What is PTSD?
It is a mental health condition due to experiencing or witnessing some terrifying incident.
PTSD Symptoms can be re-living the past experience, acute anxiety, uncontrollable thoughts about the event and nightmares.
Good self-care is the key to overtake these symptoms, for most it can be a temporary phase to handle and they get better soon. For some, the symptoms can last longer and hinder in their day to day life, then it could be PTSD.
Getting effective treatment after PTSD symptoms develop can be critical to reduce symptoms and improve function.
PTSD symptoms are generally grouped into four types: intrusive memories, avoidance, negative changes in thinking and mood, and changes in physical and emotional reactions. Symptoms can vary over time or vary from person to person.
Symptoms of intrusive memories may include:
- 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
Types of traumatic events
The most common events leading to the development of PTSD include:
- Combat exposure
- Pregnancy-related trauma
- Childhood physical abuse
- Sexual violence
- Physical assault
- Being threatened with a weapon
- An accident
Getting timely help and support may prevent normal stress reactions from getting worse and developing into PTSD. This may mean turning to family and friends who will listen and offer comfort. It may mean seeking out a mental health professional for a brief course of therapy. Some people may also find it helpful to turn to their faith community.
Support from others also may help prevent you from turning to unhealthy coping methods, such as misuse of alcohol or drugs.