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A Guideline to Understanding Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

This disorder is an anxiety disorder that is the effect of someone being exposed to a traumatic or life-threatening event. Some of the causes of this disorder include someone experiencing or witnessing violence, sexual assault, car accidents, and traumatic childbirth among others. Some people have been sent to have PTSD after being involved in or seeing a close person and the sexual assault, car accidents, fires, violence and even traumatic childbirth. People will mostly experience anxiety after a traumatic event, but when it continues for more than a month, it is likely to include a person’s life. Statistics indicate that about 4% of the population is affected by this. The diagnosis for PTSD is through a variety of approaches. Find ways to understand how to look out for PTSD in this article.

A person can have PTSD when they are exposed to a situation where they see actual or threatened death, sexual violation, or severe injury. The situation may be something that occurred to you, or you saw it happen to someone else. You may also have learned about the event whereby someone close to you experienced actual or threatened death or violence. It can also be that you have consistently received distressing information about a traumatic event.

The second criterion is where one faces intrusive symptoms associated with the traumatic event. These can be reoccurring memories, repeated upsetting dreams, and flashbacks that because you feel as though the event is happening again. Other symptoms are physical reactions such as increased heart rate when you’re exposed to a reminder of the traumatic event and intense distress when exposed to cues connected to the event.

The third criterion is that of avoidance of reminders that are associated with the traumatic event. People can avoid feelings, thoughts, and physical sensations that cause them to remember the event. Avoidance can also be of people, situations, conversations, activities, and places that arouse the memory of the event.

Another criterion to establish PTSD is where a person has adverse changes in thoughts and mood as a result of experiencing the traumatic incident. These include the inability to remember an essential aspect of the event, a general negative emotional state, and a failure to enjoy positive emotions. One may also find themselves feeling disconnected from people, blaming themselves or others, and failing to enjoy something that they used to love before.

The fifth criterion regards experiencing changes in arousal due to the experience of a traumatic event. Such changes can be seen through having problems sleeping, difficulty in concentration, high levels of startle response, an increased feeling of danger, self-destructive behavior, and irritability.

The other criterion for determining PTSD is where one has some of the mentioned symptoms for more than a month. The same can be said when the experience symptoms interfere significantly with different areas of a person’s life and cause them distress. The symptoms must not be as a result of substance use or a medical condition.

PTSD can only be diagnosed when one month has passed, and early intervention to help deal with the stress and anxiety can be helpful. One can get therapy, desensitization and reprocessing, and medication for treatment.

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