Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a diagnosis that describes what the body experiences during a variety of traumatic incidences. It was first brought to public attention in relation to war veterans, but it can result from a variety of traumatic incidents, such as mugging, rape, torture, being kidnapped or held captive, child abuse, car accidents, train wrecks, plane crashes, bombings, or natural disasters such as floods or earthquakes.
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
What really happens is the entire emotional system breaks down. While the threat may actually be gone, the body’s emotional and physical systems still react as if the threat was still there. The symptoms do not occur individually, but often grow increasingly complex over time, becoming less and less connected with the original trauma experience. This makes it increasingly difficult to trace the symptoms to their cause. It also makes it easier to deny the importance of the traumatic event in one’s life. These symptoms can be ever-present or may come and go or they can remain hidden for decades.
Single Incident Trauma
Related to a single incident
- Car accident
- Re-experiencing incident
More than one traumatic incidence.
After awhile it will begin to look like disorders:
- Panic attacks
- Agitation - Anxiety
- Avoiding triggers
- Diminished or exaggerated sexual activity
- Psychological symptoms
- Abrupt mood swings
- Disassociation: mental blankness or spacey-ness
- Frequent anger or crying
- Attraction to dangerous situations
- Amnesia and forgetfulness
- Fear of dying or having a shortened life
- Feelings of helplessness and immobility
- Avoidance - Isolation
Symptoms usually begin within 3 months of the incident but occasionally emerge years afterward. In some people, condition becomes chronic.