What Does PTSD Look Like?:The Real Symptoms of It

PTSD, on the surface, looks just like another anxiety disorder. However, it is complex and is very much caused by enviromental issues, as opposed to genetic ones. As with many disorders, it warps the reality of the sufferer, resulting in illogical and obsessive thoughts.

What kind of things have to happen to cause this disorder?

Any kind of traumatic event really. Examples are:

-experiences in the military

-abuse of any kind(physical, sexual, verbal)

-car accident.

-gang violence

Basically, any event that strains the stress threshold of some one. Though that varies for each person.

I was diagnosed with PTSD when I was fourteen, though I had probably had it for many years. I grew up in a violent household, with my mom and I both on the receiving end of physical and verbal abuse.

After a particulary horrible knife fight that happened between my mom and my abuser, they divorced, and our abuse ended.

Over those years, the abuse had begun to take its toll on me, though I didn’t make anything of it at the time. I started to have this scared, paranoid mindset that stayed in place most of the time and way especially aggravated when I was around people. Often, I would picture the worst of what could potentially happen and convince myself that it would happen.

So what are the main symptoms of PTSD? Here are a few:

-depression

-social isolation

-social anxiety

-flashbacks

-nightmares

-obsessive thoughts

” Approximately half of people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) also suffer from Major Depressive Disorder (MDD).”(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4518698/). This goes to show that PTSD is a big contributing factor for depression, which is a disorder that affects energy levels and your ability to enjoy things you used to do.

Why is this so?

A large part of it may be because of numbing and avoiding symptoms that go along with PTSD.

This means that those with PTSD have “diminished feelings” as a way of coping with their traumatic experience. Essentially, those with PTSD, consciously or not, numb their feelings in order to not feel what they did before, when they were experiencing the traumatic event.

“Detachment or estrangement from others” is caused by the ability to trust being affected after the event.

This affected me in many ways. I would feel so detached form other people, and I felt like I had lost my ability to communicate with others effectively. Problems such as avoiding eye contact, mumbling, and just being quiet in general stopped me from forming meaningful relationships with other people.

With therapy and medication, I gradually started to recover a bit, but I still suffer from some of the anxiety to this day. EMDR, I have found, is particularly affective for treating PTSD. For more details on it, read my What is EMDR? article.

Post traumatic stress disorder results in a number of symptoms that are beyond the control of the sufferer. Unlike many mental disorders, enviromental factors play the biggest part in the development of this disorder. It is an anxiety disorder that consists of triggers that remind a person of a traumatic event that they went through, and it has a large impact on the sufferer’s relationships.

With treatment, one can get relief from this potentially debilitating disorder.

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