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Understanding PTSD: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Options

It’s normal to experience fear both during and after a traumatic event. The body’s stress management system, which aids in preventing or addressing possible danger, includes the emotion of fear. Following a traumatic event, people may react in a variety of ways, but most will eventually get over their symptoms. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may be identified in those who still exhibit symptoms. In this blog, we will explore the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for PTSD.

Causes of PTSD:

Some people get post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result of going through or seeing a terrible experience. Their body does not get successful in stress management of that much severity. According to estimates, 50% of people will go through trauma at some point in their lives. While most people who are exposed to traumatic events only have temporary discomfort, 20% of trauma survivors go on to develop PTSD, meaning that roughly 1 in 10 people will go through trauma at some point in their lives.

Anybody can be affected by a traumatic incident because it has the power to evoke feelings of terror, helplessness, or fear in reaction to the possibility of harm or death.

  • Situations involving traffic on the roads.
  • Being informed that your condition is life-threatening.
  • Death and grief.
  • Violent personal assault, including muggings, robberies, and physical attacks.
  • Observing a suicide or a suicide attempt.
  • Natural catastrophes like earthquakes and flooding.
  • Terrorist assault.
  • Being taken prisoner or abducted.
  • Enduring bullying (as an adult or child).

Symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Usually, the symptoms appear shortly after the traumatic incident. However, sometimes they might not show up for several months or even years. Over many years of stress management, they could also come and go. You may have PTSD if your symptoms are severe, last longer than four weeks, or get in the way of your daily activities at home or work.

There are four different kinds of PTSD symptoms, and each person may experience them differently. Everybody experiences symptoms differently. The categories are:

Re-experiencing symptoms:

Symptom recurrence occurs when something triggers memories of the trauma and makes you feel afraid. Examples include flashbacks, which give you the impression that the incident is happening to you again.

Avoidance Symptoms:

When you attempt to avoid places or people that bring up memories of the traumatic event, you are exhibiting avoidance symptoms. This might make you avoid situations, people, or things that bring back unpleasant memories. You might give up driving, for instance, if you were in an automobile accident. And the person feels that the stress management system has failed.

Avoiding feelings or thoughts associated with the traumatic experience. One possible way to prevent yourself from thinking about what happened would be to keep yourself extremely busy.

Arousal and Reactivity Symptoms:

Symptoms of arousal and reactivity that could make you nervous or vigilant about potential threats. Among them are easily frightened, relatively tight or “on edge”, having trouble falling asleep, and having fits of rage.

Cognition and Mood Symptoms:

Symptoms related to mood and cognition, are unfavorable shifts in attitudes and emotions. Among them are having trouble recalling crucial details of the terrible experience, negative ideas about the world or oneself, having shame and blame feelings, losing interest in activities you once enjoyed, and difficulty in stress management.

Treatment of PTSD

It may seem as though you will never fully recover from PTSD. However, treatment is an option. Medication and psychotherapy, both short- and long-term, can be quite effective. Together, the two types of treatment are frequently more successful.


  • Three primary objectives of PTSD therapy are:
  • Become better from your symptoms
  • Give you the tools to handle it.
  • Rebuild your confidence

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is the general term for most PTSD therapies. Changing the thinking patterns that are interfering with your life is the goal. This could occur through discussing your trauma or focusing on the source of your anxieties.

Different therapies include prolonged exposure therapy, cognitive processing therapy, and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing.


People who have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) process “threats” differently in part due to an imbalance in the chemicals called neurotransmitters. You get jittery and uneasy because they have a “fight or flight” reaction that can be triggered easily. Attempting to shut that down all the time could make you feel distant and emotionally frigid.

Drugs assist you in stopping your thoughts and emotional responses to what happened, such as nightmares and flashbacks. They can also assist you in feeling more “normal” and improving your attitude on life.


In conclusion, many survivors of traumatic events initially have symptoms similar to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), such as an inability to stop thinking about what happened and poor stress management. Anger, sadness, guilt, fear, and anxiety are all typical responses to trauma. On the other hand, not everyone who experiences trauma goes on to acquire persistent PTSD. Receiving support and assistance promptly can help keep typical stress reactions from growing worse and turning into PTSD. Now there are advanced therapies and best medications for the treatment as well.

Source: Nimh

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