What are the Symptoms of PTSD?
If you’ve lived through a traumatic event, it’s natural to think that as time passes, you’ll get over it and move on with your life. But that doesn’t always happen. Symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can occur right after a terrible event, or they can emerge weeks, months, or even years after a traumatic incident. PTSD can also be chronic after years of abuse or growing up in an unpredictable and stressful home, such as with an alcoholic or drug-abusing parent. Persistent early childhood trauma can set kids up for PTSD later in life.
Because PTSD symptoms may not emerge immediately, you may not connect your distressing symptoms with the trauma you experienced.
5 Types of Symptoms that May Indicate You’re Suffering from PTSD
1. Memory Issues
PTSD can impact your memories in a number of ways. You might experience recurrent upsetting thoughts or dreams of a past traumatic event. Flashbacks can pop up at any time—even when you’re in a familiar place—and make you feel like you’re experiencing the trauma all over again. You may find that you’re unable to stop thinking about the event, and distressing thoughts loop incessantly in your head. In other cases, you may have lapses in your memory regarding certain aspects of a traumatic event.
2. Increased Anxiety
It’s common for people with PTSD to feel constant anxiety or to experience panic attacks. You may be easily startled or feel like you’re always on guard, expecting something bad to happen at any moment. Some people with PTSD say they feel “jumpy” or “jittery.”
If you purposely steer clear of anything—people, places, or things—that reminds you of the traumatic event, it could be a sign of PTSD. You may avoid talking about the event and refuse to share your feelings about what happened.
4. Mood Changes
If you experience a persistent sense of hopelessness, feel emotionally numb, or lose interest in things you used to enjoy, it could be connected to the trauma. You may not make that connection though and might mistake these symptoms as depression rather than PTSD. You may also feel shrouded in a strong sense of guilt and shame.
5. Behavioral Issues
Having PTSD can change the way you behave. You may isolate yourself from your friends and family, which robs you of an important support network and compounds your other symptoms. Increased irritability can cause you to lash out at others in anger. Or you may engage in self-destructive behavior, such as abusing drugs or alcohol.
If you’ve experienced any of these symptoms, it’s a good idea to seek help. However, because many of these symptoms are also associated with other conditions, such as anxiety, depression, or even traumatic brain injury (TBI), it can make it more challenging to diagnose PTSD based on symptoms alone. If PTSD is misdiagnosed, you may be given medication or other treatments that not only don’t help, but that also make your symptoms worse.
Getting an accurate diagnosis is critical to healing from PTSD. Brain imaging can help. Brain SPECT studies can identify patterns associated with PTSD so you can get the right treatment plan to help you begin the healing process.
SPECT Imaging of PTSD Before & After Treatment
If you or a loved one has experienced a traumatic event and is experiencing symptoms of PTSD, it’s important to seek help. At Amen Clinics, we perform brain SPECT scans as part of a complete evaluation to diagnose and treat PTSD with the least toxic, most effective solutions.
Don’t let PTSD steal your life. Call one of our patient care specialists at 888-288-9834 to see how Amen Clinics can help or schedule a visit online.