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Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms and Counselling

Post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms are brought on when a person witnesses or experiences a psychologically traumatic event. It is always wise to go for counselling soon after a traumatic event to avoid the onset of post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms. While some people heal over time after a traumatic event, others see their symptoms getting worse with time, this being known and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

As with most other mental health disorders, there is no clear reason why some people develop PTSD, while others don’t. It is suspected that post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms are brought on due to a mix of a variety of causes. Such causes include, inherited mental health risks, a person’s general temperament, a persons chemical and hormonal response to stress, and the amount of trauma a person has been exposed to through out their lives. The kinds of traumatic events that can result in post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms developing include, being threatened with a weapon, sexual assault, childhood neglect or physical abuse, combat exposure, and physical attack. However, this list is by no means exhaustive, and a myriad of other life-threatening events can lead to the onset of PTSD.

What are Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms?

Post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms can come about within three months of a traumatic event, but there are cases where symptoms only present themselves years after the traumatic event. The symptoms of PTSD can cause severe problems in relationships as well as in work or social situations. The symptoms of PTSD are grouped into four types as follows:

  1. Avoidance

The symptoms of avoidance include trying to avoid places, people or activities that remind the individual of the traumatic event that they experienced or witnessed. Moreover, symptoms of avoidance also include the affected individual attempting to avoid talking or even thinking about the traumatic event.

  1. Intrusive memories

Upsetting dreams about the traumatic event, flashbacks of the trauma, reoccurring memories of the traumatic event, physical or severe emotional distress in reaction to a reminder of the event are some of the symptoms of PTSD.

  1. Change in emotional reactions

These changes are also referred to as arousal symptoms and include, insomnia, inability to concentrate, being easily startled or scared, angry outbursts or aggressive behaviour, irritability, overwhelming feelings of guilt or shame, self-destructive behaviour, or always being on guard for danger.

  1. Negative changes in mood and thinking

These symptoms include lack of interest in activities the person once enjoyed, negative feelings about themselves and other people, emotional numbness, being unable to experience positive emotions, difficulty maintaining relationships, feeling hopeless about the future, and difficulties with memory.

When is it Necessary to Receive Counselling for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms?

It is important to seek treatment as soon as possible after experiencing a traumatic event. If a person has disturbing thoughts or feelings about the trauma for more than a month after having experienced it, or if they feel like they are unable to get their life back to normal, it is important that they consult a psychologist for treatment to prevent the symptoms of PTSD from worsening.

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