A patient’s guide to PTSD
Know the basics on signs and symptoms, treatment.
Post traumatic stress disorder is a mental illness that develops after a person is exposed to traumatic event, such as sexual assault, traffic collisions, child abuse or other threats on a person’s life.
People with PSTD feel a heightened sense of danger. Their natural fight-or-flight response is altered, causing them to feel stressed or fearful, even when they are safe.
Symptoms of PSTD
PSTD symptoms are generally grouped into four types; intrusive memories, avoidance, negative changes in thinking and mood and changes in physical and emotional reactions.
symptoms include :
- recurrent, unwanted distressing memories of the traumatic event
- nightmares about the traumatic event
- severe emotional distress
- trying to avoid thinking or talking about the traumatic event
- Avoid places, activities or people that remind you of traumatic event
Negative changes in thinking and mood
- hopelessness about the future
- difficulty maintaining close relationship
- feeling detached from family and friends
- difficulty experiencing positive emotions
- feeling emotionally numb
Changes in physical and emotional reactions
- always being on guard for danger
- trouble sleeping
- trouble concentrating
- overwhelming guilt
- being easily startled
- self destructive behaviors such as drinking too much or driving too much
Treatment of PSTD
Treatment involves therapy and medications.
• Cognitive behavioral therapy or talk therapy this encourages one to process the traumatic event and change the negative thinking patterns linked to it.
• medication – anti depressants, anti-anxiety drugs and sleep aids help symptoms of depression and anxiety.
I know in tort law that PTSD requires a stressor. Now you made me understand that there must be an alteration in the natural fight-or-flight response; and the effect is a heightened sense of danger. Many thanks for the education.
Can you kindly share some details on the natural fight-or-flight response?
Thank you .
The natural fight- or – flight response is termed as hyperarousal or the acute stress response. It’s a reaction ( a physiological reaction as such ) that occurs in response to a perceived harmful event, attack or threat. The response is triggered by the release of hormones that prepare the body to either stay and deal deal with a threat or to run away to safety.