Post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD is a mental health condition that can develop after a person experiences or witnesses something traumatic. The symptoms can include nightmares, flashbacks, severe anxiety, and uncontrollable frightening thoughts about the event. Symptoms may get worse and can last for years, disrupting everyday functioning. It is crucial to get treatment for PTSD to reduce symptoms and improve your quality of life.
Symptoms of PTSD
Sometimes the manifestations of PTSD may not appear after the traumatic event has transpired. It can take months or years before you experience symptoms of PTSD. The symptoms can have a significant effect on your life, including your health, relationships, and daily routine, among others. Family members and loved ones of patients with PTSD can also be affected.
Experiencing PTSD varies from person to person. The following are the symptoms of PTSD:
- Reliving the traumatic event. A person who has PTSD may have constant flashbacks, nightmares, and recurring memories of the event. They can experience emotional distress and intense physical reactions when something reminds them of the traumatic incident.
- People who have PTSD may avoid conversations, activities, people, and places that evoke their memory of the event.
- Negative mood and thoughts. People who have PTSD may feel hopeless and be unable to maintain close relationships. They may be emotionally numb, have trouble expressing feelings, and lose interest in activities they once enjoyed.
- Intense physical and emotional reactions. They may exhibit reckless or aggressive behavior and get easily frightened or startled.
The intensity of PTSD symptoms varies for each patient. You could experience more PTSD symptoms if you do not receive any guidance or treatment.
Long-Term Effects Of PTSD
PTSD may have a long-term impact on a patient’s overall health. The following are the long-term impacts of PTSD in people’s lives:
People with PTSD often struggle with extreme feelings of fear and nervousness. They may feel in danger and act aggressively to maintain their safety. These strong emotions may lead them to rely on harmful coping mechanisms such as drug or alcohol abuse. The resulting anxiety and its complications can significantly impact mental and physical health and work performance.
People with PTSD may alienate themselves from family and friends. They may reject companionship and society in general. This behavior can stem from their feelings of helplessness and detachment from people and their environment. They may also feel unsafe when they’re with other people. It can affect their health further and worsen existing medical conditions.
Insomnia and Other Sleep Disturbances
People with PTSD experience difficulties in sleeping, which can lead to insomnia. They may find it hard to fall or remain asleep. Due to this, they don’t feel energized when waking up and may lead to daytime fatigue and other symptoms.
Insomnia can create significant distress in a person’s life, and patients may find it hard to perform everyday tasks. Likewise, long-term sleep disturbance can negatively impact your physical health. It increases your risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and healthy weight maintenance.
Shame or Guilt
People who develop PTSD after enduring traumatic events may feel shame or guilt. It often stems from thinking they could have done things differently to change the outcomes of the event.
They may also experience survivor’s guilt, which is common in those who survive while others involved in the event did not. They may blame themselves and feel they did something wrong. Such shame and guilt may lead to depression, anxiety, or thoughts of suicide.
People who encountered a traumatic event such as physical or sexual assault, psychological abuse, vehicle accident, war, or a natural disaster may experience chronic pain. The pain may serve as a reminder of the traumatic event, which can make PTSD symptoms worse.
PTSD Treatment In Connecticut and New York City
PTSD is a severe condition and must be immediately dealt with to prevent further complications. Fortunately, the effects of PTSD do not have to last a lifetime. Consult with a professional right away if you think you or your loved one may be suffering from it.
At Psy-Visions, we will make sure you receive the quality treatment you or your family member need. We treat PTSD cases with care and will continue to guide patients until they regain control of their lives. If you want to set up an appointment with us, you may call (203) 405-1745 or request an appointment online. You may also send Dr. Stracks a secure message.