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Post Traumatic Stress Disorder | What Is PTSD? | Signs Of PTSD

Discussion in 'Mental Health Disorders' started by ★ SF Staff (CP), Sep 16, 2015.

  1. ★ SF Staff (CP)

    ★ SF Staff (CP) Administrator Staff Member Safety & Support

    Hello there!

    This thread is all about Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and provides information on what it is, signs and symptoms, treatment and provides a list of links and resources that you may find useful. We also welcome you to discuss your experiences with PTSD in this thread with other members.

    What is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?

    Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental health disorder that can develop if a person has been exposed to a traumatic experience, or multiple traumatic experiences. Experiencing these events can be upsetting and distressing but does not always affect a person straight away, it can often take months, or even years before PTSD develops. Some examples of traumatic events that can cause PTSD are:
    -Sexual abuse
    -Growing up in a violent environment
    -Domestic abuse
    -Being a victim of an assault, mugging or robbery
    -Witnessing a violent attack or murder
    -Being involved in or witnessing a fatal road traffic collision
    -Natural disasters
    -Military combat
    -Terrorist attacks

    Signs and Symptoms

    PTSD affects everybody differently and there are many different signs and symptoms. The most common ones include:
    -Vivid flashbacks of the trauma
    -Intense distress at any reminders of triggers of the trauma
    -Intrusive thoughts and images
    -Being unable to concentrate
    -Lack of or disturbed sleep
    -Feeling irritable
    -Aggressive behaviour
    -Being easily startled
    -Self destructive and reckless behaviour
    -Substance abuse
    -Feeling detached from the world
    -Feeling emotionally numb
    -Avoid situations
    -Repressing memories
    -Suicidal thoughts and feelings


    If you think that you might have PTSD, it is important that you seek medical attention urgently. PTSD can develop into other mental health disorders if left untreated such as depression, personality disorders, dissociative disorders, anxiety disorders and psychotic disorders. To seek treatment for PTSD and get a diagnosis you will first need to see your GP or family doctor. They will most likely refer you to a psychiatrist for a diagnosis and for the correct treatment plan. They will most likely suggest that you will need therapy or counselling that deals specifically with trauma. You may also require medication for symptoms for your PTSD, such as anti-depressants if you also have depression, anti-psychotic medication if you are suffering with psychosis and you may need a short course of medication to help you sleep.

    It can be really hard to first speak to your doctor about your traumas as you may feel embarrassed and ashamed and it can also be very triggering and upsetting. They will be non-judgemental and let you take the time to explain what you need to explain. You may find it difficult to talk to your doctor, so you may want to take someone you know really well and trust with you for support, or you may wish to write down what you want to say to the doctor before you go to the appointment, so if you feel you can’t talk about it, the doctor can still read your list and get an idea of what’s happened and how it will be best to help you.

    Links and Resources

    Here a few links and resources that you may find useful when dealing with PTSD:








    Self Help




    Share Your Experiences!

    Please feel free to share and discuss your experiences with PTSD. You may find it beneficial to talk about how you are feeling with other people who will understand, and you may be helping others who have similar experiences to you. Please also feel free to post any helpful links and resources not already listed in this thread, and we will add them to this post!
  2. Petal

    Petal SF dreamer Staff Member Safety & Support SF Supporter

    I have PTSD from rape, sexual abuse, bullying and that thing I can't talk about publically.

    I have these 3 symptoms the most

    -Intense distress at any reminders of triggers of the trauma
    -Intrusive thoughts and images

    The worst by far is the intrusive thoughts, it's constant, anything from TV, talking with friends, music can trigger the thoughts that are stomach churning. I did get help though and I will be getting therapy in November so it is not as bad as it was, since getting help for the specific issue I'm a million times better than I was.

    To anyone who has PTSD- Know you are NOT alone and you can talk about it here in confidence!
  3. Nikie

    Nikie Well-Known Member

    I havent go to a dr or anyting so i do not know if i have ptsd
    It started 2 years ago July 23
    I wish it never happened

    Vivid flashbacks of the trauma
    -Intense distress at any reminders of triggers of the trauma
    -Intrusive thoughts and images
    -Being unable to concentrate
    -Feeling irritable
    -Aggressive behaviour
    -Being easily startled
    -Self destructive and reckless behaviour
    -Substance abuse .......i would if I could
    -Feeling detached from the world
    -Feeling emotionally numb
    -Avoid situations
    -Repressing memories
    -Suicidal thoughts and feelings
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2015
  4. Paul Rome

    Paul Rome New Member

    I had an experience just over two years ago that i can only describe as sheer terror, I relive the experience nearly every day to some degree and try to make sense of what happened, I know i need to put it behind me and move on but things that happen in my life just keep bringing it flooding back, it altered the person that i was into a person i know longer like and my life has fallen apart as a result, people tell me things will get better but there not and seem to be getting worse( If they where getting better i dont think i would notice ) all i seem to do is go on about how shit my life is and I hate my self for it.
  5. Nikie

    Nikie Well-Known Member

    Paul I wish I have words for you.. I can say i understand exactly how you feel but it would only make you feel wtf does she know. So I am not going to say that..
    I just hate the words build a bridge and get over it.. That shit does not work..
    It helps to talk about it over and over again. To people who care
    To work trough it. Nobody can fight a tornado... If you are in it you just have to go along see wat everyday brings.
    This hole forum are here for you.. And I would gladly be here for you if you want to talk.. (Pm me..). Nobody here judge or are rude its such a great community.. I love this place....
    Its really hard to open up the first time and as you open more and more it gets better the pain the back flashes . I do not know how it happens but the coping skills just get stronger.
    I can not explain it.. But I do know if the hurt is out in the open the darkness can not control you anymore.
  6. strangerstill

    strangerstill Member

    Just FYI - this part is not correct:

    PTSD can develop into other mental health disorders if left untreated such as depression, personality disorders, dissociative disorders, anxiety disorders and psychotic disorders.

    PTSD is an anxiety disorder like major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder are mood disorders. It's not uncommon to see someone with co-occurring PTSD and MDD, but unless the MDD was present prior to the trauma event, the MDD should resolve as PTSD sx are reduced (i.e. it's not a separate dx). I've not seen PTSD develop into a personality disorder or psychotic disorder, nor have I ever heard of this (having said that, you can be dx with PTSD and a personality disorder or psychotic disorder, but they are not related in terms of causation). Dissociative episodes, i.e. flashbacks, have a very low prevalence rate with PTSD. Thinking of/remembering a trauma event is not the same as relieving the event from a sensory perspective.

    There are three evidenced-based treatments for PTSD - Cognitive Processing Therapy, Prolonged Exposure Therapy, and Eye-Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). CPT and PE are rather rare to find in the civilian sector in my experience, though EMDR is more common. CPT is very effective at reducing sx severity of PTSD rather quickly (12 sessions) - it's structured, manualized, and has homework assignments.

    So how PTSD forms - in a nutshell - when the brain is exposed to extreme stress/trauma - it re-adjusts conceptualizations around safety, trust, power/control, esteem, and intimacy (all both self and other, i.e. self-safety, other-safety), typically distorting them into all or none concepts (i.e. I can't trust anyone, I can't get close to anyone, I could have prevented the trauma, I should have been more aware, etc) which manufactures unrealistic and negative emotions (guilt, shame, fear, anxiety, depression). The brain also associates internal/external cues of the trauma (sensory detail, people/place/things, etc) with fear (regulated by the amygdala) so when those cues re-present, the person withdraws/avoids (because it does not want to be exposed to more trauma) because fear/anxiety is uncomfortable.

    Note that not everyone exposed to trauma will develop PTSD - even if it's the same group exposed to the same trauma - there are factors/variables that can mitigate or exacerbate development of PTSD. Keep in mind that although there has to be a traumatic event/exposure for a dx of PTSD, PTSD is NOT the traumatic event/exposure. PTSD develops and is maintained from how you make sense/meaning of that traumatic event (thoughts/beliefs). Know that this is an unintentional side-effect of trauma exposure as the brain tries to prevent future exposure.

    ptsd.va.gov is another good resource for learning more about both PTSD and effective treatment.

    The main takeaways are, if you're exposed to trauma, seek therapeutic help immediately (trauma = life threat to you or another that you witness directly or are exposed to indirectly via a close friend/family member). If you have a dx of PTSD and are interested in therapy, seek a therapist trained in evidenced-based treatment.

  7. Karlski

    Karlski Well-Known Member

    I take a PTSD drug called Mirtazapine, and since taking it, I can say that I feel better. Not amazing, but better than without the drugs. I was burgled and assaulted last year and before taking these drugs I was an absolute paranoid state constantly crying and feeling weak.

    They help promote sleep, but primarily it blocks out the areas of the brain associated with emotional thoughts. I can still remember what happened, but when I think the scenario over in my head, the thoughts just sort of vanish.

    The only thing which I don't really like about them is that usually I am super emotional, and after having been on these for a few days I was already noticing myself unable to get emotional about anything. I ended up totally the opposite. Another thing is my center of balance was a bit off for a few weeks, but it's all sorted now and I AM SO GLAD i have these silly little PTSD drugs else i'd probably still be an absolute wreck!
  8. Paco

    Paco Glad you found us!

    I have chronic PTSD and I wish I didn't, it has sucked the life out of me...but I am trying to fill myself back up with what's been stolen from me, if that makes sense...i am learning to be kinder to myself and more patient with myself as well and to disregard peoples judging responses to me, which is super hard because it always hurts or triggers me...i wish my life had been different, I wish I could just believe that my presence didn't cause people stress, I always seem to offend everyone I meet, innocently I offend and sometimes I just feel plain mean...a Jeckyl and Hyde I am now and I hate it. I am confusing to myself and get hopeless, then I am okay for a moment and then right back...exhausting. Yet I still push forward, something pushes me forward, in spite of this oppression I live in now. Baby steps, baby steps, baby steps....i have good days and bad, more bad now tho since my husband hurt me. I'm so different since he hurt me. My heart barely beats anymore or feels. But I am hanging on that it will end and I will thrive one day, I try to hope and force myself to think this even tho I don't believe or feel it.
  9. Laurie1980

    Laurie1980 Well-Known Member

    PTSD of abandonment from abuse and bring burned at 2 and a half years old. Molested at 7 and physical abuse most of my life.
  10. Justatiredsoul

    Justatiredsoul Well-Known Member

    Rockclimbinggirl and Petal like this.
  11. PTSD is a mental illness brought on by severe trauma .The most common events that leads to PTSD : -

    1) Severe Injury
    2) Sexual assault or Rape
    3) Accidents
    4) Domestic Violence
    5) Depression or Anxiety
    6) Drinking abouse
    7) Chronic pain

    Some common symptoms of PTSD are : -
    • Disturbing thoughts ,dreams and feelings
    • Mental or Physical distress
    • Re-living or Re-experiencing life events
    • Negative belief
    • Hyper -arousal
    Treatments : - Proper Counseling ,cognitive behavioral therapy and prescription medications is the Gold standard treatment of PTSD . But some dysfunctional activities like running,meditation ,walking or other self soothing activities can help to recover with PTSD.
  12. Yellowmellow

    Yellowmellow Well-Known Member

    I had ptsd from traumatic experiences.
    My antidepressant medication seems to have taken away the symptoms.
    I don’t have nightmares and flashbacks anymore.
    It was so bad I was scared to go to sleep at night because of fear of nightmares.
    I used to for example, mid shopping, just suddenly relive an experience so vividly it felt like I was back there.
    I don’t know how I’ll be off meds, but for now I have no symptoms of it anymore.
    Innocent Forever likes this.