PTSD

Written by Macy Young

Post-traumatic stress disorder is when someone has difficulty recovering after experiencing or witnessing a terrifying event. It is quite common with about 3 million cases a year in the U.S.

There are four groups that PTSD falls into: instructive memories, avoidance, negative changes in thinking and mood, and changes in physical and emotional reactions. Each of the four have their own symptoms.

Instructive Memories: 

  • Recurrent, unwanted distressing memories of the traumatic event
  • Reliving the traumatic event as if it were happening again (flashbacks)
  • Upsetting dreams or nightmares about the traumatic event
  • Severe emotional distress or physical reactions to something that reminds you of the traumatic event

Avoidance:

  • Trying to avoid thinking or talking about the traumatic event
  • Avoiding places, activities, or people that remind you of the traumatic event

Negative changes in thinking and mood:

  • Negative thoughts about yourself, other people, or the world
  • Hopelessness about the future
  • Memory problems, including not remembering important aspects of the traumatic event
  • Difficulty maintaining close relationships
  • Feeling detached from family and friends
  • Lack of interest in activities you once enjoyed
  • Difficulty experiencing positive emotions
  • Feeling emotionally numb

Changes in physical and emotional reaction:

  • Being easily startled or frightened
  • Always being on guard for danger
  • Self-destructive behavior, such as drinking too much or driving too fast
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Irritability, angry outbursts, or aggressive behavior
  • Overwhelming guilt or shame

When experiencing intense symptoms, someone can begin having suicidal thoughts and at that moment, seek emergency help as soon as possible. 

PTSD is a crucial mental disorder and can affect anyone no matter their gender, age, race, etc. Seeking medical help such as therapy or rehab is recommended. To learn more, look online at www.mayoclinic.org

 

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