Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms

Post traumatic stress disorder typically affects people who have been in life threatening situations or those who experienced an event in which they were threatened with extreme bodily harm. Such events include rapes, muggings, disasters caused by nature, terrorist acts, military service and combat, and extreme accidents.

Actual Symptoms

Certain events often trigger post traumatic stress disorder in individuals. These triggers usually relate back to objects or events that remind the individual of the original traumatic event. These triggers often cause flashbacks, frightening memories, or nightmares. Post traumatic stress sufferers often experience depression and guilt and attempt to avoid any situations, objects, or people that trigger memories or flashbacks of the traumatic event. Often, these flashbacks or memories cause an individual to react to imaginary situations that mirror the original event. They cease to be aware of what is presently happening in the reality in which they are in. For example, a war veteran may duck for cover and begin tactical maneuvers upon hearing a loud bang. This is because individuals with post traumatic stress disorder are very much on edge and can be startled by small amounts of stimulus that may remind them of their original traumatic experience. To be officially diagnosed with having post traumatic stress disorder, a person must exhibit symptoms of the disorder for more than a month.

Typical Cases

One of the most mass cases of post traumatic stress disorder involves Vietnam veterans who saw the brutal massacre of hundreds of people including young children. At times, these veterans were the ones doing the killing and as they returned home, they felt the psychological effects of post traumatic stress disorder. Firefighters and emergency rescue personnel are also susceptible to post traumatic stress disorder as they are likely to see gruesome sights while trying to save people’s lives in emergency situations.

Hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, and earthquakes can be frequent causes of horrid tragedies that produce terrible visual and auditory images and memories that can haunt rescue workers for a lifetime. Terrorist acts such as bombings and the 9/11 terrorist attacks leave many stricken with post traumatic stress disorder as they are witness to the death and suffering of many people.

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