After trauma, almost everyone will have a variety of reactions, although most individuals naturally get over the initial symptoms. PTSD may be identified in people who continue to have issues. Those with PTSD may experience stress, fear, and other PTSD signs and symptoms even when they are not in danger.
Understanding that fear is normal during and after a terrible event is critical. Fear causes the body to undergo several split-second modifications that aid in defending against or avoiding danger. This normal “fight-or-flight” response aims to defend a person from harm and shouldn’t be confused with PTSD.
PTSD is different from individual to individual because each person’s neurological system and tolerance to stress are different. Although you’re more likely to be afflicted with PTSD signs and symptoms within the first few hours or days after a stressful event, it could take weeks, months or even years for symptoms to develop. Although the signs and symptoms of PTSD have specific triggers; however, sometimes, they show up altogether, like they’re appearing out of thin air.
PTSD Signs and Symptoms
PTSD Symptoms or trauma can result from a myriad of painful experiences, including combat in the military, neglect of children or violence, racism, accidents or natural catastrophe and personal tragedies, and violence. Although everyone having PTSD has unique experiences, there are four primary PTSD symptoms.
- Reliving the traumatising event via painful memories, flashbacks or nightmares or experiencing intense mental or physical responses when reminded of the incident
- Avoidance and numbing, such as being unable to recall details of the incident and a lack of interest in life and activities in general, feeling disconnected from the world and having a feeling of a limited outlook for the future
- Hyperarousal can include sleep issues, hypervigilance and irritability (on constant “red alert”). It also includes being easily startled or jittery, anger outbursts and aggressive, self-destructive or reckless behaviour.
- The negative thoughts and mood shifts like feeling isolated and lonely and having trouble concentrating or recalling feelings of depression and despair, feelings of betrayal and distrust and feeling shame, guilt or self-blame
It’s crucial to remember that PTSD symptoms are distinct from Complex PTSD symptoms. Additionally, there are differences in PTSD symptoms across genders and ages. For instance, women are more likely than men to experience certain traumas. PTSD is more common in women (10%) than men (4%), partly due to the different kinds of trauma women face.
Without further ado, let’s talk about the signs and PTSD symptoms in women, men, and kids. We will also briefly discuss complex PTSD symptoms and indications. So, let’s get started.
PTSD Symptoms in Women
Some women may experience depression, begin drinking or using drugs, or develop PTSD following a traumatic event. Women are more than twice as likely to experience PTSD than men due to emotional distress. For a few reasons, women may experience PTSD more frequently than men:
- Sexual assault against women is more prevalent
- Compared to many other incidents, sexual assault is more likely to result in PTSD
- Women are more likely to place the blame for traumatic events on themselves
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 for therapy. Unfortunately, due to a lack of training or time spent treating PTSD, health providers frequently fail to recognise or incorrectly diagnose PTSD symptoms in women. Typical PTSD symptoms in females include:
- Increased anxiety
- A strong startle reflex
- Sleep problems
- Concentration issues
- Panic incidents
- Reliving the traumatic event
- Emotional Apathy/ numbness
PTSD Symptoms in Men
PTSD affects 4% of males at some point in their lives. However, the stigma associated with male strength prevents men from seeking treatment. It is because mental health concerns are seen as flaws by males, who always want to appear powerful.
Many times, guys are unaware that they have PTSD. They internalise their symptoms and believe they are unhealthy. Men might seek treatment if they realise an outside event or trauma causes their symptoms. These signs could be:
- Being incredibly lonely or isolated
- Feeling tremendous emotions but unable to control them
- Being always alert
- Having memories
- Dissociation/ Avoidance
- Constantly preparing for any future trauma
- Sense of helplessness or shame
It’s challenging enough even to acknowledge that there is an issue. They could steer clear of circumstances and activities that make them reflect on the terrible event. Men are more likely to turn to drugs or alcohol for coping. But substance abuse or solitude is not the answer to PTSD. The best course of action is to get in touch with us and receive PTSD treatment if you see any symptoms of PTSD.
PTSD Symptoms 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
Children can express their feelings and receive support through trauma therapy. Children acquire coping and relaxing techniques in therapy to assist them in managing the anxiety they experience due to trauma.
With the support of the therapist, parents and teachers, children can learn to modify some of their thoughts about the experience through therapy. They learn to let go of any shame or guilt due to what transpired. They gradually learn to confront the things they used to run from.
Noticing these signs and symptoms in your child? Contact our experts today!
Complex PTSD Signs and Symptoms
When you have complex post-traumatic stress disorder (complex PTSD, also known as c-PTSD or CPTSD), you may also suffer several additional symptoms in addition to those of PTSD, such as:
- Having trouble managing your emotions
- Having intense resentment or mistrust for the world
- Constantly feeling empty or hopeless
- Feeling entirely distinct from other people
- Believing you are forever flawed or useless
- Feeling as though no one can comprehend what transpired to you
- Avoiding or finding friendships and relationships to be incredibly difficult
- Frequently exhibiting symptoms of dissociation, such as depersonalisation or derealisation
- Physical complaints such as headaches, lightheadedness, heartburn, and stomachaches
- Consistent suicidal thoughts
Furthermore, complex PTSD might make it challenging to trust others. Some people continue in bad relationships because they are accustomed to the circumstances. If the trauma includes abuse, the victim may have conflicting sentiments toward the abuser. They are very likely to become fixated on their abuser or concentrate on getting revenge.
Noticing these symptoms in yourself or your loved one? Contact us.
PTSD Risk Factors
It’s impossible to predict who will develop PTSD after a traumatic experience. However, identifying some risks that increase the risk of developing PTSD is possible. The primary risk factors that can cause PTSD are:
- Experiences were traumatic in the past, particularly in the early years of life.
- Family history of PTSD or ASD.
- A history of sexual or physical abuse.
- A history of addiction to substances.
- History of Depression, anxiety or other mental health disorder.
Many risk factors are related to how you respond to the traumatic incident and the event itself. The likelihood of traumatic events triggers PTSD when they pose an extreme threat to your safety or your life.
PTSD Signs and Symptoms: Key Takeaways
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 traumatising than “acts of God” or other more personal incidents and catastrophes. The degree to which the traumatising event was unplanned, unpredictable, and unavoidable is also a factor.
If you notice any signs and symptoms or think you are at risk, do not hesitate to get in touch with Concise Medico at (01282) 786 185. Our trauma therapists are always at your service. Alternatively, you can fill in our online form, and we will contact you.