Miscellaneous Information on PTSD
By Darlene Siddons
Briefly described, PTSD is a psychiatric disorder that can develop in a person after a traumatic experience, it can be further described as, an anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to a terrifying event or ordeal in which grave physical harm occurred or was threatened. PTSD is different from most mental-health diagnoses because it is tied to a to particular life experience.
The meaning that one attaches to the traumatic event is what actually changes the person's experience of self. Many sufferers impose dramatic restrictions on their social activity, not out of fear of a traumatic reminder, but out of embarrassment in anticipation of a panic attack that would be witnessed by others.
PTSD is characterized by flashbacks of the event, anxiety, and social withdrawal. A person having a flashback, which can come in the form of images, sounds, smells, or feelings, usually believes that the traumatic event is happening all over again. All people with PTSD have lived through a traumatic event that caused them to fear for their lives, see horrible things, and feel helpless.
PTSD symptoms usually start soon after the traumatic event, but they may not happen until months or years later. Social support may speed up recovery from PTSD and help someone overcome the effects of a traumatic event. They may experience sleep problems, poor concentration, irritability/anger, hyper vigilance (constantly scanning the environment for danger), extreme physical reactivity, recurrent and distressing nightmares of the traumatic event, feel detached or numb, or be easily startled.
PTSD is complicated by the fact that people with PTSD often may develop additional disorders such as depression, substance abuse, problems of memory and cognition, and other problems of physical and mental health. When these additional disorders are added to the already discomfort that exists for these individuals it complicates the diagnosis and their lives; and many times creates an incorrect diagnosis which can be even more devastating for the individual. Safe groups where they can share and talk about their feelings are very beneficial; as they need to be able to have a voice and talk about their feelings with others that are in the same situation.
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This article was posted by Darlene Siddons