When we experience a traumatic event, or series of events, it is normal to have continued feelings of fear, grief, and anxiety. For most people, over time these feelings fade, and it is possible to function normally in the world again. But for some, these and other symptoms do not fade. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD, is the most severe form of emotional and psychological trauma. It is most often discussed in connection with members of the military who have been exposed to the brutal effects of combat. But trauma and PDST can occur from childhood sexual or physical abuse, adult sexual or physical assault, serious accidents, or natural disasters. Any overwhelming event that makes us feel unsafe, involving danger that we cannot control or predict leaves us open to trauma.
PTSD affects each person differently. However, there are general patterns that can clue you in to being afflicted with this disorder.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you feel tense, afraid, jumpy or on alert?
- Do you feel tired, empty and emotionally numb?
- Do you feel guilt, shame or responsibility for what happened?
- Have you experienced nightmares or flashbacks?
- Have you continually avoided places or situations which remind you of the trauma?
- Have you become angry or violent with a family member over something trivial?
- Do you have trouble concentrating or making decisions and home or work?
- Have you been using alcohol or drugs to feel better?
- Have you been distancing yourself emotionally from those once close to you?
If you answered “yes” to several of these questions and recently experienced a traumatic event as defined above, please talk to a medical professional. Creative Care can help!