Blog-How to Know if You Are Suffering From PTSD

How to Know if You Are Suffering From PTSD

In recent years, the media has raised our social awareness about Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) because it has affected so many soldiers returning from combat. Although many people—adults and children alike—continue to suffer from PTSD, it is not well understood by the masses and little is known about how to help people overcome it.

In this article, you will learn about the risk factors for developing PTSD, the signs and symptoms of PTSD, and how Amen Clinics can help you or your loved one overcome the shame, stigma, and frustration that many people with the condition endure.

PTSD Vulnerability in the Brain

  • Experiencing a traumatic event
  • Witnessing (in person) a traumatic event
  • Learning that someone close to you experienced a traumatic event
  • Repeated exposure to graphic details of traumatic events (for example, if you are a first responder to the scene of traumatic events)

PTSD Symptoms

  • Intense recollections such as flashbacks and nightmares
  • Inability to recall certain aspects of what happened
  • Avoidance of people, places or things that are reminders of the event
  • Inability to stop thinking about it
  • Increased or excessive anxiety
  • Feeling emotionally numb
  • Problems with sleep
  • Anger and irritability
  • Depressive symptoms
  • Social isolation

Does Trauma Always Lead to PTSD?

After a traumatic incident, it is common for people to develop some of the symptoms associated with PTSD. Our brains are wired to alarm us about the presence and threat of danger, so having a physical and psychological response to trauma is very normal, but the symptoms should eventually diminish.

Unfortunately, not everyone heals with time. Often in PTSD, symptoms don’t develop right after a traumatic event; rather, they emerge several months later. For some people, it may even be years later—particularly if triggered by a new trauma.

For war veterans, there is an online self-assessment test (for free) from the PTSD Foundation of America.

Is There a Medical Screening Test for PTSD?

On brain SPECT scans, the pattern of PTSD typically reveals over-activity in multiple areas of the brain, which is often referred to as the “diamond plus pattern.” This high activity tends to keep the brain on overdrive, increasing anxiety and irritability and interfering with sleep.

Image below: SPECT Imaging of PTSD Before & After Treatment

Active View
BEFORE Treatment
Active View
AFTER Treatment

Brain SPECT imaging helps:

  • Demonstrate that symptoms and behaviors are not imaginary, thereby reducing emotional pain and stigma.
  • Families gain a better understanding of what is actually going on in the brain of their loved one.
  • Helps to target treatment specifically to your brain.
  • Even though we typically see the “diamond plus pattern” with PTSD, we obviously don’t always see it, so treatment can be targeted not to a cluster of symptoms but to your specific brain.

How Amen Clinics Can Help

Exposure to a traumatic event followed by the onset of symptoms like those above signals the need to dig deeper, rather than mask the symptoms alone. If you suspect that you or a loved one has PTSD, come to Amen Clinics for a comprehensive full evaluation using the Amen Clinics Method.

The Amen Clinics Method—developed through 29 years of clinical practice—uses a detailed clinical history, SPECT imaging to understand brain function, neuropsychological testing and laboratory studies to target treatment specifically to your brain, using the least toxic, most effective means.

85% of patients treated with the Amen Clinics Method experience improved quality of life after just 6 months of treatment.

At the Amen Clinics, we can help you and your loved ones overcome the stigma and suffering associated with ADD/ADHD, anxiety, depression, brain injury, weight loss, addictions, memory issues, brain fog, and other emotional and cognitive issues. If you are ready to regain control over your life or help a loved one do the same, give us a call at 888-288-9834 or click here to ask a question.

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  1. Miriam Knoy says:

    Our grown daughter has multiple issues. She has neurogenic bladder, ptsd, psychological problems, I think ADD. She had learning disabilities in school. She is on disability. She does not have a good life. She often does not want to go places. She is on Medicare and public aid. That is where the challenge rises . Any tips would be appreciated.

    • Diane says:

      I am sorry to hear about your Daughter’s issues but in my opinion, until she wants a different life she isn’t going to change anything.

    • Carolyn says:

      I am so sorry to hear about your daughter’s difficulties. I agree that she has to want a different life in order for things to change, however, there are a number of things you can do to help her through encouragement and modeling. The best way to learn how to do this is to seek advice from a qualified counselor. There are also a LOT of books out there with information about helping adult children. A 12-step program or group therapy with other women is an awesome way to brainstorm, identify unhealthy behavior in ourselves and learn from other’s experiences – and find people who understand.

      I have a son who was on a similar path, and I learned that I could not help or influence him until I changed me. I had to learn what unhealthy patterns of interactions I needed to change (if you change how you behave, others have to change in response). Do you enable her in any way, by providing money or “rescue” her? Are you a healthy role model of how to handle life’s problems? Do you encourage her or nag her? Do you express love for her just the way she is? Have you owned and apologized to her any ways in which you have wronged her? We all hurt the ones we love, and even if it was unintentional, it needs an acknowledgement and an apology.

      She may continue to make unhealthy choices, especially for a time, but you can’t control that. Working on yourself is where it all starts. For me, it was worth it. My son is now making some really good choices and is much happier. My other relationships improved, also. It is a very good feeling to work on me and let others work on themselves. There is no magic bullet, and all you can control is you.

      Best wishes,

  2. Wendy says:

    Please send info on 16 brain types. Thank you!

  3. Gerald Corrigan says:

    I’ve been seeing psychologist for years now spoke in great detail about my PTSD and she’s given me bubbles to put traumatic events in bubbles n let them dissapear as they burst. She also gave me a stress gadget you just twirl it its done nothing for my depression anxiety, self harming , being molested age 8 , violent household .Be as well dead tbh .


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