Have you ever found yourself being extremely anxious or continuously experiencing scary thoughts?
Were you abused or neglected as a child? And up till this point, the scenes and flash keep playing in your mind. Which eventually leads to a heavy bang on your head.
Don’t try to minimize it, you probably avoid recalling events associated with the unfortunate experiences you have had, say a month ago or several years back.
The fact is you might be a little confused on the kinds of events that lead to trauma. Below are few examples.
The most common events that often lead to post traumatic event include:
- Sexual violence
- Childhood physical and sexual abuse
- Exposure to violence
- Threats accompanied with weapons
- Plane crash
These events are life-threatening and require meeting a therapist for help especially if you notice some changes in your behavior, reaction, and attitude towards yourself and the people around you.
Yes, you can benefit from seeing a therapist.
Signs and symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
1. You Avoid Situation That Reminds You of the Traumatic Event
If you always try to avoid situations or people that remind you of the traumatic or unpleasant experience you have been through. Then you could be suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Other avoidance symptoms include:
- Hopelessness about future
- General memory problems
- Lack of concentration
- Lack of activities
- Feeling of rejection, isolation from others
- Avoiding certain objects, events, places or scenes that remind a person of the trauma.
- Mood swing and emotional meltdown
- Avoiding talking or thinking about the event
Please bear in mind that in a therapy setting you can explore your symptoms further.
You have been experiencing trust issues and easily infuriated. You put up an image of being strong and you always alert for danger. Simply put, it is that kind of feeling that makes you keyed up.
Other symptoms associated with being hyperarousal:
- Being frightened or afraid
- Lack of sleep
- Engaging in behaviors that reduce your self-esteem
- Constantly under mental or physical pressure
- You always feel guilty even when it is not necessary
- Always trying to defend or protect yourself
3. Re- Experiencing Symptoms
If you have been experiencing memories of your past experience often or flashes of traumatic scenes, then you have the re-experiencing symptoms.
It may include:
- Frightening thoughts
- Flashbacks that makes the traumatic event fresh in your memory
- Triggered by anything associated with the traumatic event you experienced
- Distress and lack of strength when you’re reminded of the traumatic event.
4. Negative Mood Symptoms
These negative feeling make you feel bad about yourself or others and most times you try to conceal your feelings.
Examples of negative emotion include:
- Loss of the ability to build or manage relationships because you barely have positive feelings about other people.
- Inability to have fun or pleasure
- Constant negative mood state
- Feeling isolated from family and friends
- Series of memory problem example inability to recall events especially those associated with the trauma you experienced.
5. Physical Symptoms
Your physical appearance shows that you’re not happy and might be highly irritating to people around you.
Examples of physical appearance include:
- Muscle tension
- Feeling disconnected from your body
- Chronic pain
- Neurological, respiratory problem
- Musculoskeletal problem
- Cardiovascular problem
6. Suicidal Thoughts
If you have been experiencing the challenges above, and then suicidal thoughts start clouding your mind. This is a serious symptom, and you should meet a therapist immediately.
Causes of Post-Traumatic Disorder
Not everyone who goes through a traumatic event suffer from PTSD, however, if you have experienced sexual abuse, learn or see events that involved death or threatened someone to death. Then you might be at risk of developing above mentioned symptoms.
In addition, doctors are yet to discover concrete reasons why people suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, they have made possible suggestions that might contribute to PTSD.
- Health risks that are passed on from one generation to another (inherited mental risks). Example depression or anxiety.
- Inherited features of one’s temperament or personality.
- The functionality of your brain and its response to hormones and chemicals released by your body during stress.
What should I do if I have the symptoms?
Post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms usually occur within a month after you experience and for some years after. You should be able to open up and talk to someone you trust, a therapist is your best option because of privacy, secure environment, non-judgmental and unbiased professional support.
If you have experienced a traumatic event that keep re-flashing in your mind or leads you to distress, then you should seek the help of a therapist as soon as possible. Click here to read about PTSD counseling and schedule appointment online or call us at 919-647-4600.