It is normal for a person to have a stressful reaction after experiencing a trauma. This reaction may cause a person’s emotions or behaviors to change in a way that is upsetting. Even though many people will experience stress after a traumatic event, most people get better with time. If your symptoms last longer than four weeks or cause you to experience great stress that disrupts your work or home life then this may be a sign of post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.

What are the symptoms of PTSD?

PTSD symptoms typically start within three months of a traumatic event, but they may not begin until years after the trauma. These symptoms cause substantial issues in work and social situations, and can have a significant impact on personal relationships.

According to the National Center for PTSD, there are four types of PTSD symptoms:

  1. Reliving the event or re-experiencing symptoms
    • Memories of the event can resurface at any time, causing the person to feel the same fear and negative feelings that he or she did when the event first happened.
    • This can include nightmares or flashbacks, which make you feel as if you are going through the event again.
    • Triggers, or things that you see, hear, or smell that cause you to relive the event, may cause you to experience this symptom.
  2. Avoiding situations that remind you of the event
    • You may avoid certain situations or people because they may trigger memories of the trauma.
    • Some examples include: staying away from large crowds that make you feel unsafe, avoiding films and other media that depict a similar experience, remaining very busy to avoid talking or thinking about the event, or avoiding seeking help to keep you from having to discuss the trauma.
  3. Negative changes in beliefs or feelings
    • The trauma causes you to change the way that you think about yourself or others.
    • This can include not having positive or loving feelings toward others, avoiding developing relationships, forgetting parts of the trauma, avoiding discussing the trauma with others, or feeling that the world is dangerous and you cannot trust anyone.
  4. Feeling keyed up, also known as hyperarousal
    • Those who experience hyperarousal may be jittery or feel that they are always on the lookout for danger.
    • This can also cause a person to suddenly become angry or irritable.
    • Other signs include: trouble concentrating, issues sleeping, becoming startled by loud noises, or always wanting to have your back to the wall when sitting in a room.

What should I do if I have symptoms of PTSD?

If your symptoms last longer than 3 months or cause a disruption in your work life or personal relationships then you may have PTSD. Since PTSD symptoms may come and go over many years, it is important for you to keep track of your symptoms in a journal or discuss them with someone you trust.

If you think you may have PTSD, it is important for you to seek assistance from a healthcare professional, especially if you feel like you are having trouble getting your life back under control. Getting treatment as soon as possible is the best way to prevent your PTSD symptoms from getting worse.

Get Help Now with PTSD Treatment in Naples, FL

If you or a loved one may be experiencing symptoms of PTSD, the David Lawrence Centers in Southwest Florida is here to help. Our caring and compassionate admissions staff is just a phone call away and ready to answer any questions that you may have. Evaluations are provided on the same day and are performed by a qualified team of behavioral healthcare professionals who are trained in assessment.

For more information, please fill out our Contact Us form, or call us 24/7 at (239)455-8500.

Sep 21, 2015 | Mental Health

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