In life, trauma can strike at any time. When you are exposed to danger, illness, violence, or the threat of injury, you can potentially carry that trauma along for years if you don’t get proper treatment.
When you have PTSD or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, your healthy stress system has been weakened by trauma. This pressure causes your mind and body to react in specific ways.
What Are The Symptoms of PTSD?
You are going about your day and are suddenly confronted by unpleasant, distressing memories of what happened to you.
Trauma survivors regularly deal with nightmares. If you are already suffering from mental health problems, you may experience vivid, disturbing dreams.
Avoiding Any Reminders Of The Event
One of the most significant effects of PTSD is avoidance. Your mind and body will attempt to avoid situations, places and people that remind you of the trauma. These avoidant behaviours can become problematic and impair your day-to-day living.
Memory loss occurs as a natural defence mechanism when a traumatic event happens. Memory loss is your brain’s attempt to cope with what has happened. Without treatment, these memories may resurface at any time, resulting in significant distress.
Negative Thoughts About Self and the World
PTSD may cause you to perceive yourself and the world negatively. You may feel hopeless and unable to visualise the future. You may also start to see yourself in a bad light.
Self-Isolation & Feeling Distant
With PTSD, you may have a hard time being around people for fear of potential triggers or being unable to relate to others. Without treatment, this could lead to total self-isolation.
Anger and Irritability
PTSD kicks the brain into a state of “fight or flight” at the slightest things. This hyperarousal results in strong emotions like anger and irritability. You may lash out at others, even if you don’t entirely understand why.
Decreased Interest in Favourite Activities
The mood changes, sleeplessness and avoidance caused by PTSD can make you feel unmotivated and uninterested in activities you once enjoyed.
After a traumatic event, your body becomes extremely alert or hypervigilant to protect you from possible further threats. You may also be startled very easily. However, this state of hypervigilance is upsetting and highly exhausting.
The hyperarousal and anxiety of PTSD may restrict your ability to concentrate. You may struggle to readjust at work, home and school because your mind is elsewhere.
Having experienced trauma, you may struggle to sleep. Your hyperalertness or fear of nightmares makes it difficult to relax. Some people turn to drugs or alcohol to calm down, leading to possible substance abuse problems.
Flashbacks are different from intrusive thoughts and may be triggered by anything from sounds to smells. If you have flashbacks, you may feel like the traumatic event is happening all over again. Your memories can become so graphic that they seem to be happening in the current moment, resulting in panic or aggression.
People with PTSD may blame themselves for it, especially if it resulted in the injury or death of someone.
Difficulty Feeling Positive Emotions
The anger, guilt and sadness of PTSD may numb your ability to accept any positive emotions you may experience.
After trauma, you may be at higher risk of addiction. Risky behaviours can include drug abuse, alcoholism, unsafe sex, high-adrenaline activities and behavioural addictions like gambling or shopping. If you are coping with trauma through “compulsive comfort-seeking”, you should seek professional treatment as soon as possible.
Getting Help For PTSD
Mental Healthcare Professionals are trained in providing treatment for PTSD. If you need help treating PTSD and creating a more manageable life, please call or Whatsapp Life Path Health’s 24/7-Helpline on 072-7900-506.