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What is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a disorder that affects individuals who have experienced traumatic events. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, which was once considered to be specific to individuals who had seen or fought war, has become increasingly common today and it has been understood that it does not require a military history. It is now known that the traumatic event mentioned can be a natural disaster, sexual or physical assault, or anything that causes significant lasting traumatic memories.

PTSD is a type of anxiety disorder that occurs as a result of a traumatic life event. In some cases, a traumatic event may appear immediately, while in other cases, symptoms may appear with a delay. The most common causes of PTSD include war, severe natural disasters, fatal or extremely damaging accidents, and violence. But of course, all the known causes are not limited to these. As mentioned at the beginning, PTSD can develop after any traumatic life event.


What Are the Symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?

The symptoms of PTSD are wide-ranging, and the disorder manifests differently in each affected individual. However, there are clusters of PTSD symptoms that often occur in individuals, including (but not limited to):

Intrusive Thinking

Such thoughts are intrusive, intrusive, and obsessive; It is characterized by flashbacks of unpleasant feelings, sensations, and images, and uncontrolled focusing. These thoughts may focus specifically on the traumatic event that triggered the disorder, as well as include other fears and concerns.

Avoidance Behaviors

People with PTSD may particularly feel the need to avoid certain places, people, and thoughts that could trigger their trauma. For example, a person who has been attacked in his home may find it very difficult to live in that house or even in that neighborhood, and may decide to move. Some people may use this avoidance behavior as a coping tool and try to stay away from certain smells, songs, conversation topics, news sites, and sounds.

Reactive Behavior

Reactive behaviors are defined as any behavior that involves compulsive or uncontrolled outbursts. Behaviors that involve emotions such as explosive anger, unwarranted fear, inability to relax, or an extreme fear response.

Hyper Arousal

People with PTSD may experience intense arousal symptoms. For example, they may say that even a normal level of sound feels deafening or that even a small movement sounds threatening. A state of hyperarousal can lead to sleep problems, an inability to relax, and an inability to function in daily life.

Negative Affect

Perhaps one of the most commonly overlooked symptoms of PTSD is a general feeling of discomfort and fatigue. It can manifest as negative emotions, hopelessness, low self-esteem, fatigue.

Symptoms of PTSD may appear immediately after the event or years later. The time, duration and variety of symptoms depend on the individual and the conditions specific to the traumatic experience.

PTSD Attacks

PTSD symptoms occur during attacks, but it is like a fairly high-level attack of both PTSD and general panic symptoms. Therefore, it may be necessary to evaluate the attacks separately. When they occur without PTSD, they are also called anxiety attacks or panic attacks. Some of its symptoms are as follows: nausea, shortness of breath, feeling of losing control (mental, physical or both), dizziness, sweating, trembling, etc.

Attacks of this type can exacerbate PTSD as they add a new layer of anxiety and fear, and people may feel unsafe to go out or fulfill their daily responsibilities. Since the attacks are not at the center of PTSD, they may also require additional treatment.

While PTSD symptoms persist, attacks are a specific acute problem that can come and go for the person. Not all individuals with PTSD experience regular attacks. Some may only show chronic PTSD symptoms.

What Are the Types of PTSD?

  • While common symptoms include feelings of anxiety, worry, and uncontrollable thoughts and images about the event, several types of PTSD should be mentioned. Types of PTSD are primarily based on reactions to traumatic events.

  • Uncomplicated PTSD may only be linked to a particular traumatic event. People may experience symptoms such as flashbacks, nightmares, and mood swings.

  • Comorbid PTSD, on the other hand, deals with more than one mental condition. These individuals are typically financially dependent. Other disorders such as depression and panic disorder may accompany PTSD.

  • Complex PTSD is related to multiple traumatic events. These people have often been exposed to abuse or domestic violence. In some cases, those who have experienced an unexpected loss may also experience complex PTSD. Continuous war experiences can also be counted among the events that lead to this genre.

  • PTSD is also divided into types according to the time elapsed since the traumatic event.

  • Acute PTSD is characterized by the onset of symptoms within 3 months of the event.

  • If the symptoms persist after 3 months, it is called chronic PTSD. If there are no symptoms in the first 6 months, but the symptoms develop later, this is defined as delayed PTSD.

  • As we mentioned at the beginning, the reaction to a traumatic life event varies from person to person. Therefore, situations such as whether or not to develop PTSD or the frequency and duration of symptoms also differ. Some may turn to alcohol or drugs to suppress these symptoms.

All of the topics mentioned in the article can be studied with individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder. If you are looking for an expert to accompany you on your journey with yourself, you can apply to Lenus Psychology.

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