Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Understanding, Treatment & Help
If you have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event– such as military combat or physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, it’s normal to feel a heightened sense of anxiety for a few weeks afterward. However, if you are still experiencing mental distress months or years later, you may have post-traumatic stress disorder. Symptoms may wax and wane depending on how long it’s been since the event and whether you are dealing with any other stressors that could serve as triggers. Here are three common signs of PTSD to be on the lookout for:
1. Recurring Memories/Flashbacks: Sign of PTSD
These can include recurring memories or flashbacks, in which you are reliving the event as if you were actually experiencing it again. Sometimes, these intrusive thoughts take the form of nightmares related to the trauma.
2. Continuous Negative Mindset: Sign of PTSD
Traumatic stress can have a detrimental effect on your mental outlook, contributing to negative feelings about yourself, others, and the world in general. Those with PTSD often feel numb and detached from their loved ones, making it virtually impossible to maintain close relationships. If you have PTSD, you may also find that you are no longer interested in activities you used to enjoy.
3. Changes in Emotional Reactions and Behavior
The highly-negative thinking associated with post-traumatic stress disorder can cause hyperarousal– intense physical and emotional reactions. Someone who lives with traumatic stress may be constantly on high alert, easily startled, and looking for signs of danger. Memories of unpleasant events can lead to irritability, anger, and aggression. Difficulty sleeping and concentrating are also common. PTSD-sufferers sometimes exhibit self-destructive behavior, such as substance abuse. They often tend to avoid people, places, and situations that remind them of the terrifying experience. Severely traumatized individuals also frequently report being overwhelmed with shame and guilt associated with what happened to them.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Treatment
If signs of PTSD are long-lasting and interfere with day-to-day functioning, consulting a qualified mental health professional may be in order. If you suspect you have PTSD, seeking mental health care can help you overcome the effects of traumatic events so you can make a fresh start. Ridgeview Institute provides comprehensive, compassionate PTSD treatment, including inpatient and outpatient services, for youth and adults. Contact us anytime at (844) 350-8800 for a free assessment—24 hour a day, 7 days a week!