When someone is a trauma victim or witness something traumatizing, it can lead to PTSD. Unfortunately, there are many ways to experience trauma, some far more common than others in today’s world. The symptoms of PTSD are overwhelming and complex symptoms that stem directly from trauma. Although many people link PTSD to a specific profession (soldiers, emergency service workers, police officers), trauma is not unique to one particular demographic or profession. Trauma and the events that may lead to PTSD can happen to anyone regardless of age, gender, or occupation.
What is PTSD?
PTSD is a complex mental health condition resulting from trauma. The trauma can occur under many circumstances. It may stem from childhood traumas such as abuse, loss of a parent, or divorce for some individuals. For others, it might be related to witnessing or experiencing natural disasters, violence, or traumatic events as part of one’s day-to-day employment. It is important to note that one does not need to be the victim of trauma or direct witness to trauma to develop PTSD. Someone can develop post-traumatic stress disorder by learning about traumatic experiences that occurred to someone they love, such as a parent or sibling.
What are the signs of PTSD?
Struggles with PTSD can occur in people of all ages. In many cases, the symptoms of PTSD will look similar across most age groups. Someone experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms will feel as though there is no escape from their trauma. The events that led to the trauma and the trauma itself will replay in their mind, regardless of how hard they try to shut them out. To avoid reliving their experience or feeling the painful emotions that occur from reliving, someone with PTSD will consciously avoid situations, people, or places that could remind them of their traumatic event or experience. Reliving can also occur at night. You may experience vivid dreams or nightmares that feel overwhelmingly real and extremely scary. These dreams inevitably lead to sleeping challenges and other difficulties that can make functioning in one’s day-to-day environment difficult.
Although everyone will experience PTSD symptoms differently, many signs of PTSD occur in varying degrees of severity across most cases. These include:
- Frequent anxiety or anxious feelings.
- Difficulties focusing at work, school, or at home.
- Experiencing nightmares or flashbacks.
- Acting aggressively or impulsively.
- Acting or expressing “emotional numbness.”
- Actively avoiding people, places, or situations that risk leading to recall of the trauma.
- Overreacting to everyday noises or sounds (clapping hands, popping balloons, or slamming doors).
- Exhibiting hypervigilance (always being “on guard” for something bad to happen).
What Causes PTSD?
PTSD or post-traumatic stress disorder can arise from several different forms of trauma. Post-traumatic stress disorder often occurs after someone directly witnesses or personally experiences a traumatic event. The idea of trauma or a traumatic event may differ for different people. Some common examples of trauma that can lead to PTSD include abuse, serious injury, illness, natural disasters, assault, and experiencing acts of terrorism.
One can also develop PTSD after learning about a friend or loved one experiencing trauma. What might be considered traumatic will vary from person to person, but each unique experience can lead to complex mental health challenges requiring careful and compassionate treatment to overcome.
Finding PTSD Treatment Near Me
Many people who experience a traumatic event experience lasting mental health struggles. Without mental health therapy, the experience of trauma can lead to a range of physical and mental health struggles that can worsen over time. It is not uncommon for symptoms to become so overwhelming that individuals turn to substances to reduce the intensity and severity of their symptoms. Unfortunately, the relief provided by substance use does not last long, and symptoms often return stronger than before. Seeking professional treatment help is the safest and most effective way to safely put struggles with PTSD in the past.Learning how to manage PTSD without turning to self-medication requires comprehensive treatment in an environment where the program focuses on your specific needs. Everyone who begins therapy for mental health or addiction-related illness starts at a different place in their journey. The best treatment programs are those like Relevance Recovery, where each patient works closely with their treatment team to develop a plan that focuses on all aspects of healing, including physical, emotional, and spiritual components. Let us help you as you begin your journey to healing. Contact the admissions team at Relevance Recovery today to learn more about our programs and how we can help.