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Have you ever felt like a loud noise or a familiar smell sent you right back to your traumatic experience? It could be a sign or symptom of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This mental health condition may develop after exposure to a frightening or scary event.

Additionally, everyone reacts differently to a traumatic event, learning about the common symptoms of PTSD can lead to early diagnosis and treatment.

What is PTSD and what are the symptoms

PTSD Symptoms or trauma can result from multiple painful experiences, including combat in the military, violence, racism, childhood neglect. Also, accidents, natural catastrophes and personal tragedies. This blog will guide you to what is ptsd and what are the symptoms.

4 Major symptoms of PTSD

Although everyone having PTSD has unique symptoms, there are four that need to be highlighted:

1. Reliving the trauma

You tend to replay the painful event through memories, flashbacks or nightmares. Moreover, you experience intense mental or physical responses when reminded of the incident

2. Avoidance and numbing

You are unable to recall details of the incident and lack interest in life and activities in general. Thus, feeling disconnected from the world and having a feeling of a limited outlook for the future.

3. Hypervigilance

This includes sleep issues, overwhelm and irritability as if you are always on “red alert.  Also, you get easily startled or jittery, have angry outbursts and indulge in reckless behavior.

4. Feeling isolated

PTSD triggers negative thoughts and mood shifts making you feel isolated and lonely. You struggle to concentrate but the thoughts of betrayal, distrust, shame and guilt take over your life.

It needs to be noted that women and men experience PTSD symptoms differently.  And PTSD is more common in women than men, partly due to the different kinds of trauma women face at the hands of men such as domestic violence.  Let us discuss how the symptoms of PTSD differ in men and women.

What are the symptoms of PTSD in women?

Women who experience a traumatic event that results in PTSD frequently feel reluctant to seek assistance from a mental health professional. And it is not unusual for them to have to wait years before getting therapy. Unfortunately, due to negligence towards the health issues of women, health providers frequently fail to recognise PTSD symptoms in women.

Typical PTSD symptoms in females include:

  • Avoidance
  • Increased anxiety
  • A strong startle reflex
  • Hypervigilance
  • Sleep problems
  • Concentration issues
  • Irritability
  • Panic incidents
  • Reliving the traumatic event
  • Emotional Apathy/ numbness

What are the symptoms of PTSD in men?

At some point in their lives men also suffer from PTSD, but due to the stigma attached to their mental health they often do not seek treatment. Most of the time they are unaware of their symptoms entirely.

  • Here is how PTSD symptoms manifest in men:
  • Being incredibly lonely or isolated
  • Feeling tremendous emotions but unable to control them
  • Being always alert
  • Having bad memories
  • Dissociation/ avoidance
  • Constantly preparing for any future trauma
  • Sense of helplessness or shame

What are the Symptoms of PTSD in Children?

When it comes to children, particularly young children, symptoms and signs of PTSD may differ from that of adults. They could include:

  • The fear of being separated from their parents
  • The loss of previously acquired skills (such as toilet training)
  • Sleep issues and nightmares
  • Compulsive, obnoxious play that focuses on themes or aspects of the trauma is re-enacted
  • Fears and anxieties are new and appear unrelated to trauma (such as fears or phobias about monsters)
  • Playing the trauma out through stories, play, or even drawings
  • Pains and aches that do not indicate the root
  • Aggression and irritability

Conclusion

The more severe and long-lasting the threat, the greater the likelihood of developing PTSD. Intentional, human-caused harm, such as rape, assault and torture, is more traumatizing than “acts of God” or other more personal incidents and catastrophes. The degree to which the traumatizing event was unplanned, unpredictable, and unavoidable is also a factor.

Contact Concise Medico, for PTSD related treatment services and expert witness reports for court.

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