The lack of awareness regarding PTSD has always surprised me. When I tell people about THP, a lot of people ask, “What is PTSD?” So for my next blog, I am going to attempt to answer that question.
What is PTSD?
PTSD stands for Post-traumatic stress disorder. It is a mental health condition that some people can develop after experiencing or witnessing a life-threatening event, like sexual assault, combat, a car accident, etc.
After this kind of event, it’s normal to have trouble sleeping, feeling on edge, or bad memories. At first, normal daily activities may become hard, like going to school, going to work, or spending time with people you care about. But most people begin to feel better within a few weeks or even months.
If you’re still experiencing symptoms and it’s been longer than a few months, you might have PTSD. For some, PTSD the symptoms may begin later on or over time they may come and go. It is important to know that PTSD can happen to anyone.
What are the symptoms?
PTSD symptoms normally begin soon after the traumatic event. However, they may not show up until months or even years later. They might come and go over many years, as well. You might have PTSD if the symptoms cause great distress, last more than 4 weeks, or interfere with your work life or home life.
There are four types of PTSD symptoms. But they may not look exactly the same for each person. Everyone experiences the symptoms in their own personal way.
1. Reliving the event through bad memories or nightmares. You may experience flashbacks, which is feeling like you are going through the event again.
2. Feeling jittery or hyper-aroused. You may always be alert or on the lookout for possible danger. You might have trouble sleeping or concentrating. You may startle easily, feel irritable, or get angry suddenly.
3. Having more negative feelings and beliefs. The way you think about yourself and others may change. You might feel shame or guilt. The activities you used to enjoy might not interest you anymore. The world might feel dangerous and that you can’t trust anyone anymore. It might be hard to feel happy.
4. Avoiding situations that remind you of the event by trying to avoid people, places, or things that trigger memories of the traumatic event. You might even avoid talking or thinking about the event, as well.
Other symptoms of PTSD may include, depression, anxiety, feeling hopeless, employment issues, relationship problems, drinking/drug use, physical symptoms, and/or chronic pain.
If you think you or someone you know are suffering from PTSD, please reach out to a trained mental health professional for help. Know that you’re not alone, there are millions of others out there fighting just like you. Do not give up. Please reach out for help. Help is available to those who seek it.
Disclaimer: Please bear in mind that the diagnosis and treatment of PTSD and other psychiatric disorders require trained medical professionals. Information provided on this web site, blog, or links to other information are only for educational purposes. Our information is to be used for peer support and should be used alongside professional treatment. It should NOT be used as a replacement for seeking professional care for the diagnosing and treating of any mental and/or psychiatric disorders.
You may wish to contact your local crisis hotline, or private practitioner community mental health center. If you or someone you know are in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1–800–273–8255.