PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) is a mental health problem that may develop in people who experienced or witnessed a life-threatening event.
These events can include natural disasters, the death of a close one, a car accident, physical violence, sexual abuse, or war.
Researchers are finding that the COVID-19 pandemic has led to increased cases of PTSD.
While COVID-19 has already led to diverse mental health problems, including anxiety, depression, post traumatic stress disorder, and other trauma- and stress-related disorders, many health experts worldwide are seeing people who meet the qualifying criteria for PTSD as a result of the pandemic.
According to Psychiatric Times, instances of PTSD are occurring in those who suffered from severe COVID-19 illnesses, were hospitalized, witnessed suffering and death, experienced the death of a loved one, or experienced extreme exposure to COVID-19 details (such as first responders, medical examiners, hospital personnel and journalists).
Emotion of anxiety, stress, depression, and uncontrollable thinking are normal after a traumatic event. You may be unable to go about your normal daily activities, have trouble eating or sleeping, or be unable to spend time with family and friends.
However, if these feelings persist for more than a few months, a professional can provide a diagnosis and treatment plan.
The help of a PTSD therapist or a support group can assist you with improving your symptoms, learning coping skills and restoring your overall mental health.
Developing PTSD is also a normal response to a traumatic event and no one should be ashamed to seek professional help. PTSD can happen to anyone.
About 60% of women and 50% of men in the United States experience at least one trauma in their lives. About 8% of the U.S. natives will have PTSD at some point in their lives, as per the National Center for PTSD.
Keep reading to know the symptoms of PTSD.
Symptoms of PTSD
The symptoms of PTSD start soon after the traumatic event, but sometimes it takes months or years to appear. The symptoms usually interfere with social and work life, and can later give rise to chronic health illnesses.
The four main symptoms of PTSD are
Intrusion means experiencing involuntary memories, flashbacks and nightmares of the traumatic event. These intrusive thoughts are so realistic that you may feel that you are reliving the horrific event. The series of upsetting dreams and remembrance of unwanted memories is emotionally distressing. A PTSD therapist can help to control the intrusion and frightening thoughts.
People with PTSD may maintain distance from people, places and objects that remind them of distressing memories. This exacerbates feelings of detachment and drives the sufferer away from the support of family and friends. Moreover, the isolation may cause them to lose interest in doing fun activities and routine tasks.
- Mood Swings and Negative Thinking
Sometimes, PTSD may manifest in a sudden mood change unrelated to the traumatic event. Negative thoughts such as suicide, guilt, and shame, hopelessness, or numbness may pervade or creep into your thinking.
- Hyper arousal and Behavior Changes
This symptom occurs when a person suddenly kicks into high alert even though danger may not be present. It may lead to sleeping problems, difficulties concentrating, irritability, angry outbursts, panic and self-destructive behavior.
The Bottom Line
According to healthline.com, PTSD is “a mental disorder that usually lasts for life However, appropriate treatment, keeping sound and having a solid emotionally supportive network” can assist individuals with adapting and leading a “full and cheerful life.”
Having the right support, practicing self-care, and avoiding drugs and alcohol can alleviate the symptoms.
Author Bio: For the past 10 years, Sunny
Skousen has been writing about individuals, couples, and family therapists who
help to regain happiness, strengthen partnership, and minimize family
conflicts. She curates creative and unique content to educate audiences.