Symptoms of PTSD
In this post we will talk about some of the symptoms of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress disorder) and its manifestations. This is not an exhaustive list and new posts will be added as time goes on to address more on this.
Trauma has varying degrees. Some can eventually make us more cautious, thereby making us better in life; street-smart, while others cripple an individual, more so mentally than physical. This is what undiagnosed psychological disorders can do to the people who suffer from these conditions without being able to acknowledge their predicament, and sadly, it is more so out of fear.
Psychological disorders carry with them a negative stigma that came from a foregone era, but is unfortunately, still predominant today. Almost immediately, these conditions are brushed off as disorders that merit an admission into a rehabilitation facility. However, that was the thoughts of a close-minded society.
Because of its nature, very little is actually known about PTSD, especially how it manifests. This is important because knowing this is a way of being able to intervene as soon as possible. Early detection, earlier treatment, better results.
Mental Symptoms of PTSD
The most common symptom with people suffering from PTSD is reliving the moment through flashbacks of varying intensities. Normally, like mentioned in pervious posts, it is triggered by an external stimulus that closely resembles the cause of the trauma. It could happen while you are conscious, or other times, when you are asleep, manifesting itself as a nightmare. Flashbacks may not necessarily be the terrifying experience of reliving, as most would think. They can also be feeling those deeply rooted emotions due to the trauma. Even just a song on the way home from work can trigger those emotions and sometimes it can take a bit to bounce back.
Another symptom that we should be aware of is hyper-arousability. Fundamentally, this is a high level of panic attacks that shows itself in many ways such as irritability, or even leading to a lack of sleep out of fear caused by nightmares. In addition, an individual can become hypervigilant. Being on edge all the time could easily result in unexplained anger misplaced to any random stranger, or sometimes your family.
One symptom that may be considered the worst of all is that individuals who suffer this disorder may try to avoid any feelings that may remind them of the trauma. In some cases, a person may avoid anything that may trigger any kind of emotion, which, in a way, is worse than any of those which are mentioned above. This is because they can easily cut off ties from their support system, which is vital for them to cope with the disorder. In cases like these, potential support systems should be made aware that this is a normal reaction stemming from the trauma. They should just pace the person and give him/her enough time to eventually adjust.
Physical Symptoms of PTSD
These only give us a peek at the mental impact that PTSD has on the individual, however, there are also physical manifestations such as feelings of pain where there should be none, and other times, episodes of sudden sweating, nausea, or trembling.
One individual who suffers from PTSD, claimed that when he goes through an anxiety attack, he experiences heart attack like symptoms such as chest pain and tightness, and a sudden feeling of fainting. Sadly, these can be so debilitating that it could easily be real.
There are also other signs that someone is suffering from PTSD. They could be those who neglect taking care of themselves, are unable to keep a job for a significant amount of time, or those who are unable to enjoy some time to themselves or with their families. All this could mainly be due to the fact that they could be easily preoccupied with their fear or their trauma that they could not function as normally as they would like to.
Like mentioned above, this condition can easily cripple a person for the rest of their life if the trauma is strong enough and nothing is done about it.
Trauma can be as crippling as a physical disability, and sometimes even worse. To suffer mentally is far worse because it not only affects the way you think, but also the way others perceive you if they don’t know what you are going through. This is because on the outside, you look as normal as a person could be, but on the inside, you are having very deep-rooted problems coping with the disorder.
How symptoms of PTSD manifest themselves in an individual can vary from one person to the next, and it should be taken as such – individualized, just like any other malady known to the medical field. However, knowing at least a little bit of the symptoms will give you an idea what PTSD could look like, and in a way, will help you detect it as early as possible. The earlier treatment is sought after, the better the results will be.