Monday, March 18, 2013

Symptoms of PTSD

 In my previous post about PTSD, I listed some possible sources of trauma, but one I neglected to mention is the loss of a loved one such as a parent or child. Most people move through the grieving process which can be very painful at times, but eventually they come to accept their loss. Other individuals never seem to get over the loss of their loved one. Even years later, a favourite song, a saying, a movie, a special place can reduce such individuals to tears. This is not to say that everyone who loses someone will eventually succumb to PTSD, the grieving process is a natural occurrence with many stages, and it can take two years maybe more, maybe less before one is able to finally accept the loss. For some, six or seven years later, they still struggle to find peace and need support in the form of treatment in order to move toward acceptance of the loss.

 I've highlighted in red the symptoms that I experience. Not everyone will experience the same symptoms or even all the symptoms or even all the symptoms. Doctors know the "hallmarks" of PTSD and can make that diagnosis for you.

The remainder of this post is an excerpt from the following website. I encourage you to visit the site for some additional valuable information.

  Symptoms of PTSD: Re-experiencing the traumatic event

  • Intrusive, upsetting memories of the event
  • Flashbacks (acting or feeling like the event is happening again)
  • Nightmares (either of the event or of other frightening things)
  • Feelings of intense distress when reminded of the trauma
  • Intense physical reactions to reminders of the event (e.g. pounding heart, rapid breathing, nausea, muscle tension, sweating)

Symptoms of PTSD: Avoidance and numbing

  • Avoiding activities, places, thoughts, or feelings that remind you of the trauma
  • Inability to remember important aspects of the trauma
  • Loss of interest in activities and life in general
  • Feeling detached from others and emotionally numb
  • Sense of a limited future (you don’t expect to live a normal life span, get married, have a career)

Symptoms of PTSD: Increased anxiety and emotional arousal

  • Difficulty falling or staying asleep
  • Irritability or outbursts of anger
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Hypervigilence (on constant “red alert”)
  • Feeling jumpy and easily startled

Other common symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

  • Anger and irritability
  • Guilt, shame, or self-blame
  • Substance abuse
  • Feelings of mistrust and betrayal
  • Depression and hopelessness
  • Suicidal thoughts and feelings
  • Feeling alienated and alone
  • Physical aches and pains

Symptoms of PTSD in children and adolescents

In children—especially those who are very young—the symptoms of PTSD can be different than the symptoms in adults. Symptoms in children include:
  • Fear of being separated from parent
  • Losing previously-acquired skills (such as toilet training)
  • Sleep problems and nightmares without recognizable content
  • Somber, compulsive play in which themes or aspects of the trauma are repeated
  • New phobias and anxieties that seem unrelated to the trauma (such as a fear of monsters)
  • Acting out the trauma through play, stories, or drawings
  • Aches and pains with no apparent cause
  • Irritability and aggression 

So Wednesday, March 20th is D-day.... I'll try to post in the evenings since that is the only time I will have access to a computer. Wish me luck!! 


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