Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder - Types, Symptoms and Risk Factors- How to Prevent PTSD

Post-traumatic stress disorder
Post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms-How to prevent PTSD 

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder - Types, Symptoms and Risk Factors - How to Prevent PTSD 

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a serious psychiatric disorder and a mental health illness triggered by a frightening event or a terrible condition. Symptoms may include recalling events, nightmares and acute anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event.  PTSD can affect anyone of any age who is exposed to a traumatic event.  In this article, we will let you know about the disease, causes, symptoms, complications, and methods of prevention.

What is post-traumatic stress disorder?

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a stressful anxiety disorder that occurs after a traumatic event. The event may include an actual or foreseeable threat to injury or death, and may also include a natural disaster, combat, physical or sexual assault, or other trauma. People suffering from PTSD have a strong sense of danger, making them feel stressed or scared, even in a safe situation. PTSD appears as a reaction to chemical changes in the brain after exposure to threatening events. It is not a result of a personality disorder or weakness.
Most of those who experience a traumatic event may have temporary difficulties in coping and adjusting, but over time and good self-care, they usually improve. If the symptoms worsen, persist for months or even years, and if you block your daily life, you may be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Read More: Diagnosis and Treatment of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Types of PTSD

There are five major types of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

1. Normal Stress Response
2. Acute Stress disorder
3. Uncomplicated PTSD
4. Comorbid PTSD
5. Complex

Normal Stress Response: It occurs when a healthy adult who has been exposed to a single discrete painful event in adulthood experiences severe acute bad memories, feelings of untruth, being cut off from relationships, emotional numbness or physical tension and suffers from distress and crisis.

Acute Stress Disorder: It is characterized by mental confusion and illusions, panic reactions, severe insomnia, dissociation, suspicion, and being unable to even basic self-care, relationships, work, and related activities.

Uncomplicated PTSD: It includes frequent re-experiencing painful incidents and traumatic events, avoiding trauma-related stimuli, emotional numbness, and symptoms of increased arousal. It can respond to a group, psychoactive, pharmacological, and cognitive-behavioral or combination approaches.

Comorbid PTSD:  Comorbid PTSD with other mental disorders is actually much more common than uncomplicated PTSD. Post-traumatic stress disorder is usually related to at least one other major psychological disorder such as drug addiction, alcohol or substance abuse, depression, panic disorder, and other anxiety disorders. The best results are obtained when both PTSD and other disorders are treated simultaneously instead of one after the other.

Complex PTSD: It is found in individuals who are exposed to traumatic circumstances and painful conditions for a long time, especially during childhood, such as sexual abuse. These individuals are generally diagnosed with an antisocial or borderline personality disorder or disruptive and dissociative disorders.

Symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder

Post-traumatic stress disorder
Post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms-How to prevent PTSD

Symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder may begin within three months of the traumatic event, but sometimes symptoms may occur only years after the event. These symptoms can cause serious problems in social or practical situations and in relationships. They can also interfere with your ability to perform your normal daily tasks. In addition, people with PTSD may suffer from depression,  headaches, fainting and panic attacks.

Intensity of symptoms
The severity of symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder may change over time or vary from person to person. You may experience several symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder when you often experience stress or when you recall the events you have experienced. For example, you might hear the sound of a car explosion and recall the events of the war as if they were talking again, or you might see a report of news of sexual abuse and feel broken about the memories of the assault you went through.
Symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder are generally classified into four types:

1.  Re-experiencing Symptoms
2.  Avoidance Symptoms
3.  Hyperarousal (Reactivity) Symptoms
4.  Cognitive Symptoms

Re-experiencing: Symptoms of re-experiencing or SPAM memories may include:
  • Repeated painful and repetitive painful memories about the traumatic event
  • Live the moment of the traumatic event as if it were happening again (recall events)
  • Awful dreams or nightmares about the traumatic event
  • Intense emotional pressure or severe physical reactions to something that reminds you of the accident
  • Past memories in which the patient feels as if the event happens again and again
  • Spam memories and parasitism of the event
  • Mental or physical discomfort when remembering the event

Avoidance:  Avoidance symptoms may include:
  • Try to avoid thinking or talking about the traumatic event.
  • Avoid places or people who remind you of the shocking event.
  • Lack of interest in daily activities
  • Negative changes in thinking and mood
  • Emotional indifference
  • Memory loss for the actual event
  • Inability to express feelings

Hyperarousal: Hyperarousal (Reactivity) Symptoms (changes in physical and emotional reactions) may include:
  • Agitation, tantrums or aggressive behavior
  • Always beware of the danger
  • An excessive feeling of guilt, shyness or shame
  • Constant attention to risk
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Bouts of anger
  • Panic or fear easily
  • Constant attention to risk
  • Self-destructive behavior, such as drinking too much or driving very quickly

Cognition:  Cognitive Symptoms of PTSD may include:
  • Negative thoughts about yourself, others or the world
  • Inability to recognize positive emotions
  • Emotional numbness
  • Not paying attention to the activities you previously enjoyed
  • The despair of the future
  • Memory problems, including not remembering the important aspects of the traumatic event
  • Difficulty maintaining close relations
  • Feeling separated from family and friends

Complications of PTSD

Post-traumatic stress disorder can spoil your whole life: your job, your relationships, your health, and your enjoyment of your daily activities.
Post-traumatic stress disorder can also increase the risk of other mental health problems, such as:

Causes of PTSD

post-traumatic stress disorder
Causes of post-traumatic stress disorder - How to prevent PTSD

You may experience a post-traumatic stress disorder when you go through an event, see it or know about it, be a threat of death, actual death, serious injury, or sexual abuse.
Doctors do not know exactly why some people develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). As with most mental health problems, post-traumatic stress disorder is likely to occur due to a combination of:

Stressful experiences, including the amount of trauma you have experienced in your life.
The Inherited mental health risks, such as having a family history of anxiety and depression.
The inherited characteristics of your personality - sometimes called mood swings.
The way the brain regulates chemicals and hormones released by the body in response to stress.

Risk factors

People of all ages may experience post-traumatic stress disorder. However, some factors may increase the risk of this disorder after exposure to shock such as:
  • Exposure to severe long-term shock
  • Exposure to previous trauma in life such as exposure to abuse during childhood, sexual violence or physical assault
  • Working in such a job which increases the risk of traumatic events such as military personnel or emergency response workers
  • Exposure to the threat of weapons
  • Suffering from mental health problems, such as anxiety or depression
  • Problems with the misuse of substances such as excessive drinking or excessive use of drugs
  • Lack of good support from family or friends
  • Have relatives with mental health problems including anxiety or depression
There are many other traumatic events that can lead to PTSD such as fires, natural disasters, robberies, thefts, crashes, torture, kidnapping, the discovery of life-threatening diseases, terrorist attacks and other harsh or life-threatening events.

How to Prevent Trauma from Becoming PTSD

After surviving traumatic events, most people initially experience symptoms similar to post-traumatic stress disorder, such as the inability to stop thinking about what happened. Fear, anxiety, anger, depression, and guilt are all common reactions to trauma. However, the majority of people who were traumatized did not suffer from a long-term post-traumatic stress disorder.

Timely support and assistance may prevent the increase of poor physical reactions resulting from stress and not develop into post-traumatic stress disorder. This may mean asking for support from family and friends who will listen to you and provide you with comfort. Researching a psychologist may mean a short course of treatment. Some people may seek help from their faith community as well.
Support from others may help prevent the use of unhealthy coping methods, such as alcohol or drug addiction.

Read More: Diagnosis and Treatment of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) - Psychotherapy and Medication

When to visit a doctor

If there are disturbing thoughts and feelings coming to you because of a traumatic event for more than a month, or if it is severe, or if you feel that you are having trouble getting your life back under control, talk to your doctor or psychologist. Access to treatment as soon as possible can help prevent the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder from getting worse.

What to do If you have suicidal thoughts

If there are suicidal thoughts coming from you or someone you know, ask for help immediately with one or more of the following resources:

  • Talk to a close friend or one of your loved ones.
  • Continue with a priest, mentor, or person in your faith community.
  • Book an appointment with your doctor or psychologist.

When you get emergency help

If you think you might be hurting yourself or trying to commit suicide, call your local emergency number immediately.
If you know someone who is at risk of committing a suicide attempt or has tried to commit suicide, make sure someone stays with him to keep him safe. Call your local emergency number immediately or take this person to the emergency room at your nearest hospital if you can do so safely.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder - Types, Symptoms and Risk Factors- How to Prevent PTSD Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder - Types, Symptoms and Risk Factors- How to Prevent PTSD Reviewed by The Scientific World on March 07, 2019 Rating: 5

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