Post-traumatic Stress Disorder: Causes and Symptoms

By January 7, 2022 No Comments

Post-traumatic Stress                                                                                                                                                              (Image Source: Unsplash)

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) manifests itself in people who have experienced major incidents, life-threatening situations, and extremely shocking events for short or long periods of time.

Having experienced a horrible encounter in the past where you felt afraid for your life or heard of a similar incident happening to a loved one could lead to changes in the nervous system that later manifest themselves in symptoms of PTSD. Some memories of a past traumatic event like war or sexual assault can cause recurrent mental and physical distress that can trigger PTSD. This can not only lead to recurring intrusive and disturbing thoughts but may feel like you’re experiencing the same event all over again since the state of mind persists long after the traumatic incident.

What Causes PTSD?

Some traumatic experiences can be so overwhelming and severely frightening that they can cause temporary or sometimes lifetime permanent changes to how you psychologically and physically respond to stress in your life. Some of the many common traumatic events that may lead to post-traumatic stress disorder in men and women can include:

  • Sexual molestation
  • Kidnapping
  • Childhood neglect
  • Plane crashes
  • War
  • Terrorist attacks
  • Natural disasters such as earthquakes or hurricanes
  • Rape
  • The sudden death of a loved one

When you’re trapped in a state of terror and shock for a long time, and your symptoms don’t improve but continue worsening, it might indicate you have developed post-traumatic stress disorder.

Does PTSD Always Develop After Experiencing Trauma?

PTSD develops in some people, while in some, it doesn’t. Almost everyone experiences the bodily response of fight-or-flight when the danger is right in front of them. Having experienced a wide range of reactions and emotions at that moment, many people recover from it in no time. While for others, the event stays imprinted in their mind.

Sometimes, it stays there for years or decades, within the closed doors, with no escape. But the good news is that PTSD is treatable.

Various therapies exist to treat PTSD, and you can fully recover and get back on track with everyday life after successful treatment.

Identifying PTSD Symptoms

Typically, the disorder shows up as unwanted memories, nightmares, flashbacks, or interfering thoughts, making you re-experience the trauma all over again. These symptoms can impact your everyday life, and they can reflect in types of intrusion, avoidance, arousal, and reactivity, which can affect your mood and thinking.

Some of the many symptoms include:

  • Unable to remember details of what happened
  • Engaging in self-destructive behavior
  • Feeling intense guilt and fear
  • Experiencing flashbacks of the event
  • Negative self-perception such as feeling worthless
  • Getting startled easily
  • Difficulty focusing on the positive side
  • Feeling emotionally numb
  • Trouble sleeping at night
  • Avoiding situations that remind you of trauma
  • Losing interest in your once-favorite activities

In most cases, you might experience these symptoms within a few months of the traumatic event, but it could also take years before you develop PTSD symptoms.

When you’re drenched in negative thoughts and assumptions, it’s challenging to get yourself out of that dark trap box. You might feel as if there’s no light and no escape. Your thoughts try to take control of your life and get overwhelming to the extent that you would have difficulty functioning properly in life.

But always remember help is available, and you just have to ask for it! So come and talk to us.

Get In Touch With Houston OCD Counseling

If you want a more detailed discussion about getting help for PTSD, contact us at Houston OCD Counseling. Our licensed professional counselors work with patients with various disorders, including anxiety disorders and PTSD. We provide individual counseling using evidence-based behavioral treatment such as cognitive-behavioral therapy and exposure/response prevention therapy.

For more information, please feel free to get in touch with us.

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