Recurrent memory of the traumatic
event which affects normal functioning is one of the characteristic symptoms of
PTSD. The images or flashbacks of the trauma keep haunting the victims.
Flashbacks can happen at anytime, even at night – the effects are so real to a
victim of PTSD. Survivors of accidents or terrorist attacks may keep reliving
the trauma, trapped in fear and unable to move on.
Some of the symptoms to watch out
1. Emotional aloofness or detachment
PTSD have a problem connecting with family members. They are emotionally
drained out as they are constantly plagued by thoughts of their trauma. As
their emotional systems are working overtime, they don’t seem to have the
energy or interest in their family members. They tend to keep away from
places or people that remind them of their trauma. These feelings could affect
their normal functioning. Children with PTSD may be unable to develop social relationships
and forge bonds.
2. Hyperactive starter reflex or a state of
Most of us may
react to a sudden noise by being startled, but victims of PTSD can simply jump
out of their skin. They are sensitive to danger and are always in a state of alert.
They cannot relax as they are always in anticipation of danger; this may hamper
their ability to work or concentrate and may even affect their sleep.
Other common symptoms of PTSD
include anger and irritability, substance abuse, depression, suicidal thoughts,
headaches, stomach disorders and chest pain.
Symptoms which immediately follow
the experience of a traumatic event and last for two days may be called Acute Stress Disorder
, which is very
much like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Symptoms which begin in the weeks, months or years after the stressful event
has occurred and lasts for more than a month is called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
A good example of PTSD is the
veterans of World War II, who experienced Post Traumatic Stress Disorder nearly
fifty years after the war was over during their retirement. War veterans were
unable to adjust to life, experiencing recurrent flashbacks of the combat.