Do I have PTSD? Find out!
Many people ask themselves – Do I have PTSD? Let’s see the most common manifestations of PTSD. Post-traumatic stress disorder is an anxiety disorder caused by severely stressful event in which a person repeatedly re-experiences the traumatic situation. Events that threatened with death or serious injury, can affect people for a long time after they have occurred. Subsequently, intense fear, helplessness or horror may visit the person again and again. Sometimes symptoms appear months or even years after the event.
How often does PTSD occur?
PTSD occurs in 0.5% of men and 1.2% of women. It develops in 50-80% of people who have suffered the severe stress. It really is the most common mental illness among the victims or participants of extreme events, and it is very difficult to treat and correct. Over time, a chronic PTSD does not disappear, but often becomes less intense, even without treatment. However, some people remain in a critical condition for an indeterminate amount time.
What events can cause PTSD?
As a rule, these events are – war, terrorism, natural disasters, car accidents, plane crashes, physical violence, rape, serious surgical operations or any other traumatic events that make a person to feel helpless.
Who suffers from PTSD?
PTSD often occurs among combatants and other participants of extreme events – for example, rescue workers, doctors, journalists, and so on.
What are the symptoms of PTSD?
Experts identify different groups of symptoms. Some of them relate to the repeated “re-living” of the traumatic event. For example:
- Intrusive, upsetting memories of the trauma;
- Replay (a person feels and /or behaves the way as if the traumatic event is happening again right now);
- A feeling of severe psychological stress and tension, which shows up while recalling the traumatic event;
- Intense physiological responses at the memory of traumatic event (rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, nausea, muscle tightness, sweating, etc.).
- A group of symptoms associated with avoidance of the traumatic event reminders:
- Avoidance of activities, places, things, thoughts and /or feelings reminding of the traumatic event;
- Inability to recall important moments of the traumatic event;
- Loss of interest in life, apathy;
- A sense of isolation from others and emotional exaltation;
- A sense of bleak future (patient does not believe that he can live a normal life, have a family, make a career, etc.).
To another group of PTSD symptoms belong the painful signs that show up due to increased level of anxiety and emotional excitement. These, in particular are:
- Sleep disturbances (difficulty in falling asleep, waking up in the middle of the night, etc.);
- Irritability and /or anger;
- Difficulty with concentration /attention;
- Hyper vigilance / hyper control;
- Feeling of nervousness and increased excitement.
Among other symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder also can be found conditions like anger, irritability, guilt, shame, self-blame, abuse of alcohol, drugs and other harmful substances, detachment from the world, distrust in other people, as well as suicidal thoughts.
So, if you are asking yourself: Do I have PTSD? – the answer is simple. If you have experienced a traumatic event and noticed some of the above mentioned PTSD symptoms, it is advisable to consult a doctor who will be able to make a more accurate diagnosis and, if necessary, put on appropriate treatment.