24 Jul PTSD Symptoms Based On Traumatic Events
Eight out of every hundred people who experience a traumatic event develop PTSD, an acute panic disorder. People who suffer from PTSD experience symptoms like a quick, irrational, all-encompassing fight-or-flight response to the stimuli. Anything can trigger memories related to the traumatic event such as a place, smell, sound, or person.
While the majority of people who experience a traumatic experience are not affected by PTSD, several risk and resiliency factors put a few at a higher-risk or lower risk of succumbing to this distressing and debilitating mental condition.
Who is more vulnerable to PTSD?
While the misconception with PTSD is that only soldiers returning from war are likely to be prone to the disorder, PTSD can develop in anyone who experiences traumatic events or ongoing, repeated abuse or stressors.
Studies suggest that women are more vulnerable to PTSD than men. The severity of the disorder also depends on the type of trauma a person has experienced. Here is an analysis of the percentage of people likely to develop PTSD depending on the trauma they experience.
Natural disaster – 8%
Witnessing a death or murder – 3%
Life-threatening illness or injury – 4%
Untimely death of a family member or loved one – 3%
Witnessing or being a victim of a shooting or stabbing – 4%
Serious injury or a car accident – 8%
Sexual assault – 7%
Physical assault or a severe beating – 9%
Rape – 49%
You don’t need to worry if you or any of your family members experience PTSD symptoms, as treatment and help are available trauma sufferers. A combination of selected therapies and medications can reduce PTSD symptoms and cure the disorder. In the next section, we will discuss these symptoms, risk factors, and treatment for PTSD.
PTSD Symptoms –
Usually, PTSD symptoms can develop due to a place, sound, sight, smell, or people that may remind the patient about the traumatic event –
- Flashbacks, or seeing images of the event. Physical PTSD symptoms include sweating, rapid heart rate, and trouble breathing (fight-or-flight).
- Insomnia, Nightmares, or frightening thoughts
- Avoiding people, places, or things that may remind of the trauma
- Irritation or feeling on edge
- Aggressive response
- Frequent outbursts and anxiety
Any person can succumb to PTSD, but there are a few factors that can increase the risk of falling prey to this disorder.
- Witnessing life-threatening event or experiencing a trauma
- Sustaining injury or getting hurt
- Watching someone getting injured or seeing a dead body
- Childhood abuse and trauma
- Feeling scared, helpless, or anxious after the traumatic event
- No social support after experiencing trauma or sustaining the injury
- Witnessing another life-threatening event soon after the previous one
- Previous health problems or substance abuse
While any traumatic event can trigger PTSD symptoms, there are also a few factors that can eliminate the chances of acquiring the disorder –
- Reaching out to your family, friends, a therapist, or counselor
- Enrolling in a support group
- Not letting negative thoughts creep in
- Searching a positive coping strategy
- Responding solemnly and positively despite their fear
Scientists and clinicians hold genetic and neurobiological components responsible for causing and curing PTSD. However, there is no authentic proof yet, and more research is necessary.
Normal Stress Response
People who go through a single traumatic event experience this symptom. They experience a lack of sleep and decreased appetite, disconnected from unreality, or distanced from the outside world. A person who has PTSD needs consistent therapy and support from family and friends to restore a normal response system. Generally, symptoms disappear within a few weeks after the event.
Acute Stress Disorder
People who lose their homes, witness natural disasters, or someone’s death often develop acute stress disorder. People with acute stress disorder find it challenging to manage self-care due to which their work and relationships are negatively affected. Panic reactions, confusion, insomnia, and paranoia are all symptoms of acute stress disorder. Support from family or friends, avoiding the source of the trauma, and going for therapy can reduce the symptoms and fuel healing. Medical practitioners may suggest short-term sleep aid for lack of sleep.
In this case, the patient consistently re-experiences the trauma and tends to avoid stimuli, feels numb, and develops panic symptoms. People with uncomplicated PTSD have no other accompanying disorders and cooperate to group therapy, medication, and cognitive behavioral therapy.
Complex PTSD develops in people who experience severe and prolonged traumatic events, particularly at an early age. People who have gone through physical, emotional, sexual abuse in childhood are at extreme risk of developing complex PTSD. Such people are usually diagnosed with a borderline or antisocial personality disorder or a dissociative disorder. Complex PTSD symptoms include aggressive response, impulsive behavior, decreased appetite, and drug or alcohol abuse. Additional symptoms such as intense anger, panic, and severe depression are also found in people with complex PTSD.
PTSD treatment –
PTSD treatment differs from case to case. Depending on the severity of the illness and the person’s health condition, treatment may include the following:
- Talk Therapy
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- SNRIs and SSRIs
- Group Therapy
- Short-term Sleep Aids, and more.
The majority of people, who have PTSD, recover at some point in time. Studies suggest that around 70% of the people who undergo a treatment regimen recover completely from the disease. One-on-one or group sessions with trained therapists, anti-anxiety medications, or short-term sleep help significantly recover from the debilitating signs and symptoms of PTSD.