Health & Fitness

How to recognise the signs of PTSD?

If you do not know what PTSD abbreviation stands for, it is for the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It is one of the health issues that affect more and more people lately, and the bad part about this disorder is that people do not know the signs that come with it. Only a professional can diagnose it, but usually it takes a lot of time until the person understands that they are dealing with something that disrupts their life. The persons, who experienced a natural disaster, survived a life-threatening disease or who fought in a war are only some of the people who can experience the symptoms of this disorder. There are some subtle changes in a person’s life that can be considered signs of the PTSD.

When it comes to PTSD some patients can point out the event that led to this disorder, but there are also patients who have symptoms, but the event happened long ago, and they do not know what the source of the problem is. If you or a person you know are experiencing some of the following symptoms, then it is important to talk with a professional, because it is not a life sentence, it is something you can fight with, and you will definitely feel better.

Feeling anxious or afraid

In case you are experiencing episodes of panic attacks, or you are feeling anxious without having a reason to feel like this, then it is advisable to pay attention to these events. If you go through your day without having any event that can trigger you this state, and then you start feeling afraid or anxious, then you should know that it is something hidden behind your state. Your brain considers that it is something that represents a danger for you, and this is why you have these mixed feelings. You do not understand why you are afraid or anxious, but even a smell or loud noise can trigger your brain.

Avoidance symptoms

Another sign of PTSD is when you start avoiding certain people, or when you do not want to leave the house because you are afraid of meeting people. The persons who suffer from post traumatic stress disorder start avoiding the places or persons who are related to the event that triggered them this disorder. It is understandable that they do not want to expose themselves to that event again, but avoidance will only make the symptoms more intense. Avoidance is the main factor why people isolate themselves and it influences the evolution of PTSD in a negative manner.

Hyper arousal

The traumatic event will cause you an acute mix of behaviours, thoughts and feelings. Experts state that the traumatic event causes a chemical reaction in the body of the patient and the person puts himself or herself in a survival mode. When in the survival mode you will feel like the fear immobilizes you and you do not have control over the situation. These events are very scary and painful, the person who experiences them is overwhelmed, and they are not able to recover their calm. In addition, they have issues with sleeping during the night.

Re-experiencing

Considering that an event is the one that causes this disorder, the person who is dealing with it, can manifest nightmares or flashbacks and they can re-experience the fear they have felt when they have found themselves in that particular situation. When you face with triggers specific for the traumatic event, you are re-experiencing it and you remind the fear you felt then. Mood changes are a sign that you are re-experiencing the event. There are times when PTSD first manifests as anxiety, depression or mood changes. There are times when you suddenly feel upset, sad, angry or low. These swings in your mood are clear signs that you are suffering, and you should discuss with a professional.

Chronic insomnia

First, when people are experiencing issues with sleeping at night, they consider that the foods or drinks they consumed during the day are the causes. But if you repeatedly have issues with falling asleep then this is a sign that you are dealing with chronic insomnia. Very few times people associate insomnia with PTSD, even if this is one of the most common causes. It is a real issue the fact that you are not able to sleep during the night, because it will disrupt your entire life. But there is a cure for PTSD so you should not worry. The key is to share your issues with someone who has experience in dealing with this disorder and to seek for help.

Substance abuse

There is a difference between having a few glasses of wine throughout the week and constantly consuming substances, because you feel that they are the only ones that can calm you down. If you need to drink alcohol or use substances, like opioids and cannabis to be able to socialise with people or to relax, then this is a sign that you are dealing with a psychologic situation. This situation is called self-medication, because the persons who suffer from PTSD have the tendency to consume high quantities or drugs and drinks to feel better.

When dealing with feelings you cannot control, you feel desperate to soothe yourself and substances abuse seems to have this effect. But drugs and alcohol will not help you for a long period, soon you will start experiencing those feelings again, and they will be more intense. Substance abuse will not be enough, and you will end up hurting yourself. These substances keep you from recovering. Only professional treatment can help you control your emotions.

Change in romantic relationships

The persons who experience PTSD often have difficulties when they have to engage in promiscuous behaviour. Their sexual relationships become dysfunctional and they are not able to share with their partner what the problem is, because they do not know. The trauma you experienced left you having the misconception that you are unlovable. Also, if substance abuse is used as a way to calm yourself down, then it is understandable that you cannot commit yourself to a relationship.

If these signs sound familiar to what you or someone else is experiencing, then a stressful event can be the one that triggered them. With the right help, you will soon start feeling better.

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