Recognizing PTSD In Those Around You

PTSD, or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, is a term everyone has heard but perhaps some do not understand what it is or how to recognize it. PTSD is a stress and trauma related disorder that presents with four distinct symptoms. Those affected often come across to others with negative changes in mood and cognitions. They will have avoidance tendencies and intrusion symptoms. They will also have changes in activity and arousal. Knowing how to recognize these symptoms is the first step in getting help to someone with PTSD.

A traumatic event would be an event that terrorized someone and they felt helpless to do anything. The event could be a sexual assault, a car accident, natural disasters, terrorist attacks or any other disaster. In the weeks and months following the event, someone suffering with PTSD will have subtle changes to their behavior and thoughts. There are eight commonly recognized indicators of someone suffering from PTSD.

Those with PTSD will frequently have trouble sleeping. Either they will be unable to fall asleep or they will wake up having nightmares.

PTSD will often cause someone to have anger issues. They will frequently have outbursts of anger and loss of control.

Sufferers from PTSD will typically lose connections with loved ones. They will feel distant and have trouble finding the feelings of caring they once felt about a loved one.

Depression will then set in, causing loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities.

PTSD sufferers have a difficult time calming down. They feel on guard and hyper vigilant, typically all day and all night long.

Despite not wanting to think about it, a PTSD sufferer will often relive the traumatic event over and over.

Those with PTSD regularly have feelings of doom. They feel like they aren’t safe anywhere.

And finally, suicidal thoughts are frequently on the mind of a PTSD sufferer.

Once you know the signs of PTSD in someone, you can get them the help they need.


N.A. “Recognizing the Signs of Post-Traumatic Stress” (Website). (2015).
  • 6 Commentsby Likes|Date
  • I think it should be noted that a person can actually have PTSD and they may not have a conscious memory of the event that caused this feeling.  This is sometimes the experience of people that experienced something traumatic as a child, or even an adult that had something traumatic and terribly overwhelming happen. Any stimulus that was so horrific and overwhelming can be suppressed but if something happens that sparks a portion of the memory the resulting PTSD can be incredibly strong and confusing to the individual This can be triggered by something very subtle. Like a smell that was present during the event, a person that looks like someone from the event, a song...any number of things.

    I think this is the worst form of PTSD because the person with it hasn't even dealt with all the emotions that came with the event that is being suppressed. It can feel like something is haunting them, something just right out of their reach, There can indeed be mood swings and nightmares, there can be an over vigilence and over concern for any number of things. Even once the cause is known for some people the results to the psyche last for the rest of their life.
  • I think the worst part about it is that it is very hard to actually recognize if someone is suffering from it. When I was going through it, I barely had any clue what is happening with me, and I put a great deal of effort to hide it. Successfully. At most, my friends had some clue something is wrong, and since I didn't let anyone in, no one could really help. I had never heard the term PTSD at the time, and I just knew I was experiencing all those symptoms. And I was trying to hold on to the order in my life and do all I should be doing, because I felt like I'm going crazy (especially that it was the first time in my life I had flashbacks and I barely knew what that was too). It took months to know what is happening and be ready to try to share...and more to actually share.
  • I don't think many people are capable of recognizing the signs of PTSD which is, of course, also sometimes called 'shell shock' which war veterans often end up suffering with, or how severe it is. If intentionally inflicted abuse is involved then it's likely that Stockholm Syndrome would have also kicked in at some point; developing empathy/sympathy for their abuser(s). Fragmented memories of the abuse, or associated memories, may come back in the form of flashbacks and/or nightmares, whether conscious or asleep. These are repressed memories that were too difficult to cope with at the time(s) they occurred. This can be quite disturbing. Another important thing to note is that simple words, phrases or images can trigger a person with PTSD into having flashbacks of (often fragmented) repressed  memories.
  • I often wonder, can anyone get PTSD? Or is there certain genetic links or triggers? Are some more prone to getting it? Is there any way to tell if someone is more prone to getting it? Or are we all just as likly to get PTSD given any sort of Trauma? I have a lot of veterans in my family, some clearly have PTSD (some refuse treatments other are currently being treated.) However on my mothers side I have a grandfather who has been through a number of events that should have caused PTSD, however he seems very resilient. I want to be able to start having conversations about them and their mental health but just don't have the knowledge. I tried googling it but there is just too much! Perhaps you could provide me with a good link or reference so I can continue my research.
  • One of my exes was actually in the middle of a war when he was little, he saw a lot awful things. He didn't have trouble sleeping most of the time, but he often ended up waking up in the middle of the night, all scared and sweaty.  I then knew he had revived something from his past, all I could do is reassure him by reminding him he was with me in our bed, safe. 
  • I've often seen PTSD portrayed in movies. Us onlookers may think it's just a drama but most of the time those portrayals are rather accurate. I heard from people that PTSD sufferers often have flashbacks of the event, causing them to break down if not black out. It's sad that vets and a lot of people who've been through traumatic events have to suffer this way. More institutions geared towards PTSD treatment should be established.
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