Are you or someone you love suffering after a devastating trauma?
It may be difficult to know whether the feelings you are experiencing are far more serious than you thought. Here are a few different ways to assess if you or a person you care about is suffering from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).
EVERYDAY ANXIETY & STRESS
Frightening thoughts and images
Difficulty falling asleep or concentrating
Feeling agitated for days or weeks following a trauma
Wanting to be left alone for short periods of time
Staying away from reminders of someone who has passed away
Feeling frightened, angry or agitated after losing personal possessions during a life-threatening natural disaster, accident or similar event
Chronic distressing intrusive memories, flashbacks, nightmares or sudden floods of emotions long after a trauma
Feelings of being emotionally numb
Avoiding situations that are reminders of the trauma
Loss of interest in daily life
Withdrawing from family and friends for an extended amount of time
Persistent negative emotional state & self-blame
Severe and recurrent anger, rage and insomnia long after trauma
Mentally reliving a traumatic event can be almost as stressful and frightening to people suffering with PTSD as the original event. In addition to the physical and psychological symptoms, there is often embarrassment, confusion and frustration. Even though the disorder has very specific symptoms, PTSD is often misunderstood or misdiagnosed. It often laces a strain on relationships, as many people will isolate and detach themselves from family, friends and activities they once enjoyed.
Many scientists are studying why some people develop PTSD and others do not. Some are focusing on genes that play a role in creating fear memories, and others are examining parts or the brain involved in dealing with fear and stress.
It appears that the more sever, long-lasting or dangerous a traumatic event, the more vulnerable a person is to developing PTSD. Experiencing a trauma caused by others, such as rape, war and assault are also more likely to result in developing PTSD.
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