Post-traumatic stress disorder, commonly known as PTSD is caused by a terrifying, usually life-threatening event in someones life. Symptoms may not appear for several months and even up to years after the event.
Some common traumatic events that lead to the development of PTSD are:
- Sexual assault
- Threatened with a weapon
- Combat exposure
- Neglected childhood/physical abuse.
There are short-term and long-term effects of PTSD. According to the American Psychological Association (APA) and the NCBI, PTSD causes short-term memory loss and can have long-term chronic psychological repercussions. Psychotherapeutic intervention and treatment can alleviate and often eliminate short-term and long-term effects of PTSD.
An individual might not be aware that they are suffering with PTSD until they obtain a diagnosis, but there are symptoms that you can distinguish as changes in your behavior.
When a victim loses trust they begin to see the world differently. Each day become a struggle as you question everything you do. Your decisive skills diminish; you doubt yourself, including people. Good is recognized as bad and bad is recognized as good. You might find yourself questioning a friend’s unchanged behavior towards you and the ‘real’ meaning behind their words and actions. Confusion becomes tiresome as you tussle through time. Eating habits change or you don’t eat at all. Even showering becomes a task. Smiling is a strange expression that you no longer can experience. All you know is shame and guilt; which plays a large role in the mind of the abused.
The victim may chose to withdraw from everyone around them, hence keeping it to themselves. Others may inform family members and friends, but if those knowing, speak of the assault later, the victim may avoid interacting; the victim feels threatened in their environment. Another symptom is avoidance of locations, and people for fear that you might suffer a flashback to the traumatic event. Your perception of the world has changed, and now you are coping with your surroundings.
These symptoms can cause severe issues in your social life, relationships and at your workplace. Your priority is to get through each day, so even if you recognize changes in your behavior, you probably won’t have the capacity to identify PTSD. This brings me back to the need for professional counseling. A counselor is best suited to offer a firm diagnosis. If you experience any of the symptoms, talk with your doctor and he/she will direct you to a therapist, counselor or psychiatrist.
Negative Changes in Mood
- Negative feelings about others as well as yourself
- Lack of ability to appreciate positive things
- Lack of interest in your favorite activities
- Finding difficulty in maintaining a relationship
- An overwhelming feeling of Hopelessness about your future.
Changes in Emotional Reactions
- Aggressive behavior
- Guilt and/or shame
- Difficulty sleeping
- Difficulty concentrating
- Careless attitude
- Self destructive behavior.
- Anxiety and depression
- Drug and alcohol addiction
- Suicidal thoughts
- Eating disorders.
*** The links below will help you to understand Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder