Living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, also known as PTSD, is a type of anxiety disorder that is usually experienced after witnessing a traumatic event.

Symptoms of PTSD are usually characterized as the following:

  • Reliving the traumatic event in your mind. Although it is common to reflect on things that have happened in the past, it is not healthy to compulsively think of past experiences and have fear and anxiety prevent you from living your day to day life.
  • Increased anxiety. After experiencing a traumatic event, some people may experience heightened levels of anxiety. This can be displayed through hyper vigilance or some form of insomnia.
  • Avoidance. This can be shown by avoiding certain locations and situations altogether. Although it is normal to avoid the scene of a traumatic event after it has happened, some people may isolate themselves entirely.

Since there are varying degrees of PTSD, some cases will need to be treated with medication. However, because many cases involve an emotional trigger, it is important to also equip yourself with different stress relief techniques. Learning about stress and identifying your emotional triggers can be an important first step in managing your disorder. In certain cases, some people are unaware that they are suffering from this disorder. This obviously makes it very difficult to identify an emotional trigger.

If certain situations and events cause you to feel anxiety, you can test for stress by asking yourself the following questions:

  • Have I been experiencing trouble sleeping? And if so, how long has this been a problem?
  • Am I becoming more irritable in certain situations or have been experiencing uncontrollable outbursts of anger?
  • Am I experiencing trouble concentrating, which is likely caused by hyper vigilance? Is this preventing me from completing daily tasks?
  • Is my anxiety triggered by a rational fear? Does the source of my anxiety present an actual danger, or am I reliving fear from an earlier event?

Answering yes to any of the above questions can be an indication that you may be suffering from this disorder. If you suspect that you need professional help, it is important to seek the advice of a medical professional.