing with stress after an event, such as the loss of a loved one, pain and injury, or the loss of a job or home.
- Have a history of mental illness or substance abuse.
Fortunately there are several factors that can promote recovery after trauma, for example:
- Seek immediate support from others, such as friends and family.
- Finding a support group after a traumatic event.
- Learn to be comfortable with one’s own actions in the face of danger.
- Have positive coping strategies, or ways to get through bad events and learn from them.
- Able to act and respond effectively despite feeling afraid.
Researchers are studying the importance of these and other risk and resilience factors, including genetics and neurobiology. With more research, it may someday be possible to predict who is likely to develop PTSD and determine appropriate preventive measures.