If recently you have undergone a life-threatening event or a series events that has resulted in you being exposed to something shocking or dangerous, then you must be on the lookout for Post- Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, and the hidden signs to keep an eye on.
Everyone is different, and we all may cope in so many different ways after the trauma—which is why you should be aware of PTSD and the possible ways it can manifest in your everyday life.
This symptom may mean that you find yourself having difficulty sleeping at night, or have trouble keeping yourself calm. You might experience intense emotions, feeling or thoughts, and hyperarousal could even include physical sensations manifesting themselves, forcing you to relive the particular event.
When you’re at work, you may have trouble concentrating on the task at hand, continually spacing out. Or you go to a particular store only to realize you forgot what you’re supposed to be buying. You feel as if you have already lost control of your thoughts, which can be a scary place to be in.
To avoid all those racing thoughts inside your head and the anxiety that comes with it, you try to avoid people around you—including friends, colleagues, loved ones or family members. This may end up hurting your social relationships significantly. People with PTSD tend to avoid going to places or specific events that will potentially trigger painful memories of a traumatizing event.
Hypervigilance and Paranoia
After experiencing a specific event, you become hypervigilant to everything around you. You may think that if it happens once, it can likely happen again shortly. You’re always on the look-out for the next traumatizing event, and you try to prevent it from happening by anticipating threats that aren’t there. You develop a sense of paranoia, and you can’t trust anyone or anything.
Turning to alcohol or drugs
Experts have discovered a strong connection between PTSD and alcohol and drug abuse. For some, it is a way for them to cope, as well as soothe the uncomfortable feelings brought about the traumatic incident. However, these feel-good feelings are usually temporary and some find themselves battling addiction because of this.
Re-experiencing can manifest in flashbacks or nightmares sometimes culminating in a situation where the person is reliving the traumatizing event all over again. Unfortunately, this can be brought out by common everyday triggers that can manifest themselves in different ways.
Seeking professional help
Whatever you might be going through right now, recovery is possible. Getting treatment for PTSD commonly involves psychotherapy as well as counseling sessions. Endeavour Wellness offers counseling services from highly trained professionals to help you on your road to healing and coming out as a much stronger individual.
Joel Curtis is a registered Psychologists with Endeavour Wellness and has over 17 years of experience. Joel holds a Masters’ Degree in Psychology from Western Sydney University. Joel owns a number of private practices in Sydney and provides expert content for several national TV and Radio programmes.