Recognising PTSD

Recognising PTSD


Posted by: the personal injury help and advice team

According to the NHS, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) affects one in three people who have experienced a traumatic event, and may develop days, months or years later. Knowing the signs of PTSD is essential to overcoming the condition and making a good recovery.

The condition can be triggered by anything considered stressful, frightening or distressing, whether that be a traumatic birth, road traffic accident, natural disaster, abusive relationship or personal assault. The cause of PTSD will be unique to each person, but there are some common symptoms to be aware of:

  • Flashbacks – to process a traumatic event, the human mind might relive the experience. A vital indication of PTSD, flashbacks can be triggered by a sensory reminder such as the sound of a car engine, and completely replace reality for a short period of time.
  • Insomnia – because of disturbing reminders in the form of flashbacks and nightmares, those who suffer from PTSD may act out a violent event in their sleep, putting loved ones at risk. As a result, avoidance and difficulty sleeping is likely, as well as adopting unhealthy sleeping patterns.
  • Anxiety – PTSD is closely related to stress and anxiety, therefore symptoms can include paranoia, short temper and panic attacks. Controlling emotions may be a daily struggle, with anger often prevalent and a constant sense of unease.
  • Isolation – the signs of PTSD may become so overwhelming that sufferers lose confidence in themselves and the world around them. They may become socially isolated and disinterested, concealing emotions, cutting off loved ones and turning to harmful forms of escapism such as alcohol.

Treatment comes in various forms, from psychological therapies such as CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) to medication like antidepressants. The recovery process varies from person to person and depends on an individual’s symptoms.

Recognising PTSD as a problem may be a difficult but significant first step to recovery. It is essential that those suffering from the condition are surrounded by support from loved ones, and seek professional help.

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