As shocking instances of missile attacks, war and mass shootings continue to occur all over the globe, we often hear people talk about Post traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD. Frequently associated with post-war veterans and victims of violence, PTSD is a psychiatric disorder that can develop in people who’ve experienced or witnessed a traumatic or life-threatening event.
However, there are many other instances of trauma that can cause someone to develop PTSD besides combat or witnessing a terrorist attack. Anyone of any age that has experienced a violent or sexual assault, a natural disaster, a car accident or any other shocking event could be at risk of developing PTSD. If you’re concerned you or a loved one may be suffering from PTSD, here are some signs to look out for.
Reliving the Event
Someone with PTSD will have involuntary re-experiences of the trauma through nightmares, flashbacks, triggers, and unwanted thoughts or memories. Sounds or smells may take them back to the traumatic experience, or they may develop physical ailments when they’re reminded of or remember the event.
Symptoms of Arousal and Reactivity
PTSD sufferers will frequently feel on edge, unsafe or be easily startled. They may be prone to anger, agitation, or sadness. It’s also common for victims of PTSD to have trouble sleeping or concentrating, and they may develop changes in their eating habits by either eating too much or too little.
An individual suffering from PTSD may begin to avoid the area where they experienced the event, or areas that remind them of what happened. They may also avoid people, events or objects that bring negative memories forward. It’s also common for people with PTSD to avoid talking about the situation, or avoiding feelings related to the event.
Negative Thoughts and Feelings
Feelings of shame, self-blame, and exaggerated negative beliefs are common in people with PTSD. They may lose interest in things they once enjoyed, and isolate themselves from friends and loved ones. It’s also not uncommon for people with PTSD to entirely lose trust in people, or to believe that the world is a dangerous place.
After experiencing a traumatic event, it’s natural for someone to have any of the symptoms listed above. However, for people suffering from PTSD, the symptoms persist for weeks, months, or even years. The symptoms, reliving the experiences and hypervigilance begin to affect their ability to function in their daily lives.
If you’re worried you might be suffering from Post traumatic Stress Disorder and need the help of a licensed professional, please call my office today and let’s set up an appointment to talk. I have an office in Clearwater Florida and specialize in EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) therapy for the treatment of PTSD and Developmental trauma.