The Four Symptoms Associated with PSTD

PSTD is a condition well-known to service members as well as civilians who have either been involved with or witnessed a frightening event. Many people who have been through trauma have difficulty with coping and adjusting but can heal with self-care, reaching out for help and time.

The Four Types Of Symptoms Associated with PSTD

But for those who have more trouble coping and healing from a traumatic event are experiencing PTSD, or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Any kind of sudden, unexpected shock can bring on PTSD in anyone. However, veterans, especially combat veterans, can be particularly susceptible to PTSD. Risk factors that increase the possibility of PTSD include:

  • Childhood trauma
  • Little or no social support following the event
  • A personal and/or family history of mental illness and/or substance abuse
  • Additional stress following the event, such as the loss of a job, a home, a loved one, or other pain and/or injury

The Symptoms

PTSD is characterized by four distinct symptoms:

  1. At least one re-experience symptom. An individual with PTSD can be “triggered” by a number of external factors, including:
    1. “Flashbacks,” frequently accompanied by physical symptoms such as heavy breathing, heart racing, and/or sweating
    2. Other physical signs of stress
    3. Upsetting or tormenting thoughts
    4. Dreams or memories related to the trauma that recur
  1. One or more avoidance symptoms. Exactly what it sounds like, avoidance can take the form of staying away from people, places, and things that remind the sufferer of the flashpoint event. For instance, a person who has experienced a bad car accident may stay away from cars altogether. A traumatic event at work may lead to someone quitting their job or staying away from their office. Avoidance can also be the avoidance of thoughts surrounding the events.
  1. Two or more arousal or reactivity symptoms. These symptoms can cause sleep or concentration disruptions, anger and/or stress, or eating disorders. They include:
  1. A person startles easily
  2. Difficulty sleeping or staying asleep
  3. Difficulty with concentration
  4. Irritability, including angry and/or aggressive outbursts
  5. Feelings of tension or being “on edge”
  6. A person engages in reckless, destructive, and/or risky behaviors
  1. Two or more mood and cognition symptoms. These can begin or increase after the event and can lead to social isolation from friends and family members. They include:
  1. Continuing negative emotions such as fear, guilt, shame, and/or anger
  2. Difficulty remembering everything about the trauma
  3. Negativity towards themselves or the rest of the world
  4. Losing interest in formerly favorite activities
  5. Misleading thinking about the event that includes blame
  6. Social isolation
  7. Happiness, satisfaction, and other positive emotions are difficult

Children over the age of six may also re-enact their trauma while playing, or have frightening dreams that may or may not involve the trauma.

Why Do Some People Get PTSD And Others Don’t?

There are a number of factors as to why some people develop PTSD and others don’t after a traumatic event:

  • Getting help and support from family, friends, and/or support groups
  • Resolving feelings regarding their actions in response to the trauma
  • Having and using a coping strategy to get through and learn from the event
  • Having the ability to respond and be prepared to scary events as they happen despite the fear involved

Individuals who do develop PTSD and experience the crippling effects should work to find the help they need to recover so they can live better, without the effects. Those with little or no social support may be able to find help through their primary care physician or local mental health association.

Help is available for those who need it:

Houston VA Disability Attorney For PTSD

Whether you’re suffering from PTSD or something else that’s service-related, we can help you apply, appeal, and make your case to get you the benefits you deserve.

When you’re ready to start your application, need help with an appeal, call The Herren Law Firm at 713-682-8194 (or use our online contact form) to schedule your free consultation. Our contingency fee basis means you won’t owe a fee until we win your case, and there’s no obligation.

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