Symptoms of PTSD vs Symptoms of Trauma

Symptoms of PTSD vs Symptoms of Trauma
When a person goes through something traumatic, the effects are damaging. Trauma is calamitous in every sense of the word – it changes a person’s life forever and effect all aspects of life. There are two sides to trauma –  the direct effects of it happening, and the short to long-term effects that remain after the traumatic incident has occurred. Here is a brief description of direct symptoms of trauma and symptoms of PTSD:

Symptoms of Trauma

  • Shock, denial, or disbelief
  • Confusion or difficulty concentrating
  • Anger, irritability or mood-swings
  • Anxiety and fear
  • Guilt or shame about what happened
  • Withdrawing from others and isolating oneself
  • Feeling overall sadness or hopelessness
  • Disconnecting and feeling numb
While this list is not exhaustive, people who are suffering from trauma experience a multitude of emotions. If the person feels as though they are the one to blame for the incident(s), they may pull away from others and feel worthless. If someone is experiencing or suspects a loved one of going through trauma, they should consult a doctor. There are so many resources to help someone if they are in a dangerous situation or need help recovering from a traumatic event.

Symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

  • Reliving the event – either through nightmares, flashbacks, or triggers, feelings of reliving the event can be very upsetting for a person to go through.
  • Avoiding situations that remind the person of the event – this may be a person, place, or thing, but this often means that the individual fears being triggered or reliving the event again.
  • Negative changes in perceptions and feelings – the person may distance themselves from others, may forget about parts of the traumatic event, or may feel that the world is a very dangerous place to live in.
  • Hyperarousal – the person may have difficulty sleeping, concentrating, startled easily, or may choose to sit in corners or against a wall in public areas.
If someone is experiencing PTSD, they should schedule an appointment with a health care professional. Therapy is an excellent resource for working through PTSD and can help the person identify their feelings and triggers, as well as develop tools to overcome them. We cannot always control what triggers us, but we can control our active efforts to overcome our triggers and find healthy ways to cope.
Trauma and PTSD don’t have to be the end of someone living their life to the fullest. Millions have gone through traumatic events, and millions have overcome the effects of those events. Through therapy, medication, support groups, etc. a person can heal and be on their way to recovery.

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