Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a condition that is caused by the experience of trauma, events like hurricanes or natural disasters, war, abuse, assault, or anything that feels traumatic. PTSD can have an effect on a person that lasts a lifetime. Common symptoms include nervousness, helplessness, anxiety, social phobia, and other issues. There are four types of symptoms of PTSD to look for in a loved one. Find out what they are and how to offer support if they are struggling.
People who experience PTSD often feel vulnerable around others. They may become scared or frightened to be around other people. Their memories of the event or events are triggered and cause them to recoil inward. They may avoid thinking about or discussing the event. Someone who was mugged may choose to walk a different route because of it, but they may still experience symptoms. Avoidance does not make the symptoms go away, it merely masks the issue.
Very commonly, a person with PTSD will re-experience symptoms. This may make them feel like they are reliving the event. Nightmares, bad memories, and other things may trigger them. Flashbacks are also common. They remind themselves of the event by seeing things in the environment or hearing things that remind them of being back in that room, situation, or experience. It can feel like they are almost right back there again.
With triggers, a person’s arousal system kicks in and they feel constantly angry, jumpy, or stressed. A person with these symptoms may not sleep well and cannot concentrate. They may experience unhealthy behaviors like drinking or using drugs. They often have trouble identifying what is causing the symptoms and talking about the trauma itself. Mental illness may also be present, complicating matters for them in seeking help.
Cognitive symptoms include negative thoughts about the self or the world. They may experience these symptoms and not trust people. They may find it hard to be happy or have trouble recalling aspects of events. They may feel guilt or blame. With experiencing symptoms, they may suffer from PTSD but also develop other lifestyle habits that help them navigate their lives in a way that makes sense for them. It takes time to reroute their brain, recalibrates their thinking, and settle them into a healthier rhythm of life.
Ultimately, a person with PTSD will need help healing from their trauma but maybe addiction and other mental health issues, as well. The sooner they get help, the sooner they can find hope and healing in recovery.
A Step in the Right Direction provides quality care for clients seeking support for addiction recovery. We offer help for those suffering from PTSD, along with addiction, and other mental health conditions. For more information on sober living programs for men and women as well as recovery programs, call (877) 377-3702.