Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) occurs after someone experiences or sees a terrifying event. It can include murder, accident, assault, rape, military combat, cops investigating abuse material or any event that incites feelings of panic, stress and overwhelming anxiety. People can also incur PTSD from mental illnesses like anxiety or depression.
A person with PTSD might relive their experience through flashbacks, nightmares and an inability to control their thoughts. These occurrences can happen right after the incident. Though, it is common for people to relive these experiences years after they happen if they display avoidance behaviors.
What Behaviors Do Those with PTSD Exhibit?
People with PTSD might fall into one of the four categories of symptoms:
- Intrusive Memories: It is where they relive the event through flashbacks or nightmares, creating a severe emotional or physical reaction to it. Sometimes, real-life situations can produce these memories, such as an accident survivor seeing a news report about another crash.
- Avoidance: The person is in denial about the event or does not want to address it. They might go as far as to avoid people or places related to what happened.
- Negative Shift in Temperament: Having these flashbacks can produce feelings of hopelessness, frustration and isolation. It is common for people with PTSD to disengage from friends, loved ones and activities they once enjoyed.
- Sudden Changes in Emotions: They might feel on edge, jumping at minor disturbances or being on the defensive, where they display volatile emotions. And since people can associate PTSD with sleeping, they might have trouble falling asleep and struggle to concentrate.
What Makes Someone More Susceptible to Incurring PTSD?
Certain lifestyle choices, occupations, and mental health diagnoses can make you more likely to experience trauma. The below factors may increase your vulnerability to PTSD.
- You have an occupation where trauma is a part of the job, like a police officer investigating a crime, military members on combat duty or first responders.
- You experienced a traumatic event.
- People with existing mental illnesses (anxiety or depression) could be more susceptible to reliving terrifying events.
- Using drugs or alcohol to excess could make a person more likely to trigger these symptoms.
When to Get Help
6 out of every 100 people experience PTSD sometime in their lives. If you’re experiencing any of the traits listed above or notice them intensifying, getting help can relieve these symptoms.
Our team at Cumberland Heights wants to give you the break you deserve. And our results speak for themselves. We’ve been able to help 74.4% of our patients receive a reduction in depression symptoms. If you or a loved one wants to talk, reach out to one of our specialists to devise a treatment program that works for you.