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Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

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Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post-traumatic Stress D isorder (PTSD) is a serious mental health condition that develops after a person has witnessed or experienced a terrifying or traumatic event. These events ideally involve serious physical threats or harm. Symptoms of PTSD can include nightmares, severe anxiety, flashbacks, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event. This condition is generally a lasting consequence of traumatic ordeals that causes intense helplessness, horror or fear. Examples of situations that can bring on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder include natural disasters, physical assaults, an accident or the unexpected death of a loved one. Families of victims, as well as emergency personnel and rescue workers, can also develop PTSD.

A lot of people going through traumatic situations experience temporary difficulties in coping and adjusting, but they do get better with time and proper self care. In case the symptoms keep getting worse, and lasts for months and interfere with the daily functioning, there is a chance that one might be suffering from PTSD.

Symptoms of PTSD

The symptoms of PTSD may start within a month of the traumatic event. But there also are instances where these symptoms may not appear until several years after the event. The symptoms experienced due to PTSD vary from person to person, but most of them can cause major issues in work or social situations and in relationships. They might even interfere with the ability of a person to go about their normal routine.

PTSD symptoms are generally grouped into four types, which are:

  • Intrusion: Intrusive thoughts like distressing dreams, repeated memories or flashbacks of the traumatic event are common PTSD symptoms. At times, the flashbacks can be so vivid that they make people feel that they are experiencing the traumatic event all over again or witnessing it in front of their eyes.
  • Negative changes in thinking and mood: Having negative feelings and thoughts that lead to the development of distorted beliefs about oneself or others is experienced by many people suffering from PTSD. Thoughts like ‘I can trust no one’ or ‘everything is my fault’ may continuously run on their mind. Distorted thoughts about the consequence or cause of the event can result in wrongful self lame, as well as feelings of anger, horror, shame and guilt. Due to these feelings, one may become detached from others and fail to experience positive emotions.
  • Avoidance: A lot of people suffering from PTSD try to avoid reminders of the traumatic event. In doing so, they can avoid certain people, activities, places and situations that can trigger distressing memories. They may try their best to avoid remembering or even thinking about the traumatic event, as well as resist talking about what happened and how they feel about it.
  • Changes in physical and emotional reactions: People with PTSD might be easily startled or frightened or always be on guard for danger. Their reactive symptoms can include being irritable and having angry outbursts; having problems concentrating or sleeping as well as behaving recklessly.
  • Seeking out professional help for the management of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms is crucial for the well-being of a person.

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