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21 Signs of PTSD

21 signs of PTSD

Have you ever noticed when someone has been through trauma that they become a different person?  Have you ever been through an experience or event that changed how you feel about yourself?  

This is because of a phenomenon called Trauma.  When you get into a threatening situation your brain acts to protect itself.  

Did you know that trauma can actually change how your brain works?

It also affects how you react to things.  

Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome is the result of trauma.  It is the combination of traumatic events that work together to create a “catastrophic” event in your mind.

Below is a complete list of signs that will indicate you have experienced PTSD. 

Unable to imagine anything but a grim future.

The future no longer looks bright, and fear drives you to see all the bad things that may or may not happen. 

Crippling feelings of fear, despair, shame, or self-loathing.

I know, after experiencing all of the above that I could no longer see the roses for the thorns.  A therapist can often help you through this. 

Believing the world is much more evil and more dangerous than it is.

9-11 is a great example when pregnant women saw the mass destruction, they didn’t know if they could bring a child into such an evil world and questioned their child’s safety and future.

Flashback or nightmares of the abuse.

I would have terrifying dreams my abusive ex-husband was coming back to rape or murder me.  It would cause me to go into the Freeze mode of “Fight, Flight or Freeze.”  It wasn’t until I started fighting back in my dreams that I was able to eradicate the nightmares.

See, hear or smell a trigger.

I once watched an IT guy changing cords on a video connection and a vision flashed before me of when I had cancer, and a nurse was changing my IV. The smell of rubbing alcohol will also remind me of my time spent in the cancer unit.

Unable to trust others.

I have been out of my abusive situation for over three years, and I still have yet to really trust anyone except my therapist. 

Isolation

The overwhelming hopelessness, as well as disconnection towards others paves the way to withdraw from others. Especially when anxieties and fear make life overwhelming.

Feeling distraught at the memory of a traumatic event.

Memories can be cruel sometimes.  I am so glad that my reaction to those bad memories have lessened their impact.

Not seeking mental health professionals’ assistance to avoid remembering the abuse.

Often the very thing that can help you through your memories, people avoid so they don’t have to deal with those memories.

Difficulty with concentration.

I am a very good example of how concentration can be affected making one swear they have A.D.- SQUIRREL!  Seriously I could not focus, and it ruined a job prospect.

Intense physical reactions to triggers (e.g., pounding heart, rapid breathing, nausea, muscle tension, sweating).

I call these anxiety attacks.  I also get the feeling of the room spinning around me.

Being easily startled by loud noises or surprises.

My coworkers thought it was great fun to scare me and make me jump.

Hypervigilant or always on alert for danger.

Living with an abuser will make you hypervigilant.  You are constantly walking on eggshells, and you never know what kind of mood he will be in, so you are constantly monitoring the air for friction.  I could literally feel when he was in melt-down mode.

Insomnia

There were many nights where I could not sleep.

Disinterest in activities enjoyed at one time.

I no longer enjoy cooking, 


Widespread chronic pain.

I am being treated for fibromyalgia.

Depression

Depression has been a constant battle that is tied into a few signs previously mentioned.  

Avoiding triggers.

You want to avoid anything that doesn’t make you feel good.  

Anger or irritability.

I think it goes without saying that when you’re constantly in pain, whether it be mental or physical, you are going to feel angry and irritable.

Unable to experience emotions.

I have felt this already that when I was extremely depressed, I could feel nothing, neither happiness nor anger.

Dissociation

This is something I still experience and really need to work on being aware of my situations, especially when driving.  It is something that happens when you are going through a hard time, and you revert back into your mind where you feel like nothing is real.  You live vicariously through your imagination. 

Trouble Understanding

A lot of people may not understand that what they are experiencing is trauma or they don’t understand what trauma is.  I am hoping the above list helps you to understand if it has happened to you or someone you love.  Get professional help in the form of trauma informed care to work through this.  You will be glad you did.

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