Life moves fast at one and you might be wondering why you keep having upsetting dreams about a traumatic event, severe emotional distress, unwanted but recurring memories from it and somehow you keep relieving it without you knowing. The memory doesn’t leave and the flashbacks are typical leeches in your daily routine.

Post traumatic stress disorder is characterised by failure to recover after experiencing or witnessing a terrifying event.The condition may last months or years, with triggers that can bring back memories of the trauma accompanied by intense emotional and physical reactions.

Why does it develop?

PTSD is perceived as an individual’s survival mechanism or response to a traumatic experience. It is instinctive as the person keeps relieving the memory either through flashbacks or nightmares, so it never gets forgotten.This feeling keeps one on edge leading to high adrenaline (fight or flight hormones) and stress hormone levels in the body as well.

Causes Of PTSD

1. Sexual or physical assaults.
2. Accidents.
3. Serious health problems.
4. War and conflict.
5. Abuse, including emotional, domestic or childhood abuse
6. Torture.
7. Witnessing violence or death.
8. Natural disasters.
9. Terrorism.
10. Neglect from loved one.

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It can surely be caused by other things but PTSD depends on how an individual experienced an event.
According to the NHS, 1 in 3 people who experience severe trauma will develop PTSD. This means that even though the same people get exposed to a traumatic event, not all of them will develop post traumatic stress disorder.

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Symptoms of PTSD

These are the signs and giveaways of post traumatic stress disorder;

• Pessimism; negative mood and thinking.
• Reliving the experience through flashbacks, intrusive memories, or nightmares.
• Overwhelming emotions.
• Feeling numb or void.

• Difficulty controlling your emotions.
• Outburst of anger.
•  Constant anxiety and irritability.
• Depression.

• Seclusion, that can include disconnecting from yourself and people around you.
• Avoiding the places, people or anything that reminds you of the incident.

• Finding it hard to feel pleasure.

• A heavy sense of guilt or shame.

• Negative self-perception and low self esteem.

• Problems in relationships and feeling detached from people.

• Problems with sleeping and concentrating, because of being in a state of hyperarousal.

• Being easily scared or startled.

• Self-destructive behaviour
• Always being on edge or hypervigilance.

These are also symptoms you can use to identify a friend or someone that has PTSD.

How To Prevent PTSD After a Traumatic incident

  • Believe you can manage your emotions and make intentional moves to doing just that.
  • Connect with family and friends.
  • Optimistic look at the trauma.
  • Identifying as a survivor rather than a victim.
  • Receive the empathy and understanding you get.
  • Help others to avoid such occurrence if you can.
  • Spirituality or faith can help you rise above PTSD too.
  • Seeking help from professionals to process the trauma.

Ways To Manage Your Symptoms

• Journaling.
• Talking to people you trust.
• Exercising.
• Learning everything about PTSD to help you properly manage it.
• Staying away from negative coping mechanisms.
• Meditation.
• Attending therapy sessions.
• Being around people who understand you.
• Being around people who feel or have felt the same.

Getting help

As with most mental illnesses, there are no known cure for PTSD but the symptoms can be managed with treatments. The treatments of PTSD have 3 major aims:

• Improving your symptoms.

• Teaching you skills to deal with it.

• Restoring your self-esteem.

The main treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are psychological therapies or medicine.
Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) is a type of psychotherapy that has proven to be the most effective treatment of PTSD both in the short term and the long term. It is trauma-focused, meaning the trauma event(s) are the center of the treatment.

The first step to getting better is acknowledging that you have PTSD and seeking help to get better.

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