September 24, 2010
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a complex anxiety disorder that may develop after exposure to an extremely stressful or life-threatening event ” involving death, the threat of death or serious injury ” with resulting intense fear, helplessness or horror. Check off any of the following signs that you may have experienced over the past six months:
1) Nightmares of past traumatic events you have observed or experienced directly.
2) Flashbacks or re-experienced scenes from past traumatic experiences as if they were real.
3) Triggers of physical and psychological stresses related to traumatic experiences.
4) Avoidance of any reminders of similar circumstances of traumatic experiences.
5) Isolation from others because of anxiety and fear.
6) Emotional numbing.
7) Outbursts of anger or irrational rage.
8) Problems in concentration and focus.
9) Hyper-vigilance for triggers or paranoid thinking that something is bound to happen to you of a traumatic nature that you have no control over.
10) Difficulties with memory and problem-solving abilities.
If you have checked more than one of 1 through 4 and more than one of 6 through 10, you may be suffering from PTSD, especially if the symptoms are a disruption of your personal, vocational, family or school life.
The following mental health resources can help.