What is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)? Symptoms & Causes.

Post-traumatic stress disorder

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

According to the American Psychiatric Association, PTSD is a psychiatric disorder that can develop after having witnessed or experienced a traumatic event. Serious accidents, neglect, natural disasters, terrorist attacks, war/combat, and assault are all examples of traumatic events that can cause PTSD.

Post-traumatic stress disorder develops after a very stressful, frightening, or distressing event, or after a prolonged traumatic experience. It is important to remember that PTSD is not a sign of weakness; while not everyone who suffers from trauma develops PTSD, mental weakness is not the determining factor.

Receiving treatment can help relieve a person’s symptoms and heal from their trauma, allowing them to continue on with their lives without being controlled by PTSD.

Symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)-

Post-traumatic stress disorder’s symptoms may hugely impact on people’s day to day life.
Generally, symptoms rise within a month after any traumatic event but there are rare cases too, in which symptoms appear after three to six months or even after some years too.
It takes time to notice when symptoms are mild but severe symptoms may start troubling
the person in a very short time.
There are numbers of symptoms of PTSD because they vary from person to person, but we categorized all of them and described below-

Re Experiencing-
It is the most typical symptom of post-traumatic stress disorder. This is when a person involuntarily and vividly relives the traumatic event in the form of flashbacks, nightmares, repetitive and distressing images or sensation, physical sensations such as pain, sweating, feeling sick or trembling, mental disturbances like constant negative thoughts, murmuring, feeling of guilt and shame.

Avoidance and emotional numbing-

Trying to avoid means, avoiding those people, places, and things that remind to him of his traumatic past. It is another key symptom of PTSD. In this case, people with PTSD try to forget memories of that event. When they try to deal with their feelings by trying to feel nothing it is called emotional numbing. This avoidance and emotional numbing can lead to the person in isolation and he may also have no interest in activities he used to enjoy.

Hyperarousal (feeling ‘on edge’)

Many people with PTSD experience anxiety and find difficult to relax completely. The reason behind that could be that they may be constantly aware of threats and easily startled, it is called hyperarousal and it often leads to irritability, angry outbursts, sleeping problems, sometimes insomnia, and difficulty concentrating.

Other Symptoms

Some people with PTSD also have a number of other symptoms, like-mental health problems (depression, anxiety, or some kind of phobias) tendency of self-harming or destructive behavior (drug misuse or alcohol misuse). Some people may have other physical symptoms like headaches, dizziness, chest pains, and stomach aches too.

Post-traumatic stress disorder may lead to work-related problems and the breakdown of relationships.

Causes of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder-

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can develop after a very stressful, frightening, or distressing event, or after a prolonged traumatic experience. Following events that may lead to Post-traumatic stress disorder include

  1. Serious accidents that lead mental and/or physical inability.
  2. Social, physical or sexual assault
  3. Any kind of abuse, including childhood abuse or domestic abuse.
  4. Some kind of exposure to any traumatic events at work.
  5. An incurable health decease or serious health problem leads to being admitted to the intensive care unit.
  6. Bad childbirth experiences like losing a baby or regular miscarriage.
  7. War and conflict and pandemic.
  8. Brutal torture, rape, etc.
  9. Death of the dearest person.

It has been observed that Post Traumatic Stress Disorder develops in about 1 person out of the three people who experience severe trauma. And this is yet a mystery why some people develop the condition while others do not.

When to See a Doctor-

Life is full of ups and downs so it is quite normal to experience upsetting and confusing thoughts after a tragic event, everyone has these type of experiences after the traumatic event and most people recovered with the time, but if anyone still having problems or symptoms said above, for more than 4 weeks of the traumatic event, should see a Doctor. Your doctor may refer you to any mental health specialist if your doctor feels you’d benefit from further treatment.




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