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PTSD Symptoms

Woman screaming

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that can develop after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event.

Trauma can range from life-threatening events like combat, natural disasters, or sexual assault, to other distressing experiences like accidents, violence, or the sudden loss of a loved one. Not everyone who experiences a traumatic event will develop PTSD, but for some individuals, the experience can lead to a range of symptoms that significantly impact their daily life.

The symptoms of PTSD can be grouped into four main categories:

  1. Intrusive Thoughts and Memories: People with PTSD may experience recurrent and distressing memories of the traumatic event. These memories can be triggered by reminders or cues related to the event. They might also experience nightmares or flashbacks, feeling as if they are reliving the trauma.

  2. Avoidance and Numbing: Individuals with PTSD often go to great lengths to avoid anything that reminds them of the traumatic event. This can include avoiding certain places, people, or activities. They may also feel emotionally numb, detached from others, and have difficulty experiencing positive emotions.

  3. Negative Changes in Thoughts and Mood: This category includes symptoms like negative beliefs about oneself or others, persistent negative emotions like fear, anger, guilt, or shame, and a sense of alienation from others. It can also lead to difficulty concentrating, memory problems, and a generally pessimistic outlook.

  4. Hyperarousal: People with PTSD might be in a state of constant alertness or heightened arousal, which can result in difficulty sleeping, irritability, anger outbursts, and an exaggerated startle response. They may also struggle with concentration and find it challenging to relax.

These symptoms often persist for more than a month and can significantly interfere with an individual’s ability to function in their daily life.

If left untreated, PTSD can lead to carious complications, including depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and even suicidal thoughts. There are many ways that can help people overcome PTSD which will be covered in my next article.


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