In the aftermath of a traumatic event, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) may develop, causing frequent flashbacks, anxiety, and several other undesirable symptoms. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) states that the development of PTSD can be a result of experiencing physical harm or being a witness of physical harm done to another person. Being a victim of a natural disaster can also lead to signs and symptoms associated with PTSD.
The National Institute of Mental Health is a helpful source in identifying signs and symptoms of PTSD, causes of PTSD, and ways to treat PTSD. The signs and symptoms associated with PTSD can be broken down into three categories:
- Re-experiencing Symptoms: flashbacks, bad dreams, frightening thoughts
- Avoidance Symptoms: guilt, emotional numbness, depression, problems remembering the traumatic event
- Hyperarousal Symptoms: being easily startled, difficulty sleeping, being “on edge.”
In order to be diagnosed with PTSD, one must experience all of the following for at least one month:
- At least one re-experiencing symptom
- At least three avoidance symptoms
- At least two hyperarousal symptoms
This information is provided by the National Institute of Mental Health. Your doctor is the only one who can diagnose PTSD and prescribe further treatment. Please talk to your doctor if you believe you are showing signs of PTSD.