EVERYDAY ANXIETY OR PTSD? How to Know

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PTSD or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is very serious. 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 may think.

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

PTSD

  • 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

EFFECTS of PTSD

Mentally reliving a traumatic event can be almost as stressful and frightening as the original event. There is often embarrassment, confusion, and frustration in addition to the physical and psychological symptoms. Even though the disorder has very specific symptoms, PTSD is often misunderstood or misdiagnosed. It often causes strain on relationships therefore, many people will isolate and detach themselves from family, friends, and activities they once enjoyed.

Why Some and Not Others?

Many scientists are studying why some people develop PTSD while others do not. Some are focusing on genes that play a role in creating fear memories, and others are examining parts of the brain involved in dealing with fear and stress.

It appears that the more severe, long-lasting, or dangerous a traumatic event, the more vulnerable a person is to developing PTSD. Experiencing trauma caused by others, such as rape, war, and assault are also more likely to result in developing PTSD.

Click here for more resources, treatment, and information.

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Article originally published June 2016

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