Symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder


 If you have experienced a sudden traumatic and deeply disturbing event and the memories continue to haunt you, then you may be suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Whilst for many, the dreadful memories can subside, one in three people could continue to experience the symptoms associated with this disorder for months or even years if help is not sought. Sadly, many people battle on alone, feeling weak at not being able to cope and hiding behind layers of guilt and secrecy.
Post Traumatic Stress can affect you on a physical and psychological level and although the disorder may not materialize initially until some months after the event, you may find yourself reliving the experiences over and over again. It's not uncommon to feel angry, anxious, depressed, sad, tearful, emotional, grief-stricken and even guilty but in reality, there is no reason for you to question or to judge yourself and your own experiences are highly personalized and indicative to the trauma.
Causes of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder vary and include:
  • Witnessing a serious accident or being involved in one.
  • Ongoing physical abuse or rape
  • Being taken hostage
  • Witnessing death or a violent injury
  • The shock of being diagnosed with a serious or life threatening illness
  • Losing a loved one suddenly and without warning.
The symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder include:
  • Violent and powerful nightmares
  • Memory flashbacks
  • Rapid or irregular heart rate, physical aches and pains, anxieties and feelings of panic
  • A desire to shut out the memories and to shut down all emotions
  • Turning to alcohol to help numb the pain
  • A volatile emotional state
  • Extreme tiredness and irritability
The effects of PTSD will not just dissipate until you face up to your demons and seek out professional help. There is no shame in seeing a counselor on a regular basis and opening up and talking about your experiences can be highly therapeutic. It can be difficult to discuss your PTSD with anyone who is close to you and who might be affected by your experiences but a professional therapist will be able to support and guide you towards recovery.
There are many options for recovery and your counselor may suggest:
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Psychotherapy
  • Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing
  • Group therapy
  • Medication
Sadly, it will take time to move away from the pain and dread of your memories but don't be too hard on yourself, you are only human. Sometimes, the reality of any situation is too much for the brain to contend with and whilst you may try to switch off the sights and sounds of that event, eventually it starts bubbling to the surface as a constant reminder of the horror. The best way to deal with your condition is to embrace professional help and take a giant step forward towards controlling the symptoms of your Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and laying it to rest.
Jim Moustakas is the CEO of My Life Assistant Pty Ltd an online counseling and life coaching interactive platform. My Life Assistant provides a live 24 hour counseling or coaching service by qualified counselors, psychologists and life coaches from around the world. To get full access now please visit select whether you are a general user or a therapist and get started right away.
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