Symptoms of PTSD
Re-living the event through recurring nightmares or other intrusive images that occur at any time. People who suffer from PTSD also have extreme emotional or physical reactions, such as chills, heart palpitations, or panic when faced with reminders of the event. One or more of these symptoms must be present for diagnosis.
Avoiding reminders of the event including places, people, thoughts, or other activities associated with the trauma. PTSD sufferers may feel emotionally detached, withdraw from friends and family and lose interest in everyday activities. Three or more of these symptoms must be present for diagnosis.
Being on guard or hyper-aroused at all times, including feeling irritable or sudden anger, having difficulty sleeping or a lack of concentration, being overly alert or easily startled. Two or more of these symptoms must be present for diagnosis.
Here is a quote from a PTSD patient: “For months after the attack, I couldn’t close my eyes without envisioning the face of my attacker. I suffered horrific flashbacks and nightmares. For four years after the attack I was unable to sleep alone in my house. I obsessively checked windows, doors, and locks. By age 17, I’d suffered my first panic attack. Soon I became unable to leave my apartment for weeks at a time, ending my modeling career abruptly. This just became a way of life. Years passed when I had few or no symptoms at all, and I led what I thought was a fairly normal life, just thinking I had a panic problem.”