Post-traumatic stress disorder, otherwise known as PTSD, is well-known, but often misunderstood mental health issue that is more prevalent than many people realize. The psychiatric disorder affects roughly 1 in 11 people in their lifetime and can be overcome with the proper therapies and treatments. However, PTSD can affect a person for years or even decades, should they not take full measures to face the cause of their trauma and the source of their mental health issues.
PTSD is most often thought of as a problem related to soldiers coming home from war. While these represent some severe cases of PTSD, the vast majority of PTSD cases are not related to wartime combat. The reality is that many relatively common events can trigger a person to develop post-traumatic stress disorder, such as severe accidents, the loss of a child, witnessing extreme violence, sexual assault, or physical abuse. The prevalence of PTSD could be even greater than the surprising figure of 1 in 11, taking into account the prevalence of unreported physical and sexual abuse throughout society.
If you or a loved one has gone through a traumatic event and then had a change in demeanor or even lashed out irrationally, these are just a couple of the warning signs to possible PTSD. If you’re in or around Pineville, Louisiana, J.D. Murphy Christian Counseling can help you determine if it’s something more. Here are just a few popular warning signs that it could be something more:
5 Symptoms of PTSD
While these symptoms could happen to anyone, experiencing them in conjunction with each other could be a sign of a greater issue.
- Experiencing Fight or Flight Often — It’s only natural for someone to experience moments where they feel the immediate need to flee their situation or to fight their way through it. However, most people only experience this in the direst of situations. Unless you’re in an extremely dangerous environment, being unable to control the need to escape or escalate a situation to physical violence on a regular basis is a sign that you’ve experienced trauma and that you’re guarding yourself against experiencing it again. While experiencing fight or flight, the human brain experiences chemical changes that dull pain and deaden the senses, leaving you with a person driven only by the instinct of fight or flight.
- Re-experiencing — The most typical symptom of PTSD, re-experiencing of the event comes in a variety of forms. Re-experiencing comes through dreams and flashbacks, as well as repeating and disturbing images or sensations often due to triggers in a person’s day-to-day experience. In severe cases, some people experience pain, sweating, and trembling among other physical reactions.
- Negative Thoughts and Questioning Around Trauma — One very common occurrence among those with PTSD is constant negative thinking and questioning surrounding their traumatic experience. These negative thoughts and questioning often make the person open deeper wounds, but are common, and nothing to be ashamed of. Often, the survivor may ask themselves why the traumatic event happened to them, what they could have done to stop it, and if they’re to blame. If someone has had a traumatic event in their life, which has been controlling their thoughts and perhaps driving their actions, then they may be suffering from PTSD.
- Avoidance — Avoiding certain people, places, or scenarios is another sign of PTSD, from the outside this may be subtle. Those around a person with PTSD may not see when the person looks away, avoids certain people, or gives up a certain interest. Oftentimes, people with PTSD will throw themselves into their work or hobbies, busying themselves as to not face certain distressing thoughts. Some people may even go so far as to try and stop themselves from feeling altogether. These people tend to become isolated and withdrawn,
- Other Mental Health Issues — A host of mental health afflictions can come along with PTSD. Before many people begin the process of counseling and therapy for PTSD, they first experience anxiety or depression, and then they find that their issues may run deeper than the norm. Another issue often associated with PTSD is alcohol and substance abuse. While definitely not an indication of PTSD in its own right, if someone has had a notable trauma, drug and alcohol abuse could exacerbate the disorder and symptoms related to it.
Contact J.D. Murphy For PTSD Counseling
If you think you experience enough of what’s listed above, and you’re seeking help, then contact J.D. Murphy in Pineville.today. Relief from the horrors of wartime, abuse, and assault is all within reach with the proper faith, attitude, and dedication.