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Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder – Part 1

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Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder – Part 1

A person who has encountered or witnessed a traumatic incident, such as a natural disaster, a major accident, a terrorist attack, war or conflict, or rape, or who has been threatened with death, sexual assault, or significant injury, may develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

How Do You Develop Triggers?

Your body prepares to fight, run, or freeze when in danger. Your heartbeat quickens. Your senses become acutely aware. To respond to the threat, your brain temporarily halts some of its regular operations. This also applies to your working memory.

To be diagnosed with PTSD, an adult must have all of the following for at least 1 month:

  • At least one re-experiencing symptom
  • At least one avoidance symptom
  • At least two arousal and reactivity symptoms
  • At least two cognition and mood symptoms

Re-experiencing symptoms include:

Flashbacks—reliving the trauma over and over, including physical symptoms like a racing heart or sweating
Bad dreams  
Negative Thinking
Frightening thoughts

Avoidance symptoms include:

Staying away from places, events, or objects that are reminders of the traumatic experience
Avoiding thoughts or feelings related to the traumatic event

Arousal and reactivity symptoms include:

Being easily startled
Feeling tense or “on edge”
Having difficulty sleeping
Having angry outbursts

Cognition and mood symptoms include:

Trouble remembering key features of the traumatic event
Distorted feelings like guilt or blame
Loss of interest in enjoyable activities

Preparing for your appointment

Make an appointment with your doctor or a mental health expert if you believe you may have post-traumatic stress disorder. You can use the following details to help you get ready for your appointment and know what to anticipate.

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