Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can be a most debilitating issue requiring comprehensive treatment. If left untreated, PTSD can negatively affect every aspect of your life, and most likely the lives of those closest to you.
So how do you know if you’ve been affected by Post Traumatic Stress? We’ve put together a list of symptoms, including a checklist, that you can use to identify whether you might have some of the warning signs that encourage you to seek further advice or find help.
PTSD Symptoms Checklist
There are 4 common symptoms associated with PTSD, which is most likely to occur after a experiencing a traumatic event, actual or threatened death, serious injury, or sexual violation.
These symptoms are:
- Regularly re-experiencing the traumatic event or experience through vivid recurring memories, flashback or nightmares. These memories can cause intense physical and emotional reactions including panic attacks, increased heart rate and sweating.
- Feelings of emotional numbness and detachment from the world around. Losing interest and touch with family, friends or previously enjoyable activities.
- Feeling on high alert and wound up when there is no threat or reason to feel stressed. Feeling jumpy, agitated and irritated, and finding it hard to relax or fall asleep.
- Avoiding people, places or activities that bring back memories of the traumatic experience.
In addition to these above symptoms, people suffering from PTSD may also display two or more of the following behaviours:
- Finding it hard to remember specific, and sometimes important parts of the traumatic experience.
- Continuous and exaggerated negative beliefs about oneself, people around the m or the world in general. Pointing the blame at themselves or others for no good reason for the cause or consequences of the traumatic event.
- Feelings of anger, shame or guilt relating to the event.
- Persistent feelings of fear or horror
- The inability to experience joy, happiness or other positive emotions
- Feeling cut off or estranged from the world around and unable to connect with others
- The inability to concentrate
- An increase in reckless, dangerous or destructive behaviour
- Becoming easily started and overreacting to loud noises or unexpected movements
- Starting or increasing alcohol and drug intake
What Causes Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is often triggered by being involved in or witnessing a terrifying or life threatening event. This may include:
- A serious accident such as a car crash
- Natural disasters like bushfires, floods and earthquakes
- War, torture or extreme violence and death
- Physical and sexual abuse
Although the above events are the most common causes PTSD, any event that invokes intense feelings or fear or helplessness can trigger PTSD.
For anyone who experiences a traumatic event, the following days and weeks can be very emotionally and physically volatile but in general these negative feeling will lessen and people will adjust back into their normal life. It is when these feelings, flashbacks, anxiety or uncontrollable thoughts persist for more than a few weeks and get worse with time that it is likely the person is suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
There are also underlying conditions or personality traits that can make it more likely for a person to suffer PTSD after experiencing a traumatic event and these include a past history of mental health issues or previous exposure to traumatic experiences.
Also if a person is subjected to ongoing stress after the traumatic experience or does not have a good support network around the m to help them deal with what they are going through it increases the probability of develop PTSD.
Potential Effects If Left Untreated
Aside from the debilitating symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder itself, there is a growing body of research that shows PTSD may increase the risk of many other serious mental and physical health issues such as.
- Cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, and musculoskeletal disorders.
- Depression and anxiety
- Drug and alcohol abuse
- Panic disorder, agoraphobia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, social phobia
This highlights the importance of getting the right support and treatment after experience a traumatic event. If a person shows signs of the symptoms listed in this article for longer than 2 weeks after the event then it is strongly recommend they seek professional treatment to support their recovery and help avoid ongoing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
There is now a highly effective and proven treatment for people suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in the Perth based Brain Wellness Centre clinic. This drug free treatment offers immediate relief and has a 98%* success rate for treating PTSD and other mental illnesses. Find out more about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Treatment.