What are the symptoms of PTSD?
The symptoms of PTSD are the same “fight-or-flight” responses that almost all trauma victims experience, but, when they persist for more than 30 days or recur after several months or years, post-traumatic stress disorder may be diagnosed.
We all feel afraid after a traumatic experience, but those who continue to have debilitating or destructive symptoms may need PTSD therapy to fully recover. More than 7 of every 100 people will experience PTSD in their lifetimes. Women are more likely to develop the condition, certain types of trauma impart greater risk, and there may also be a genetic component.1
What Types of Trauma Cause PTSD?
- Directly experiencing threatened death, serious injury, or sexual assault
- Witnessing these severely traumatic events happening to someone else
- Learning that a close friend or loved one experienced actual or threatened death in a violent incident, natural disaster, or accident
- Repeated exposure to these types of events through work or life situations
PTSD Symptoms Summarized
PTSD treatment professionals focus on the physical, emotional, and relationship impacts of the syndrome, looking for a precise combination of these types of symptoms:
- Reliving the event or experiencing symptoms months or even years after the trauma. Bad memories of the traumatic event may return at any time in the form of nightmares or flashbacks.
- Avoiding situations that remind the individual of the event. They may attempt to avoid situations or people that trigger memories of the traumatic event or react as if it is about to happen again.
- Feeling numb, an inability to experience positive emotions, and an avoidance of people, places, or activities once enjoyed. Dealing with PTSD might damage existing relationships or prevent new ones from forming.
- Hyper-arousal, jittery feelings, or an exaggerated startle response can all indicate that PTSD counseling would be helpful. Feeling keyed up and always on the alert frays nerves and leads to insomnia, irritability, and even aggressive behavior.
- An inability to recall important parts of the traumatic event when no head injury was involved. Exaggerated or untrue beliefs about the event, oneself, or the world, usually involving blame, guilt, or perceived threats where there are none.
PTSD Symptoms in Children
Children also experience PTSD, but their symptoms may vary from those of older teens and adults. When determining how to treat PTSD in children, the therapist will look for signs like these:
- Regressing in toilet training, wetting the bed after having outgrown this issue
- Regressing in speech or language, forgetting how to talk or returning to baby talk
- Acting out the event during playtime
- Having frightening dreams without recognizable subjects, or which seem unrelated to the trauma
- Becoming unusually clingy with a parent, caregiver, sibling, pet, or another security source
Experience Freedom from Trauma with PTSD Therapy
Those who are successful at overcoming PTSD often have “resilience factors”—a strong support system that helps them recover.
Some indicators of a positive outcome include:
- Seeking support or connecting with other people after the event
- Finding a support group or talking with a counselor
- Honestly evaluating their actions during the event and gaining self-awareness
- Learning to act and respond intentionally and effectively while experiencing fear
- Practicing self-regulation and relaxation strategies
PTSD Treatment Options Available at Serenity Trauma Center
An individualized PTSD recovery plan might feature some or all of these innovative and effective treatments for PTSD:
- EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing)
- Somatic experiencing
- EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique or Emotionally Focused Therapy)
- Sensorimotor psychotherapy
- Neurofeedback therapy
- Group therapy
- The CHRIS technique
- DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy)
Taking Back Who You Are
If a loved one or you are having flashbacks, nightmares, or other symptoms of trauma for more than a month, reach out to our compassionate team in Southern California and start the journey to recovery. We will help you choose the best post-traumatic stress disorder treatment program for your unique needs.
Making a positive step as soon as possible will help prevent the worsening effects of PTSD. Serenity Trauma Center provides a safe and supportive environment where you will find freedom from the past while returning mind and body to their natural states of vitality and confidence.