Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Most people experience some type of trauma over the course of their lifetime, but while many recover rather quickly others struggle with emotional problems long after the traumatic event has ended. These people are suffering from post traumatic stress disorder, otherwise known as PTSD.
The difference between someone who recover well from a traumatic event and someone who suffers from PTSD is that the person with this condition continues to feel threatened by the event. The brain never really moves beyond the fear and stress of the event and continues to signal anxiety, stress, and fear even though the danger has completely passed and is no longer a real threat.
Those suffering from PTSD may feel as if they are going crazy and may not want to tell anyone else what they are experiencing. There is a particular level of shame or fear of asking for help or they may feel as if there is no way anyone can help them. This is why it is so important for loved ones around the person to pick up on the common symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder and encourage them to seek medical attention.
Many people will notice that something is not quite right with someone in their life who is suffering from PTSD, but most will not know enough post traumatic stress disorder to diagnose the problem. That is why it is so important for anyone with any combination of the following symptoms to seek professional help as quickly as possible:
- Pulling away from close friends and family members.
- Becoming emotionally unavailable or void of emotions.
- Recurring bad dreams.
- Extremely jumpy or anxious over certain environmental cues (noises, voices, etc.)
- Avoiding particular locations or situations that make them feel nervous or attacked.
Many of the symptoms of PTSD are shared with other conditions such as anxiety disorders and depression, so it takes the skilled analysis of a medical professional to accurately diagnose the condition.
Living with PTSD
One issue with diagnosing and overcoming PTSD is the fact that many people will live for years with the condition without seeking help. If others around the person do not actively encourage them to get help or do not realize that there is a serious problem, it can be years before PTSD is officially diagnosed and the person begins to work through the emotional issues causing the disorder.
For instance, an adult who experienced a traumatic event as a child may continue to suffer from some symptoms of PTSD as grown adults. Those who experience traumatic events as adults may be more likely to seek help since they are old enough to see a doctor and help themselves and may not be as dependent on others.
Living with PTSD is never pleasant. It affects personal relationships and can limit experiences that may have otherwise been enjoyed. The fear and stress that comes with constant flashbacks, memories and dreams of the traumatic event can lead to depression and anxiety disorders that only compound the problems experienced on a daily basis.
If you think someone you love may be suffering from PTSD it is important to find a knowledgeable counselor and medical professionals and get them help immediately. Don't let them suffer alone for another day!
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