If you think that one of your friends or family members has experienced a very traumatic event, you have to watch out for symptoms of possible post traumatic stress disorder. It can be a little difficult to know that someone is suffering from PTSD. It is normal for people to feel all sorts of strange feelings after being involved in a terrible event. These feelings include sadness, fear, and anxiety. He or she may also have recurring nightmares or thoughts about the event. Changes in sleep and eating patters can also be experienced. However, if these symptoms have been present for more than a month, consulting a health care professional is necessary.
Symptoms of PTSD usually begin within three months of the event. However, in some cases, symptoms occur until several months or years after the event. Aside from the symptoms mentioned above, these may include extreme shame or guilt. Some patients still blame themselves for what happened. They feel guilty that they survived and the other did not. Some irrationally blame themselves for not doing enough to save the others. Some patients also feel emotionally numb. They avoid thinking or talking about the event. They also feel hopeless about the future. They are also easily startled, frightened, irritated, and angered. They begin developing memory problems. Besides nightmares, they also experience flashbacks or reliving the event for minutes at a time. They also lack focus and have trouble concentrating. They do not enjoy activities they used to enjoy. They also hear and see things that are not there.
Some patients have reminders of the traumatic event wherever they go. For example, if they hear a report on the news about a rape incident, they would feel the fear and horror again. The worst part is, they may engage in self-destructing behavior like doing drugs, drinking too much, or committing suicide. This is why seeking professional help is strongly suggested.
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