Post-traumatic stress disorder, commonly referred to as PTSD, can happen to anyone. Many people assume PTSD is only for soldiers who have experienced the trauma of a war zone. However, PTSD can come from any type of trauma – whether it was in your home or halfway across the world. PTSD can be deeply unsettling and challenging to overcome. There are varying severities of this mental illness and multiple treatment options.
Let’s take a closer look at the symptoms of trauma and PTSD.
Many people struggle to come to terms with the trauma they have experienced. You may avoid thinking or talking about the traumatic event. You avoid places, activities and even people who remind them of it. You can’t outrun trauma forever. You need to face what has happened to you. Reach out to someone for professional help in case this happened due to medical negligence.
Negative thoughts and mood
Trauma takes a huge toll on your mind. It drains your energy and darkens your mood on a daily basis. You may feel hopeless about the future and detached from your loved ones. PTSD can be incredibly lonely. You might have negative thoughts about yourself and difficulty remembering the traumatic event. These symptoms are also characteristic of depression, and you may struggle to see a way out of the numbness.
Flashbacks can be extremely distressing. One moment you’re washing the dishes, and the next, you’re back in the traumatic situation. These intrusive memories may be recurrent, unwanted and upsetting to experience.
Think about what triggers these memories for you and whether there is a pattern. For example, soldiers are often triggered by sudden loud noises. A professional can help you work through these memories, so they no longer intrude on your thoughts.
Shifts in reactions
PTSD can make you easily startled or frightened by certain things in your life. For example, someone tapping you on the shoulder could send you into a panic. You might find yourself constantly on guard – as though you are about to run away from danger. You might struggle to concentrate, sleep or manage your emotions. Many people with PTSD self-medicate with alcohol or engage in self-destructive behaviour, like driving too fast. Angry outbursts and aggression followed by intense shame and guilt are characteristic of PTSD.
Seek professional help
PTSD is a difficult and isolating condition to manage. Find a professional to help you work through your trauma and find a light at the end of the tunnel. The symptoms of PTSD can be overwhelming, and you need help to overcome them. Medication, talking therapies and lifestyle changes can help you move on from the traumatic event in your past.