Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) has the tendency to get worse during times of stress. This tendency can make missing the early signs dangerous because symptoms get worse as people age. Not getting treatment for PTSD can lead you down a dangerous road that can end up in substance abuse and even suicide. With anxiety and depression, two of the greatest signs of PTSD affect every area of your life. By recognizing the early signs of PTSD, you give yourself a much-needed chance to seek help before your life becomes out of control. Do you know the warning signs of PTSD? Let’s take a look.
Negative Thinking Patterns
These thoughts can have you feeling bad about yourself. You may feel hopeless or detached from reality. During this period, you may find it impossible to enjoy any activities or make plans for the future. If the negative thoughts continue unchecked, you may find yourself needing hospitalization for depressive disorder.
Anxiety and depression are the most common mood changes. In addition, you may become hyper-vigilant as your fight-flight-freeze mechanism is turned to high. These varying moods can make finding and keeping relationships difficult.
Avoidance is one of the most difficult signs of PTSD to identify. It can take the form of literally avoiding the place where the trauma occurred. Most often, it consists of pushing the memories of the trauma out of your conscious mind. In some cases, events surrounding the trauma disappear. Unfortunately, these memories still remain in your subconscious and manifest themselves in many less desirable ways. Another form of avoidance is turning to substance abuse to try and erase the feelings and thoughts surrounding the trauma.
Intrusive memories can also take several forms. You may find yourself thinking about the trauma to the extent that it enters your mind and pushes away your ability to concentrate on everyday things. Another way is by having a flashback. Flashbacks are more intense than memories. They have you reacting as though you are actually living through the trauma again. Any number of things can trigger one of these flashbacks. Night terrors are one of the signs of PTSD. You may find yourself waking up in a cold sweat, crying, screaming, or in a panic. In some cases, you may try to wake up and find you can’t. This is your subconscious trying to process past events and restore your mental health.
Changes in Reactions
Being easily startled or frightened is one common sign of PTSD. You may find yourself always being on guard. Others may comment on the fact that your eyes always seem to be moving, watching for danger every moment and making it difficult to maintain focus on the present conversation. You may have trouble sleeping. This can start as a defense against night terrors and end up becoming insomnia. Irritability and angry outbursts, or aggressive behaviors may become part of your daily existence. You may not be able to place where the anger is coming from or you may find yourself making excuses and blaming it on things that are minor.
PTSD responds best to trauma-based therapy. This therapy helps you recognize the base cause of your disorder and then helps you process it. Only then can you begin to heal. If you are just recognizing the early signs of PTSD or if it has taken hold and you find yourself with a dual diagnosis, you can recover. Getting help is a phone call away. Contact Viewpoint Dual Recovery Center at 855.746.3633 now, while you are thinking about help. Don’t let the past become so intrusive that it destroys your future. We can and will help.