Recognize 4 Symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Picture created

PTSD or post-traumatic stress disorder is a mental disorder that appears after a person experiences or witnesses an unpleasant event.

PTSD is an anxiety disorder that makes sufferers remember traumatic events. Traumatic events that can trigger PTSD include war, accidents, natural disasters, and sexual harassment.

However, not everyone who remembers a traumatic event develops PTSD. To determine whether a person has PTSD, specific criteria are used.

PTSD Symptoms

Symptoms of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) appear after a person has experienced a traumatic event. The time of appearance can be several months or years after the traumatic event. The severity and duration of symptoms also vary from patient to patient.

Some of the symptoms that indicate a person has PTSD are:

1. Memories of a traumatic event

People with PTSD often remember the events that traumatized them. In fact, sufferers feel as if repeating the incident. Memories of the traumatic event are also often present in nightmares, so the sufferer is emotionally depressed.

2. Tendency to evade

People with PTSD are reluctant to think about or talk about the events that traumatized them. This is indicated by avoiding places, activities, and people associated with the traumatic event.

3. Negative thoughts and feelings

People with PTSD tend to blame themselves or others. In addition, sufferers also lose interest in activities they used to enjoy and feel hopeless. Sufferers are also more aloof and find it difficult to establish relationships with other people.

4. Changes in behavior and emotions

Even if they are not triggered by memories of the traumatic event, people with PTSD are frequently terrified or angry. This change in behavior is also often a danger to himself or others. Patients also have difficulty sleeping and concentrating.

PTSD can occur in both children and adults. However, in children, there are special symptoms, a namely frequent reenactment of traumatic events through games. Children with PTSD also often experience nightmares that can be directly or indirectly related to the traumatic event they experienced.

When to go to the doctor

Consult a psychiatrist if memories of a traumatic event interfere with activities, especially if it lasts for 1 month or more.

Immediately consult a psychiatrist if the memory of the traumatic event triggers you to harm yourself and others, or to encourage you to commit suicide.

Causes of PTSD

PTSD can occur after a person experiences or witnesses a frightening or life-threatening event. It’s not known exactly why these events cause PTSD for some people. However, it is suspected that the cause is a combination of the following conditions:

– Unpleasant experience.

– Family history of mental disorders.

– Innate temperament personality.

Events that are known to most commonly trigger PTSD include:

  • War.
  • Accident.
  • Natural disasters.
  • Bullying (bullying).
  • Physical abuse.
  • Sexual harassment, including rape or sodomy.
  • Certain medical procedures, such as surgery.
  • A life-threatening illness, such as a heart attack.

PTSD diagnosis

Diagnosis of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Picture From

The doctor will ask about the patient’s symptoms and perform a physical examination to find out if the patient’s symptoms are caused by a physical illness. The patient will be referred to a psychiatrist or psychiatrist if no physical illness is discovered.

A person can only be said to have PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder)if they have a history of experiencing the following conditions or events before symptoms appear:

  • Experiencing the traumatic event firsthand.
  • Witnessing a traumatic event that befell another person.
  • Hearing that someone close to you has experienced a traumatic event.
  • Repeatedly imagine the traumatic event accidentally.

To be categorized as PTSD, symptoms experienced after the traumatic event must last for a month or more. Symptoms should also interfere with daily activities, especially in social and work relationships.

PTSD Treatment

PTSD treatment aims to relieve the patient’s emotional response and teach the patient how to properly control himself when remembering the traumatic event. Treatment methods include:


Psychotherapy is the first choice in treating PTSD. If the patient’s symptoms are severe, the doctor will combine psychotherapy and medication.

Psychotherapy can be done individually or in groups with other PTSD patients. There are several types of psychotherapy that are usually used to treat PTSD, namely:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy, to recognize and change the patient’s negative thinking patterns into positive ones.
  • Exposure therapy, help patients deal effectively with the circumstances and memories that triggered the trauma.
  • Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), which is a combination of exposure therapy and eye movement techniques to change the patient’s response when remembering a traumatic event.


Your doctor will give you medicines to treat PTSD symptoms. The drug given depends on the symptoms experienced by the patient, including:

  • Antidepressants, to treat depression, such as sertraline and paroxetine.
  • Anti-anxiety, to overcome anxiety.
  • Prazosin, to prevent nightmares.

The doctor will increase the dose of the drug if it is not effective in treating symptoms. However, if proven effective, the drugs will continue to be given for at least 1 year. Then, the treatment will be gradually discontinued.

Complications of PTSD

PTSD can interfere with the life of the sufferer, whether in the family or work environment. In addition, ODGJ with PTSD disorders is also at risk of suffering from other mental disorders, such as:

  • Depression
  • Eating disorders
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Alcohol dependence
  • Drug abuse

People with PTSD are also more likely to have thoughts of self-harm and even suicide.

Prevention of PTSD

PTSD cannot be prevented, but there are several things you can do if you experience a traumatic event, for example:

  • Talk to family, friends, or a therapist about your traumatic experience.
  • Try to focus on the positive, including when experiencing a traumatic event. For example, feel grateful to be able to survive the accident experienced.