What is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
PTSD is a mental health condition that can develop after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event. PTSD is
characterized by the presence of intense, persistent, and distressing memories or thoughts of a traumatic event. It can
have a profound impact on a person's life and well-being, affecting their daily activities, relationships, and quality of life.
This condition is more common than you might think, affecting millions of people worldwide.
What is PTSD?
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental health disorder that can occur after a person experiences or
witnesses a traumatic event. The traumatic event can be anything that causes intense fear, helplessness, or horror. This
can include natural disasters, serious accidents, acts of violence, sexual or physical assault, and military combat.
PTSD can cause a range of symptoms, including intrusive thoughts and memories, nightmares, avoidance behaviours,
and feelings of hopelessness and guilt. The symptoms can interfere with daily activities, making it difficult for individuals to
work, socialize, and maintain relationships. PTSD can also cause physical symptoms, such as increased heart rate,
sweating, and rapid breathing.
What are the 5 signs of PTSD?
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a condition that can develop after a person has experienced or witnessed a
traumatic event. The following are the five signs of PTSD:
People with PTSD may experience intrusive thoughts or memories of the traumatic event that cause them distress. These
thoughts may come in the form of flashbacks, nightmares, or vivid memories that can feel very real.
People with PTSD may avoid things that remind them of the traumatic event, such as certain places, people, or activities.
They may also avoid talking about their experiences or feelings related to the event.
Negative Changes in Mood and Thoughts
People with PTSD may experience changes in their mood, such as feelings of anger, guilt, or hopelessness, or negative
changes in their thoughts, such as self-blame or a diminished sense of self-worth.
Arousal and Reactivity
People with PTSD may have trouble sleeping or concentrating, feel irritable or easily startled, or engage in reckless or
People with PTSD may be constantly on edge, feeling as if they are in danger even when there is no immediate threat.
They may be easily startled and have a heightened sense of awareness.
It is important to note that everyone experiences trauma differently and may have different symptoms and that not
everyone who experiences a traumatic event will develop PTSD. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms and they
are impacting your daily life, it is important to seek help from a mental health professional.
What is the biggest symptom of PTSD?
The biggest symptom of PTSD is the presence of intrusive thoughts and memories of the traumatic event. These thoughts
can be distressing and can interfere with daily activities, making it difficult for individuals to work, socialize, and maintain
relationships. Intrusive thoughts and memories can also cause physical symptoms, such as increased heart rate,
sweating, and rapid breathing.
What are some unusual signs of PTSD?
While the above symptoms are the most common, some people with PTSD may experience other symptoms that are less
well-known. These can include physical symptoms, such as:
People with PTSD may also experience emotional numbing and a sense of detachment from others. They may also have
trouble expressing emotions and feeling emotionally connected to others.
What does PTSD do to a person?
PTSD can have a profound impact on a person's life and well-being. It can affect their daily activities, relationships, and
quality of life. People with PTSD may experience difficulty sleeping, concentrating, and managing their emotions. They
may also feel hopeless, guilty, and ashamed. PTSD can also cause physical symptoms, such as increased heart rate,
sweating, and rapid breathing.
How do you confirm if you have PTSD?
If you suspect that you may have PTSD, it is important to speak with a mental health professional. A psychologist can
conduct a thorough evaluation to determine if you have PTSD. The assessment will typically include a clinical interview to
review current and past psychological problems.
During the clinical interview, the therapist will ask you questions about the traumatic event, your symptoms, and your
overall mental and emotional well-being. The mental health assessment may include standardized questionnaires and
assessments that are designed to diagnose PTSD.
In some cases, a physical exam may also be performed to rule out any other medical conditions that may be contributing
to your symptoms. It is important to be honest and open with your therapist about your symptoms and experiences, as this
will help them make an accurate diagnosis and develop a treatment plan that is tailored to your specific needs.
How do you deal with post-traumatic stress triggers?
Dealing with post-traumatic stress triggers can be challenging, but there are several strategies that can help. The first step
is to identify your triggers and understand what causes them. This may involve reflecting on your experiences and
considering what situations or events cause you to feel distressed or overwhelmed. Once you have identified your
triggers, you can develop a plan to manage them.
Managing triggers is a process that can take time, but it's worth the effort. It's important to remember that you don't have
to do this alone; there are people who want you, including your friends and family members. You can also reach out for
professional support if necessary.
If possible, try not to be in situations that trigger your PTSD symptoms--for example, if loud noises make it hard for you to
think clearly or feel safe at work or school, then try not working in an open office space with many people around (or any
other situation where there are lots of loud noises). At some point you may work with a psychologist to learn to tolerate
these triggers by using an evidence-based treatment.
Try doing things that make sense of the world around us so we feel more secure and confident in ourselves again after
experiencing trauma--like going outside into nature; exercising regularly; eating healthy foods; spending time with loved
ones who make us laugh; getting enough sleep every night (this one is especially important!). These things help build up
our resilience against future challenges so we're ready when they come along!
Finding Professional Help
There are a number of mental health professionals who can help you. These include:
Psychiatrists, who prescribe medication and may also offer therapy
Psychologists, who can diagnose and use talk therapy to treat your symptoms
Social workers and other therapists, whose focus is often on helping people cope with their daily lives and relationships
First Responder Program, Archways has psychologists with specialized training in the treatment of PTSD and other
conditions related to trauma. They work with both uniformed and non-uniformed first responders using a trauma-informed
model to help individuals build resilience, cope with symptoms and stressors, and foster post-traumatic growth
As you begin to manage your triggers, you will want to have a list of resources at hand. Here are some websites and
books that may be helpful:
National Center for PTSD
Centers for Disease Control
You can also find support groups online or in person like Archways by searching for "PTSD" on Facebook or other social
media sites, as well as through local hospitals or mental health clinics that offer services related to PTSD treatment
Ultimately, dealing with post-traumatic stress triggers takes time and patience, but with the right tools and support, it is
possible to manage your symptoms and live a fulfilling life. It is important to seek help and not be afraid to ask for support.
Remember that healing is a process and that it is okay to take things one step at a time.
In summary, PTSD is a complex and sometimes condition that can profoundly impact a person's life. While it can be
challenging to live with PTSD, there are effective treatments and strategies available to manage its symptoms. It is
important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of PTSD and to seek help if you believe that you or someone you know
may be experiencing it. With the right support, people with PTSD can learn to manage their symptoms and reclaim their
lives. It is important to remember that recovery is possible and that you are not alone. If you are struggling with PTSD,
reach out to a mental health professional, such as a psychologist. They can use evidence-based treatment to work with
you so that you start the healing process and regain a sense of control over your life.