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PTSD – DO YOU HAVE IT?

PTSD – DO YOU HAVE IT?

Have you been through a traumatic event? If you have been suffering from these symptoms for over a month, you may want to talk to your doctor about treatment for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

About 8 million adults have PTSD during a given year and although that sounds like a large number, it really is a small percentage of people compared to the total number who experience trauma in the same time frame.  Around 8% of all people will have PTSD over their lifetime.  Thankfully, there is more and more research coming out every day for ways in which to support and treat patients with PTSD.  As with most ailments, the sooner PTSD is diagnosed, the more likely treatment is possible.

If you have been experiencing these symptoms for over a month, you should contact your doctor for a thorough exam.

Anyone who has been exposed to actual or threatened death, serious injury, or sexual violation whether through direct experience, as a witness, learning of the event through a close family member or friend, or experiencing repeated exposure to the details of the event may be at risk for PTSD.

Primary Symptoms of PTSD:

  • Re-experiencing trauma through intrusive recollections of the event, flashbacks, or nightmares
  • Numbness and avoidance of places, people, and activities that bring back memories of the trauma
  • Increased arousal such as difficulty sleeping or being easily irritated and angered

The Presence of One or More of the Following:

  • Spontaneous or recurrent, involuntary and intrusive distressing memories of traumatic events
  • Recurring distressing dreams related to the event
  • Flashbacks in which the individual feels or acts like the traumatic event is recurring
  • Intense or prolonged psychological distress at exposure to internal or external cues that resemble an aspect of the traumatic event
  • Physiological reactions to reminders of the traumatic event

The Presence of Two or More of the Following:

  • Inability to remember an important aspect of the event (not due to head injury or inebriation)
  • Persistent and exaggerated negative beliefs about oneself, others, or the world
  • Distorted blame of self or others about the cause or consequences of the traumatic event
  • Persistent fear, horror, anger, guilt, or shame
  • Diminished interest or participation in significant activities
  • Feelings of detachment or estrangement from others
  • Persistent inability to experience positive emotions

Two or More of the Following Marked Changes in Arousal and Reactivity:

  • Irritable or aggressive behavior
  • Reckless or self-destructive behavior
  • Hypervigilance
  • Exaggerated startle response
  • Problems with concentration
  • Difficulty falling or staying asleep

For a more detailed overview of PTSD symptoms, please visit: https://adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/posttraumatic-stress-disorder-ptsd/symptoms

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