How to Identify PTSD

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How to Identify PTSD

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a serious mental health concern that can interfere with your ability to live your fullest life and should not be ignored. Although PTSD can be treated, and there are a range of practices that can help sufferers handle the challenging effects of the disorder, it tends to be an ongoing condition that generally must be handled – rather than cured. If you or someone you love is battling PTSD as a result of your military service, you shouldn’t delay discussing the matter with an experienced Illinois veterans benefits attorney

What PTSD Is Not

We all have stress reactions to events that are stressful, and this is completely normal. In fact, it’s a survival mechanism that helps us better navigate the world we live in. PTSD, however, refers to more severe reactions that are generally predicated on seriously traumatic events and that prove seriously detrimental to the overall well-being of sufferers.

Identifying Factors

The Mayo Clinic identifies a range of factors that are closely associated with PTSD, which can lead to problems in relation to career, socialization, and close relationships and that can interfere with the activities of daily living. The four basic categories of symptoms include:

  • Intrusive thoughts and memories 
  • Avoidance reactions
  • Negative shifts in mood and thinking patterns 
  • Shifts in emotional and physical reactions 

It’s important to note that the symptoms of PTSD may appear within about a month of the precipitating event, but they can also take years to fully develop. Further, while some sufferers’ symptoms subside over time, the symptoms suffered by others can become more pronounced.

Intrusive Thoughts and Memories

Symptoms that are indicative of intrusive thoughts and memories can include all the following:

  • Unwanted memories of the traumatizing event that repeatedly intrude on one’s thoughts 
  • Night terrors related to the traumatizing event
  • Severe startle and emotional reactions to events reminiscent of the traumatizing event
  • Frightening flashbacks of the traumatizing event

Avoidance Reactions 

Symptoms that are often indicative of avoidance reactions include:

  • Going to considerable lengths in an attempt to avoid thinking about or discussing the traumatizing event
  • Going to considerable lengths to avoid people, places, and activities that remind the sufferer of the traumatizing event

Negative Shifts in Mood and Thinking Patterns

Those symptoms associated with mood shifts and negative thinking patterns include:

  • Feelings of hopelessness 
  • Increased anxiety and depression
  • Dark thoughts
  • Memory problems, including memory lapses related to the traumatizing event
  • Feelings of detachment from loved ones and friends
  • Issues related to maintaining close relationships
  • Loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyable
  • Emotional emptiness 

Shifts in Emotional and Physical Reactions

The kinds of symptoms that equate with shifts in emotional and physical reactions include the following:

  • Constant wariness
  • A heightened startle reaction
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Angry, aggressive, or irritable outbursts
  • Feelings of overwhelming guilt or shame
  • Difficulty concentrating

Look to an Experienced Illinois Veterans Benefits Attorney for the Help You Need

James R. Comerford at The Comerford Law Office – Illinois is a savvy veterans benefits attorney who understands how significantly PTSD can affect your future and has the legal insight, resources, and impressive experience to help. To learn more, don’t wait to contact us today.

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