PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) is not a failure of strength, courage, attitude, toughness, or mental fortitude. PTSD can happen to anyone. One of the reasons for this is that trauma is a relatively common event. How do you know if you have PTSD? Current estimates are that as many as 70% of adults in the US have experienced some kind of trauma in their lives. Trauma can take many forms, including accidents, illnesses, deaths, robberies, war, abuse, or sexual assault. While most people are able to overcome traumatic events by using their existing coping mechanisms, there are moments when a traumatic event can be so extreme or so unexpected, that it overwhelms a person’s normal coping skills. When this occurs, PTSD may become the result.
PTSD can occur even in people with extensive training and experience in dealing with trauma. (i.e. First Responders, Nurses, Soldiers, etc.) As a result, it is helpful to identify some of the signs and symptoms that can help you determine if you have PTSD.
Common Symptoms of PTSD
- Intrusive memories of the traumatic event – People with PTSD often have moments where the thoughts of the traumatic event invade their consciousness. Some people feel like they can’t seem to shake the images in their heads.
- Bad dreams – PTSD often disrupts sleep. It is not unusual for a person with PTSD to experience nightmares or disturbing dreams.
- Flashbacks – Some people experience flashbacks where they feel like they are reliving the traumatic event.
- Intense distress when exposed to things that remind you of the trauma – People with PTSD are often “triggered” by people, places, things, smells, sounds, or other stimulation that reminds them of the trauma.
- Easily startled – People with PTSD often become “jumpy” or react in an exaggerated way when startled.
- Avoidance – People with PTSD often actively avoid anything that reminds them of the trauma.
- Anxiety and Depression – Anxiety and depression are common for people with PTSD.
- Negative Beliefs – People with PTSD often have negative beliefs about themselves and the world around them. They may blame themselves for the trauma or feel like the world is stacked against them.
- Withdrawal – Many people with PTSD often withdraw from others and isolate themselves.
- Anger Issues – People with PTSD often feel agitated and can become easily angered or enraged.
- Hypervigilance – People with PTSD are often on high alert. They have a hard time letting their guard down and relaxing.
- Hard time feeling happy or having positive emotions – People with PTSD are often guarded and withdrawn from others.
Help is Available for PTSD
Fortunately, PTSD can be treated. Whether PTSD is due to a single traumatic event or to a long-term history of abuse or trauma, it is possible to heal and overcome the effects of PTSD. If you are experiencing the symptoms of PTSD, seek help. The sooner you deal with PTSD, the less it affects your life. Treatment options include individual therapy, family therapy, group therapy, medication management, Intensive Treatment Programs, and residential treatment.
We Can Help!
MHThrive provides Individual Therapy, Couples and Marriage Counseling, and Family Therapy at our locations in Katy, The Woodlands, and the Clear Lake area of Houston, Texas. We also provide telehealth therapy for anyone who resides within the State of Texas. To schedule an appointment with one of the MHThrive therapists, contact us at 713-477-0333 or visit www.mhthrive.com to learn more.
If you or someone you know is experiencing any mental health or substance abuse issues, New Dimensions can help. Our team of experienced therapists and psychiatrists can help you overcome these challenges and help you develop the skills you need to thrive. To schedule a complementary assessment or to find out more about our programs, contact us at 1-800-685-9796.
Online Treatment Programs provides Teletherapy Partial Hospitalization and Intensive Outpatient Programs allowing participants to receive intensive therapy with our licensed therapists and psychiatrists without having to leave home. If you or someone you know is struggling to overcome depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, trauma, panic attacks, PTSD, alcoholism, drug abuse, or other mental health or addiction issues, we can help. To schedule a complementary assessment or to find out more about our teletherapy programs, contact us at 1-800-685-9796.