PTSD Symptoms and Triggers
PTSD symptoms and triggers vary from person to person. There are four categories of PTSD symptoms.
One of the common PTSD symptoms and triggers happen when there are intrusive thoughts. Some experts call it “re-experiencing” since the symptoms make the person relive the traumatic event. Intrusive thoughts can come in the form of:
- Vivid flashbacks;
- Dreams or nightmares
Sometimes, there’s no flashback, nightmare, or memory, but the person is still triggered by something that reminds them of the trauma.
Another major symptom of PTSD is trying to avoid remembering the trauma. Some experts believe that “avoidance” is related to “emotional numbing.” Emotional numbing happens when a person tries not to feel anything at all. The signs include:
- Not wanting to talk about what happened.
- Avoiding things that are connected to the tragic event. They also try to avoid anything that brings bad memories back. These include people, objects, places, and activities.
- Refusal to think about the trauma.
- Isolation and withdrawal.
Negative Thoughts and Feelings
PTSD symptoms and triggers sometimes make the person develop negative thoughts and feelings. Under this category, the signs are:
- Persistent and distorted belief about oneself, like “I’m not good enough,” and “I’m bad.”
- Persistent and distorted belief about others, like “No one can be trusted.”
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Feelings of detachment
- Finding it hard to feel positive emotions
- Finding it hard to form close relationships
- Apathy or lack of interest in things and activities previously enjoyed.
- The occurrence of memory problems, especially difficulty in remembering some aspects of the traumatic happening
Arousal and Reactivity Symptoms
The fourth category of PTSD symptoms can be described as “feeling on edge.” A person with these symptoms experience:
- Angry outbursts
- Difficulty in concentrating or focusing
- Difficulty in sleeping
- Self-destructive or reckless behavior
How to Manage PTSD Symptoms and Triggers
Due to the wide range of PTSD symptoms and triggers, managing them should be a top priority. The main treatment involves taking some medications, psychotherapy, or both. Note that it is very important for a person with PTSD to consult a mental health doctor.