I am having a lot of trouble with flashbacks. I needed to find out how, why, and what they are all about, not only to help myself, but to help others know what I am going through in the nicest way possible.
First off, what is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?
- Post-traumatic stress disorder is a type of anxiety disorder. It can occur after you've seen or experienced a traumatic event that involved the threat of injury or death.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may occur soon after a major trauma, or it can be delayed for more than 6 months after the event. When it occurs soon after the trauma, it usually gets better after 3 months. However, some people have a longer-term form of PTSD, which can last for many years.
- PTSD can occur at any age and can follow a natural disaster such as a flood or fire, or events such as war, a prison stay, assault, domestic abuse, or rape.
- The cause of PTSD is unknown, but psychological, genetic, physical, and social factors are involved. PTSD changes the body’s response to stress. It affects the stress hormones and chemicals that carry information between the nerves (neurotransmitters). Having been exposed to trauma in the past may increase the risk of PTSD.
1. Repeated "reliving" of the event, which disturbs day-to-day activity
- Flashback episodes, where the event seems to be happening again and again
- Recurrent distressing memories of the event
- Repeated dreams of the event
- Physical reactions to situations that remind you of the traumatic event
- Emotional "numbing," or feeling as though you don’t care about anything
- Feelings of detachment
- Inability to remember important aspects of the trauma
- Lack of interest in normal activities
- Less expression of moods
- Staying away from places, people, or objects that remind you of the event
- Sense of having no future
- Difficulty concentrating
- Exaggerated response to things that startle you
- Excess awareness (hypervigilance)
- Irritability or outbursts of anger
- Sleeping difficulties
Information cited from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001923/.