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Post-traumatic Stress Disorder [PTSD]

The root word of posttraumatic stress disorder is trauma.  This type of trauma is a mood/anxiety condition that results from an experience of severe threat to self or other.  Normally there is a clear and identifiable situation in which a threat to life is experienced.  However, in many cases of complex stress disorders, the triggering event isn’t clearly identified.   PTSD is characterized by intrusive and avoidant features.  Intrusive recollections are evidenced by traumatic nightmares, flashbacks, sympathetic nervous system arousal, and psychological reactions such as rumination, fear, and hypervigilance.

If you perceive that you have experienced PTSD, below are behavioral considerations to review:

  • Exposure to actual or threatened death or serious bodily or emotional injury that resulted in an intense emotional response of fear, helplessness, or horror.
  • Intrusive, distressing thought or images that recall the traumatic event.
  • Disturbing dreams associated with the traumatic event.
  • A sense that the event is reoccurring, as in illusions or flashbacks.
  • Intense distress when exposed to reminders of the traumatic event.
  • Physiological reactivity when exposed to internal or external cues that symbolize the traumatic event.
  • Avoidance of thoughts, feelings, or conversations about the traumatic event.
  • Inability to recall some important aspects of the traumatic event.
  • Lack of interest and participation in significant activities.
  • A sense of detachment from others.
  • Inability to experience the full range of emotions, including love.
  • A pessimistic, fatalistic attitude regarding the future.
  • Sleep disturbance.
  • Lack of concentration.
  • Exaggerated startle response.
  • Symptoms have been present for more than one month.
  • Sad or guilty affect and other signs of depression.
  • Substance and process addictions.
  • Suicidal thoughts.
  • A pattern of interpersonal confl9ct, especially in intimate relationships.
  • Verbally and/or physically violent threats or behavior.
  • Inability to maintain employment due to authority/coworker conflict or anxiety symptoms.

As you can see this disorder can be disabling and can have detrimental effect on all the domains of your life.  Initially, it is imperative to seek out professional help, as often the traumatized person can be left to feel frozen and unable to function even on the simplest terms.  Please call (262)375-9225.