While Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is not limited to military veterans, it is a condition many veterans returning from war experience. It is important to never brush aside these symptoms, assuming they are nothing. Seeking help right away is important. To help you recognize when you might have PTSD, here are some of the more common symptoms:
- Reoccurring, painful memories of the event
- Flashbacks or nightmares about the traumatic event
- Severe emotional distress or negative physical reaction to something reminding you of the event
- Easily being startled or frightened
- Avoiding people or places that remind you of the event
- Feelings of depression, such as feelings of hopelessness, inability to feel happy, lack of interest in activities you previously enjoyed, and feeling emotionally numb
- Increased anger or irritability
- Trouble sleeping or concentrating
- Feelings of guilt or shame
- Engaging in self-destructive behaviors, such as drinking, drugs, or driving erratically
Experiencing PTSD after losing a friend in battle or another traumatic event is nothing to be ashamed of. Different people react differently to the same situation, so just because a friend is not experiencing PTSD does not mean you are weaker. A recent article discussed some of the myths associated with PTSD.
Myth 1: PTSD Symptoms Come Right After the Event
While symptoms generally come within three months, they may take several months or even years to appear.
Myth 2: It is a Sign of Mental Weakness
People deal with trauma in different ways, and developing PTSD has nothing to do with mental weakness. A variety of factors, such as the severity of the trauma, your personality traits, your family support system, and childhood trauma play a part in whether you experience PTSD.
Myth 3: It Will Hurt My Career to Get Help
Actually, the opposite could be true. Getting help will help you to function better, which may lead to greater opportunities for career advancement. Unless someone needs to be informed of your condition, for example, if you are suicidal, no one has to know about your PTSD unless you tell the person.
Myth 4: Treatment Won’t Help Anyway
There are several effective treatments for PTSD. While it will take time, and the symptoms may not entirely disappear, with proper treatment, the symptoms can decrease significantly.
If you feel you are suffering from PTSD, contact us. We can help you get the medical and psychological assistance you will need to recover.