PTSD symptoms. Be aware!
Post-traumatic stress disorder usually occurs in the first six months after the psychological trauma. However, the symptoms can appear soon after the psychological trauma, and many years later. People often turn their thoughts to what has happened and try to find an explanation. The subject of painful experience arises in endless talks unnecessarily and for any reason. Indifference of others leads to the isolation and suffering, which causes the additional trauma.
PTSD symptoms belong to several groups:
1) repeated involuntary reexperience of the trauma in the form of:
- intrusive memories,
- recurring dreams or nightmares,
- stereotypical games related to psychological trauma in children.
Memories are painful, so, typically, the constant avoidance of the psychological trauma reminders takes place: a man tries not to think about it and avoids situations, which remind of the trauma. Sometimes the psychogenic (dissociative) amnesia of psychological trauma occurs.
In case of psychogenic amnesia, a man suddenly for a short time loses his memory of the recent important events. This is a protective mechanism for the consciousness to cope with subjectively intolerable situation. Still, the ability to learn new information remains. Psychogenic amnesia is usually short-term and ends as abruptly as it started.
2) depression and reduced vitality:
- work indifference,
- emotional dullness: the inability to love, enjoy life and hope for the best,
- inability to accept the long-term projects of life,
- a sense of isolation from others,
- behavioral problems and loss of the previously acquired skills in children.
3) Overreaction of the nervous system (along with depression):
- irritability, anxiety, restlessness, aggressiveness,
- difficulty in concentrating,
- startles and nervous chills,
- insomnia (difficulty in falling asleep, superficial sleep, early awakening)
- nightmares (the exact replay of experienced events)
- excessive worry, suspicion, obsessive painful memories.
Overreaction of the nervous system is manifested in various somatic vegetative complaints, loss of appetite, fatigue, dry mouth, constipation, decreased libido and impotence (mainly psychogenic), heaviness in the body, insomnia and other.
Often there are additional PTSD symptoms:
- sudden flashes of fear (phobia), panic and rage with aggression,
- feeling of guilt and self-blame,
- anti-social behavior with a tendency to physical violence.
Among other PTSD symptoms, quite typical are following:
- violation of relationships in society and in the family,
- distrust of the public authorities,
- compulsive gambling and risky entertainment.
Dissociative PTSD symptoms:
- emotional dependency,
- narrowing of the consciousness (with a small group of ideas predominated and complete repression of other thoughts and feelings)
- depersonalization (own actions are perceived as if from the outside, “flashback episodes” develop).
Flashback is involuntary and unpredictable psychological trauma reproduction through extremely vivid memories, during which a terrible reality of the past intrudes into the real life of the patient. The boundaries between the apparent and actual reality are blurred. There are cases of infliction of the grievous bodily harm and murder, sometimes followed by a suicide. Drugs and alcohol relieve the PTSD symptoms, but exacerbate the syndrome itself. Causes and effects of the disease constantly change over and circulate within a closed circle.