What are PTSD symptoms?

In this brief article, we will be talking about PTSD symptoms, a discussion of one of the symptoms of PTSD, and why PTSD symptoms manifest in patients.

What are PTSD symptoms?

The symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are symptoms of an anxiety disorder that focuses on the effects of a traumatic event.

In most situations of people with PTSD, PTSD symptoms tend to last for a month or more if not treated immediately.

However, in some cases of patients with this kind of disorder, some PTSD symptoms manifest later in a span of after a year or more.

Some affected people tend to show their PTSD symptoms at some point and at other situations, these PTSD symptoms don’t show up. 

On the other hand, the affected people will show PTSD symptoms that are considered chronic since it leads to significant distress in the patient.

PTSD symptoms are varied and not all symptoms are expected by the mental health professional in the affected patient. 

The common symptoms are often what most affected patients have in the initial process of diagnosing this psychological disorder.

Most affected patients may feel remorse about the distressing event. 

Re-experiencing symptom of PTSD

One of the PTSD symptoms is re-experiencing the traumatic event which is a common PTSD symptom.

This symptom manifests momentarily or involuntarily in the person where he or she perceives the reliving of the traumatic event and the symptoms under this are the following:

  • flashbacks
  • nightmares
  • repetitive and disturbing images or perceptions
  • physical feelings such as pain, feeling sick, sweating or trembling

These affected people tend to have disturbing and negative thoughts surrounding the traumatic event and sometimes, question themselves about the reality of the event just to prevent the authenticity that the event really happened.

For instance, they might keep wondering why the traumatic event happened in the first place and they would feel guilty about them who might have caused the specific event.

Flashbacks are memories that are part of this specific PTSD symptom that return from the traumatic event.

The triggers of these flashbacks rely on the distressing event. 

These psychological factors may be the room where the violent or unwanted intercourse occurred, the country where the war was implemented, the bank where the robbery occurred, the location where the person was murdered, and many more triggers that can happen in what the victim considers as a traumatic event.

You can overcome these flashbacks by getting some suggestions in this book which is available on this website.

Withdrawal and numbness of feelings

Another PTSD symptom is the constant need to not acknowledge the traumatic event which is called avoidance in the given PTSD symptoms.

As stated, this PTSD symptom means getting away from stimuli whether external or internal that remind the person about the traumatic event.

A lot of these affected people are more likely to distract themselves from this PTSD symptom by doing work or hobbies.

Some affected people deal with their memories of the traumatic event by erasing all remnant of feeling which is also popularized as emotional numbing.

This is what makes these affected people withdraw from the people they love and who truly love them and the activities that have made them active before the effects of the traumatic event. 

Hyperarousal as a PTSD symptom

Affected people with PTSD can have anxiety symptoms where they become hypervigilant about any stimuli that remind them of the traumatic event.

You could say that these affected people get startled and agitated immediately if there is an immediate threat that could trigger the effects of the traumatic event. 

As a PTSD symptom, this is known as hyperarousal in psychological literature.

This PTSD symptom usually manifests the following symptoms:

  • irritability
  • Bursts of aggression
  • Having difficulty getting to sleep
  • Having a hard time concentrating

You can learn more about this PTSD symptom by buying this book on this website.

The intensity of PTSD symptoms

PTSD symptoms can become severe in the length of time that this kind of disorder is still lingering in the patient.

There is a huge risk of making PTSD symptoms severe when the patient is stressed or was triggered by stimuli that made him or her remember about the traumatic event. 

For instance, you may see a car that is smoking up due to overheating which may trigger your wartime experiences.

Or you might have heard from a neighbour that someone was a victim of sexual assault in your neighbourhood which triggered your flashbacks about your experience of sexual assault.

Risk factors of PTSD symptoms

PTSD symptoms can manifest in a person when the traumatic event that has caused these PTSD symptoms were personally shocking and it affected the person so much that it makes him or her wonder about her self-worth.

Also, if you are more exposed to the traumatic event you are more likely to suffer from PTSD symptoms. 

There are other causes and risk factors that create PTSD symptoms which are the following:

  • Family background of depression and PTSD
  • Background of sexual or physical abuse
  • Extreme levels of stress in your everyday life
  • Limited coping skills
  • Not getting help or psychological interventions after the traumatic event
  • Background of anxiety, depression or other mental illness
  • Background of substance abuse
  • Professions that let you encounter traumatic experiences such as military, first responders, and police
  • Encountering past traumatic experiences, especially early in one’s life
  • The degree of the traumatic event was uncontrollable, unexpected or inescapable
  • The kind of traumatic event whether intentional, human-afflicted harm such as violent or unwanted intercourse or sexual abuse is more likely to create PTSD than an act of God such as hurricane or earthquake

Having PTSD can elicit other kinds of psychological disorders such as depression, suicide,  anxiety, eating disorders, and issues with drugs and alcohol.

In this case, it is important to have this kind of disorder treated immediately to minimize the possibility of having other psychological disorders. 

If you are experiencing any of the PTSD symptoms mentioned above, you should ask for help in mental health services that are located near you or you could visit online therapies.

These kinds of symptoms tend to be unique to people of different ages and genders since these symptoms will depend on what effects the traumatic event has given to the affected person.

You can learn more about the causes of these kinds of symptoms by buying this audiobook on this website.

PTSD symptoms in young people

Children are also vulnerable to PTSD symptoms where it manifests differently from adults and PTSD symptoms in young people are the following:

  • The anxiety of being taken away from their parent
  • Loss of past-acquired skills such as toilet training
  • Having a hard time sleeping and nightmares
  • Numb and compulsive play in which themes or characteristics of the trauma are repeated
  • Novel phobias and worries that seem dissociated to the trauma such as fear of monsters
  • Role-playing the trauma through play, drawings or stories
  • Aches and pains with no prior cause
  • Easily irritated and aggressive

Why does PTSD have physical symptoms?

PTSD has physical symptoms since this kind of disorder can elicit physical effects while undergoing the psychological effects of this psychological disorder.

This could be explained by the chemical reactions of our brain when we are emotionally overwhelmed and the release of stress hormones which are cortisol can bring effects on the body. 

This is a response of the body when it is undergoing the effects of stress which is simply called a flight-or-fight response.

Researchers have found that people with PTSD are more likely to have this kind of response even when danger is not present which can cause significant distress and dysfunction in one’s life.

You can learn more about these kinds of effects in this psychological disorder by buying this book on this website.

Other problems of PTSD symptoms

If you are having PTSD symptoms, you can find yourself having dysfunction in some important areas in life such as the following:

  • looking after your needs
  • keeping a job
  • keeping friendships or relationships
  • Remembering and concentrating on things and making decisions
  • Dysfunction in your sex drive
  • dealing with change
  • simply enjoying and feeling relaxed from your leisure time.

If you have to drive, you will need to tell your DVLA about your diagnosis of PTSD which can affect how you drive.

Treatment choices for people suffering from PTSD symptoms

Several intervention options are available and accessible for people who are suffering from PTSD symptoms.

Psychotherapy is one of these treatment options and one of the most prescribed interventions for these affected people. 

Physical interventions options are also prescribed to people suffering from PTSD symptoms.

Your chosen mental health professional will be the one to create the treatment plan depending on the assessment of your distressing symptoms.

Here are the treatment choices for PTSD discussed thoroughly in the following sections.

Psychotherapy for PTSD symptoms

Psychotherapy is usually called the talking cure since people who are suffering from PTSD symptoms will talk about how they responded to the traumatic event which can be helpful for their wellbeing.

Cognitive therapy is one of these psychotherapies used for people with this kind of disorder where clients can learn about how their thoughts influence their emotional state about the event. 

For instance, cognitive therapy can be used to let the client encounter his or her negative thoughts about a traumatic event and find out why this may be the cause of unhealthy behaviours.

If you have been diagnosed with PTSD, you may be aware that cognitive therapy tends to be combined with exposure therapy. 

Exposure therapy helps you overcome your fears by letting you encounter your fears in a safe and non-judgmental environment.

This kind of exposure will help you to minimize extreme emotional responses to the feared stimuli and look at it in a more clear light. 

Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is another psychotherapy used for people with PTSD since this combines exposure therapy and the psychology of distraction.

The combination of these two psychological models will help you to be more rational about your emotional responses to a traumatic event.

You can learn more about this kind of therapy by buying this book here.

Medications for people with PTSD symptoms

Medications that have effective against PTSD symptoms are anti-anxiety medications and antidepressant tablets.

This might be the reason why the FDA decided to approve the usage of antidepressant medications such as SSRIs in medical treatment for people with this kind of psychological disorder.

Anti-anxiety medications are used for people with PTSD symptoms to alleviate the anxiety symptoms that are predominant in this disorder.

This medication has only been used for temporary anxiety relief because of the addictive effects of this medication. 

There are also medications to suppress nightmares in people with PTSD symptoms to help them sleep better.

Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.

Conclusion

In this brief article, we will be talking about PTSD symptoms, a discussion of one of the symptoms of PTSD, and why PTSD symptoms manifest in patients.

If you have any queries about the information about PTSD symptoms, please let us know about these queries.

FAQs: What are PTSD symptoms

Can PTSD make you sick?

PTSD can make you sick because of the hyperarousal that you persistently perceive to the environment and other people.

You will also feel sick because you will be experiencing nausea while having this kind of disorder.

What does a PTSD attack feel like?

A PTSD attack feels like having a panic attack when the person is together with people, places, or objects that remind the person about the trauma.

People having this kind of attack will get startled easily and would avoid immediately people who remind them of the trauma.

How do you know if you’re traumatized?

You will know if you are traumatized when you have extreme reactions to a traumatic event, denial, deep breathing, confusion, mood swings, social withdrawal, social shame, extreme remorse about the experience, and feeling hopeless.

What is the most common drug prescribed for PTSD?

The most common drug prescribed for PTSD is Prozac and other antidepressant medications.

This is to help minimize the symptom of extremely negative thoughts which only worsens flashbacks.

Also, this can help stabilize these affected people’s suicidal thoughts in this disorder.

Can you still work with PTSD?

You can still work even when diagnosed with PTSD but it will be a great obstacle for you to deal with the symptoms that may occur at work.

Also, productivity can distract you from some PTSD symptoms that may distress you such as flashbacks.

What we recommend for PTSD

Professional counselling

If you have PTSD, then ongoing professional counselling may be your ideal first point of call. Counselling will allow you to practice various habits that improve your overall quality of life.

Citations

ADAA. Symptoms of PTSD.

MAYO CLINIC. Symptoms of PTSD.

Mind. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

NHS. Symptoms – Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

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