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Symptoms of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)

  • March 13, 2020
  • Posted in Blog

In our day to day lives, we experience various scary, shocking, and traumatizing events that affect our emotional wellbeing in one way or another. The intensity of the effect may be traumatic to individuals but may lessen with time as they heal or forget about the incident.

Some people may find it challenging to get over traumatic situations and, therefore, experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which causes discomfort to them. Those affected tend to be frightened and stressed even when they are not exposed to any underlying danger. This continued emotional distress affects their social life, work-life, and other key areas. It may be chronic, recurrent, or an unusual situation.

Causes of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

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The following causes can trigger PTSD in individuals;

  • Stressful situations such as intense trauma you have experienced in your life/
  • Family history of anxiety and depression cases.
  • Inherited personality traits commonly referred to as one’s temperament.
  • Brain regulation of hormones and chemicals on one’s body in reaction to stressful occasions.

Who Is Affected by Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?

Approximately 8 million Americans are affected and live with PTSD. At the same time, 8% of people experience PTSD at some point in their lives, women being twice at a higher risk of developing PTSD more than men. PTSD can affect anybody, but not every PTSD victim has undergone a traumatizing incident. The unexpected loss of a person or exposure to danger from a loved one can lead to PTSD. Accidents, disasters, terror activities, sexual assault, and domestic conflicts can trigger PSTD in individuals. Veterans of war, too, can be affected.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Risk Factors

  • Extra stressors after a traumatic situation.
  • Childhood incidents of trauma.
  • Gender and marital status.
  • Lack of social support after a scary event.
  • Feeling helpless and extreme paranoia.
  • Physical and mental state.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Types

The major types of PTSD are;

  • Normal stress response
  • Acute stress response
  • Uncomplicated PTSD
  • Complex PTSD.
  • Comorbid PTSD

1. Normal Stress Response

This occurs before the onset of PTSD, and it does not have to trigger it. Every person reacts differently to danger or scary events. Falling ill, getting hurt, surgeries, intense tension can trigger a normal stress response. Treatment is through moral support from peers, family, and friends who know the stressors. Attending individual therapy can also be considered.

2. Acute Stress Response

Characterized when an individual faces exposure to a life-threatening situation such as unemployment, natural calamities such as flash floods, hurricanes, and tornadoes, loss of loved ones in sudden deaths such as accidents. It can be treated through medication, moral support, and therapy sessions.

3. Uncomplicated PTSD

It is triggered by one main traumatic event, and it’s the simplest form of PTSD to treat. Characterized by nightmares, flashbacks of the trauma, mood changes, and the urge to avoid reminders of the incident.

4. Complex PTSD

A series of multiple traumatic events cause it. For instance, repeated exposure to risk factors such as war, sudden demise, and domestic violence. Symptoms are similar to those of uncomplicated PTSD but require more medical care and treatment.

5. Comorbid PTSD

It is also marked under co-occurring disorders, and it’s a term referring to an individual who experiences more than a single mental health issue or substance use disorder. It is common since many individuals are diagnosed with more than one mental issue at a time.

Signs and Symptoms of PTSD

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While PTSD symptoms may begin as early as a month after a traumatic incident, sometimes they may not appear until several years afterward. Individuals recover within half a year, whereas others require much longer treatment time. For an individual to be diagnosed with PTSD accurately, he/she must have experienced the following for a minimum of 30 days;

  • One avoidance sign.
  • One hyperarousal sign.
  • One mood change sign.
  • One re-experiencing sign.

  PTSD signs and symptoms are classified into four main categories which are; 

  • Negative mood changes and thought patterns.
  • Avoidance.
  • Intrusive memories.
  • Change in emotional and physical activities.

 1. Re-experiencing Intrusive memories

It’s the most common PTSD symptom. An individual vividly recalls the traumatic event involuntarily through;

  • Recurrent nightmares about the event.
  • Feeling as if the event is occurring again.
  • Recurrent and distressing sensations of the situation.
  • Physical responses like sweating, trembling, fear and pain, increased heartbeat rate when remembering the situation.

Individuals tend to question themselves and avoid accepting reality, and this often leads to feeling guilt and shame.

2. Avoidance

Individuals avoid places and people that make them recall the situation. They may also tend to avoid talking to anybody based on their experience, try to erase memories from their minds by involving in other activities. This affects their routine of work. Others tend to deal with the situation through emotional numbing, whereby they try not to feel a thing about the event. They may also give up on activities they once loved making them detached and isolated.

3. Changes In Emotional And Physical Activities.

Individuals with PTSD tend to be anxious and find it hard to relax. This causes them to be hyper-aroused. This leads to;

  • Difficulty sleeping is Insomnia.
  • Aggressiveness.
  • Feeling guilt and shame.
  • Easily frightened and startled.
  • Being on the lookout like there is an underlying danger.
  • Difficulty to concentrate.
  • Overindulgence in drinking and over-speeding.

4. Negative Mood Changes, And Thought Patterns.

They include;

  • Loss of enthusiasm for important activities you once loved.
  • Feeling hopeless about the future.
  • Detachment from friends and family.
  • Emotional numbness.
  • Forgetfulness.
  • Negative thought patterns about oneself and other people.

The majority of the symptoms are an intense version of our bodies’ natural response to stressful situations. Nevertheless, knowing one’s body’s natural response when exposed to danger and threats will help you understand PTSD symptoms.

Get Help at Ebb Tide Treatment Centers

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Ebb Tide Treatment Center is a drug treatment center of Palm Beaches which helps individuals seeking therapy and mental health professional care. Our health center offers multiple services with Evidence-Based Treatment.  PTSD individuals seeking recovery from alcohol addiction can get help at our center since it’s also an alcohol rehab in west palm beach. We also offer rehabilitation to recover from other drugs at our West Palm Beach rehab center.

Our staff are well-trained and have experience in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. At our gender-specific facilities, clients will begin the PTSD recovery process in safe and comfortable environments. It is one of the best drug rehabs in West Palm Beach.

Final Thoughts

Experiencing recurrent upsetting thought patterns is normal after exposure to a traumatic incident. However, if you still have problems after the situation a month later, you should consult a mental health professional. A review of symptoms will be done by your mental health professional to determine your PTSD type and give the required treatment and therapy sessions.

At Ebb Tide Treatment Center located at Palm Beach, our clients can indulge in various activities such as sunrise and sunset meetings, Meditation, Yoga, Gym workouts, Volleyball, and Kayaking. This way, they interact and bond with others as they continue to recover from the traumatic disorders. Make an appointment with our rehab center in West Palm Beach and start your therapy today to get individualized treatment.
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