A severe mental illness, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) usually the result of experiencing a shocking or life-threatening event such as a serious accident, physical assault or natural disaster. Some of the common symptoms of PTSD include flashbacks, nightmares, severe anxiety, panic attacks and uncontrollable thoughts.
People with PTSD may become emotionally numb, aggressive or irritable. They may lose interest in things they once enjoyed. The disorder can happen to anyone. According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, about eight million adults have PTSD in a given year. Its symptoms often do not surface for months or years after experiencing a traumatic event. So, a correct and timely PTSD diagnosis requires awareness of the immediate signs of the disorder. Following are the top five silent signs of PTSD:
Substance abuse: In an attempt to soothe the unpleasant feelings, people suffering from PTSD often indulge in alcohol or abuse drugs. Usually taken as a form of self-medication, addictive substances often enable one to feel more relaxed or serve as a feel-good factor. While the feelings are temporary, substance abuse often keeps an individual from recovering completely from PTSD. In some cases, it can also lead to dependence or an addiction that could worsens the symptoms.
Re-experiencing events: Through flashbacks, unwanted memories or nightmares, individuals with PTSD may relive or re-experience the traumatic event and associated feelings such as fear. In addition, PTSD can manifest itself as anxiety, depression or a mood disorder that could make one feel sad, anxious or upset for no apparent reason.
Social withdrawal: Individuals with PTSD may try to avoid being around people or can develop social anxiety. Often used as a coping technique, by withdrawing socially they often wind up prolonging their suffering. One of the best ways to begin recovery from trauma, one should reach out to close family and friends and let them know what is happening.
Failure to trust: Post experiencing a traumatic event, it usually becomes difficult for an individual to have faith in oneself or others. The person may start to lie or pretend to like something he/she does not enjoy. In addition, as one stops trusting others one could avoid building real relationships as one is too fearful or mistrusting.
Risky behavior: In an attempt to regain their sense of self-control, people suffering from PTSD often try to recreate similar circumstances or experiences related to the original trauma with the hope that the outcome will be different and as per what they wanted. This could result in them indulging in risky behaviors, often unconsciously, such as walking alone in dangerous areas, driving recklessly or arguing to instigate a physical fight.
In addition to the above mentioned signs, PTSD can make participating in fruitful work or even something as simple as commuting an exhausting experience, basically rendering one incapable of performing daily tasks. Individuals with PTSD might experience persistent disturbing thoughts about the event, and so continually relive the trauma, making them feel as if they are losing control of their mind.
In 2013, June was designated as the PTSD Awareness Month by the National Center for PTSD to raise public awareness about the disease and its effective treatments and is observed every year to spread awareness about PTSD and its effects.
Path to recovery
For those suffering from PTSD, the fear and stress of trauma often do not go away. To prevent PTSD symptoms from getting worse, it is important to get them treated as soon as possible. A comprehensive treatment program involves a holistic combination of medications and psychotherapy.
As a leading behavioral health care provider, Sovereign Health understands how difficult it may be to live with constant nightmares and fear. As PTSD symptoms vary from person to person, Sovereign Health of Florida offers individualized treatment to help treat the disorder and avoid any relapse.
In addition to traditional therapies including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), our mental health facilities in Florida offer alternative treatments such as meditation, yoga, equine therapy and neurofeedback. For more information on our treatment programs or to know about our mental health treatment centers near you, please call at our 24/7 helpline number or chat online with our representative.
Sovereign Health Group is a leading addiction, dual diagnosis and mental health treatment provider. Call our admissions team 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to get the help you deserve.