Symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
The symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder usually occur within three months of the traumatic event,Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Articles although sometimes the disorder does not develop until several years after the initial trauma. Once the symptoms start, they may fade away again within one to six months. However, the symptoms may continue for much longer, and in some cases, the problem may become chronic.
On of the most troubling symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder is the development of flashbacks that cause the survivor to relive a traumatic event. Flashbacks can be triggered by sounds, smells, feelings, or images. During a flashback, the sufferer may completely lose touch with reality, believing that the traumatic event is occurring all over again. Flashbacks can last for minutes or even hours.
People who suffer from post traumatic stress disorder also often experience avoidance and arousal symptoms. Avoidance symptoms include an inability to remember the event, a conscious desire to avoid discussing the event, an inability to feel or express emotions, or an impending sense of doom. Arousal symptoms involve difficulty concentrating, over active startle reactions, moodiness, tendency towards violence, ad memory problems.
Other common symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder include hyper alertness, fear and anxiety, nightmares, anger and irritability, guilt, depression, increased substance abuse, pessimistic outlook, and decreased sexual activity.
In addition to the above symptoms, children with post traumatic stress disorder may experience learning disabilities and memory or attention problems. They may also become more dependent, anxious, or even self-abusing.
Diagnosing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
The diagnosis of post traumatic stress disorder involves the presence avoidance and arousal symptoms as well as at least one of the following intrusive symptoms:
1. Flashbacks2. Sleep Disorders: Difficulty sleeping, nightmares, night terrors3. Intense anxiety triggered by events associated with the trauma
Treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder