Is It PTSD?
June is PTSD Awareness Month.
When you have PTSD, it’s hard to feel safe. The traumatic event – such as domestic violence or sexual assault – can take hold, and you find you can’t stop thinking about it. Maybe you have nightmares and trouble sleeping. Maybe you feel on edge and unsettled or don’t find pleasure in things you used to enjoy. Maybe you feel it’s just easier to be alone. Feelings like these are common after going through a trauma. For most people, they pass in a few weeks or months, but for others they are long lasting.
PTSD symptoms fall into four categories:
- reliving or re-experiencing the event
- avoiding things or places that remind you of the event
- negative changes in beliefs and feelings
- hyperarousal or being on guard
For someone to be diagnosed with PTSD, they need to have symptoms in all four categories.
PTSD symptoms can happen at any age, and they come and go. Only a mental health care provider can diagnose you with PTSD. Knowing if you have PTSD is the first step to getting effective treatment, so it is important to talk with a doctor if you think you have symptoms. There are effective treatments even if you have been living with symptoms for years.
Learn more about PTSD symptoms at the National Center for PTSD. The PTSD Coach app and PTSD Coach Online can also help you learn about PTSD symptoms and practice skills to manage those symptoms. You can even track your PTSD symptoms in the app. The PTSD Treatment Decision Aid is another online tool that can help you decide which treatment is best for you. Other useful resources are the Understanding PTSD and PTSD Treatment booklet, and the National Center for PTSD’s whiteboard videos.
As always, we welcome you at Palomar. We have mental health providers on-site who are willing and able to help you if you are experiencing symptoms of PTSD resulting from violence and abuse.