Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and what its Symptoms

November 12, 2012

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and what its Symptoms

There is a condition which affects many people in their everyday lives and it has been caused by being exposed to danger in some form. Being harmed or being in a position where bodily harm is likely or being in a position where someone can see the probability of harm to another person can cause some people to develop post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The condition is a mental illness and PTSD symptoms show themselves in many different ways. To minimize the suffering caused by PTSD symptoms it is crucial to get professional help as soon as possible because those who receive the correct help in a timely fashion tend to recover at twice the speed of others with no professional input.

Some of the more common PTSD symptoms include remembering the trauma and reliving it often, sleep related problems, avoiding returning to the place where the incident occurred and others. PTSD symptoms are real and terrifying to the sufferer and can change that person’s life as the person tries to circumvent any experience which may lead to severe anxiety.

By continually working to avoid any experience which may bring back the horrors of the situation means that the person’s environment is closed down leading to a much smaller world for that person. This leads to fewer activities being carried out as part of everyday routine. This is the result of trying to avoid the PTSD symptoms which cause the return of the anxiety, fear and tension. It is not uncommon for post traumatic stress syndrome sufferers to turn to drugs in an attempt to free themselves from the psychological issues caused by the condition.

Recent understanding of the condition only dates back to 1980. Before that PTSD was considered to be a weakness of character, it was not thought of as a medical condition. In the intervening years research has been carried out to confirm that PTSD symptoms are indeed caused by the brain having physical changes to its make-up.

Today medical professionals can identify if someone is suffering from post traumatic stress syndrome by using the latest copy of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, also known as the DSM-IV-TR. This document can confirm the condition by asking questions like:

Has the person been part of a situation leading to death or serious injury to anyone?

Does the person feel helpless and show intense fear?

Are dreams and flashbacks commonplace? And does that bring about feelings of anxiety, horror and distress?

The DSM-IV-TR helps the medical professional to identify if there certain symptoms present which confirms PTSD. Some of these indicators may be:

Difficulty remembering the event.

Lack of interest in participation in important actions.

Evading items or people which may bring back memories or feeling about the event.

Being distant from other people.

A feeling of having less future than others.

Problems getting to sleep and staying asleep.

Appearing to have less emotions.

Diminished concentration.

Moods and anger outbursts.

If any of these symptoms have been present for more than one month then the person may be suffering from PTSD. Additionally the PTSD symptoms must be causing the individual significant distress and must be affecting his ability to function.

Other signs of PTSD could be a feeling of emotional numbness, self destructive behavior, close relationships become difficult to maintain or feeling guilt or shame. Having PTSD increases the risk of developing phobias, depression, agoraphobia and panic disorders.

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