Published on 20 September 2021

PTSD: Meaning, Symptoms, Treatment, Prevention

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Post-traumatic stress disorder happens to people who have suffered tragic, shocking, dangerous, or scary events. It is very common to be afraid during or after any traumatic situation. Fear automatically triggers the body to react within seconds to help defend against or avoid danger.

The fight or flight response is a typical reaction that happens during an intense situation to protect themself from harm. Every person has experienced a range of reactions after a traumatic event, yet most of them are recovered from the initial phase of PTSD naturally.

There is no shortage of examples of how people react to trauma in history, literature, and throughout the centuries. From Homer's 8th-century Iliad through Shakespeare's plays, we see various reactions from those involved, which can be informative for us.

Now since it sheds light on what may happen if our current situation becomes too much or traumatic, we understand to deal with this trauma before it worsens immediately.

Know about post-traumatic stress disorder and how to treat it with proper medications and therapies.

What Is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a mental illness that is triggered by many traumatic events, which are very stressful and out of the ordinary; either you experience it or witness it. Events could be violent crimes, torture, war, man-made disasters like plane crashes and car accidents, and natural disasters like earthquakes, thundering, floods, etc.

The average person experiences many normal life events, such as divorce, the death of a loved one, and financial issues. However, the situation may have drastic symptoms of PTSD, including nightmares, agony, depression, anxiousness, severe Anxiety, flashback memories, and non-stop thoughts of any events that need immediate attention from doctors.

However, there are still some major implications for our mental health when someone close dies, especially since we're very socially active creatures who rely heavily upon each other's support through tough times. Stress can negatively affect your mental and physical health, but what qualifies as "traumatic" is personalized.

The Reality Of Trauma

A person may experience an event as traumatic in their way. At the same time, for another, it triggers less complex forms of stress that don't disturb them emotionally or mentally at all.

The reality about trauma varies from individual to individual because everyone's response will vary depending on how they feel stressed out by something. Minor events might not affect someone else much compared with more severe traumas such things definitely won't turn anyone obsessive.

Studies have shown that some people who experience trauma will not develop PTSD, but they do in some cases. The way you process stress will be different from anyone else because of your unique personality and the experiences in life that have shaped it.

For example, those who have seen the world trade center incident live on 9/11 went through a traumatic situation, but those who have seen it on TV have a different experience.

Frequently asked questions

Yes, Post-traumatic stress disorder is a severe mental condition that develops during or after a terrifying or dangerous incident. These incidents are also called traumas. Trauma can affect your brain and create fear in your mind.
Yes, it is shown that people with PTSD face symptoms such as high blood pressure, fatigue, body ache, muscle tension, and rapid heartbeat. You will not realize the difference between pain and traumatic events.
There are four most recommended medications used to treat post-traumatic stress disorder. These medicines are also used for different depression conditions. Sertraline (Zoloft), Paroxetine (Paxil), Fluoxetine (Prozac), Venlafaxine (Effexor).

Causes Of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Any incident that can impact on person's mind can cause Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Things can include

  • Death events or death threats
  • Personal Violation(mugging or robbery
  • Sexual Assault
  • Witnessing serious accidents or facing any accident
  • Serious health problem
  • Childbirth experience

PTSD can immediately occur after the event and also occur after a week, months, or even years later. Still, the doctor can't find out why some people get PTSD. As with most mental health conditions, PSTD it can probably cause by a complex mix:

  • Stressful experience: the amount and the severity of trauma you are going through.
  • Inherited mental illness: family issues, Anxiety, or depression.
  • How the brain releases the chemical and hormones to react to stress.

Risk factors Of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

People of any age can experience post-traumatic stress disorder. Although some factors can increase the chances of developing PTSD after the events, such as:

  • Suffering from any other mental health problems
  • No support system from family and friends
  • Having experienced other trauma early in life, such as childhood trauma or Abuse
  • Substance Abuse problem( drinking too much and drug also)
  • Experiencing long and intense trauma

Can PTSD Be Prevented Or Avoided?

Training for stressful situations is important to keep soldiers safe for jobs that carry a risk of PTSD, like medical first responders or other roles requiring them to be emotionally stable on the job. These professionals must be trained just as the military has demonstrated how preparing can reduce potential stress levels.

We need to be aware and attuned as human beings, not only for ourselves but also to recognize the signs of trauma or stress. If a loved one needs help, they should seek out professionals immediately because time spent waiting may make things worse on both ends.

Avoiding trauma could be very difficult because we are talking about situations here. We can't control situations, but we can prevent stress by not thinking much about it, and in addition, we could attend psychotherapy sessions to overcome depression.

Types Of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder And Trauma

Emotional Trauma

If you ever experience any extreme stress that makes you helpless or emotionally out of control. Emotional Trauma often starts in childhood. Any event that affects your Safety or impacts you very badly may traumatize you.

Whether it be an accident, bullying, the sudden death of loved ones, or domestic Abuse, even if the Trauma happened a year ago or yesterday, you can recover from the pain, feel safe once again, and move on with your life.

Rape Or Sexual Trauma

Being raped or sexual Abuse can be the worst feeling ever. It leaves you feeling alone, ashamed, scared, and plagued by nightmares, flashbacks, and bad memories. No matter how bad you feel, its very important to remember that werent blamed for whatever happened. You can regain your confidence, trust, sense of security, and self-worth.

Racial Trauma

Race-based trauma refers to someone emotional or mental affected caused by facing racist Abuse, discrimination, racism, and hate crimes. It can destroy your self-worth and confidence and leads to severe Anxiety, depression, chronic stress, eating disorders, substance Abuse, and even symptoms of Post-traumatic stress disorder. But there are many ways to cope with this problem and strengthen your mental health.

Symptoms Of PTSD

Post-traumatic stress disorder may trigger many individuals for real; it may happen to many people. PTSD symptoms may cause right after the traumatic event or even after a year.

PTSD symptoms are classified into four groups intrusive memories, avoidance, negative thoughts, and changes in physical and emotional reactions. Symptoms can vary from person, their situation, and over time.

Intrusive memories

Symptoms of intrusive memories include

  • Overthinking about the traumatic event happening again and again( flashbacks).
  • Emotional stress or physical reaction that reminds you about the tragic event.
  • Upsetting dreams or common Nightmares.
  • Repeatedly occurring unwanted depressing memories of any event.


Symptoms of Avoidance include

  • Avoiding thinking or talking about the traumatic incident.
  • Avoiding the place or activities that remind you of the event.

Negative thoughts

Symptoms of Negative thoughts include

  • Hopeless about the future
  • Negative thoughts about yourself or others
  • Memory problems
  • Can not maintain the relationship with close ones
  • Feeling numb emotionally
  • Separation anxiety
  • No interest in any activities.

Changes In Emotional And Physical Reactions

Symptoms of Changes in emotional and physical reactions include

  • Self-harming behavior, such as drinking too much alcohol or driving so fast
  • Sleeping problem
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Feels guilty or ashamed
  • Being easily anxious.

PTSD can affect a person's mood, memory, and behavior. When someone has PTSD, they may not even realize they need help because these symptoms are often reported by family members or friends who care for them deeply.

It's important to note that Anxiety disorder, depression, and other mental health issues like substance abuse; all have similarities in how they behave. So it becomes crucial to have an accurate diagnosis and receive treatment quickly from trained professionals.

Treatment Of PTSD

If a person is having trouble at work and in their personal life, it may take time to intervene.
Medication can help with symptoms of depression, while therapy aims to address other mental health issues such as Anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder.

  • The medication works quite well, especially when Anxiety and depression are involved, although not everyone is flexible with medication.
  • Most of the therapies focus very much on the present and what the patient can do right now to reduce stress day by day.
  • Other interventions may include yoga, meditation, or exercise that deliver a relaxing effect, maybe something as simple as a daily walk after lunch or dinner to enjoy the fresh air.


Several types of psychotherapy are available; it is also called talk therapy for treating post-traumatic stress disorder in children and adults. Some types of psychotherapy used in PSTD treatment are.

Cognitive therapy: Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of psychotherapeutic treatment/talk therapy that helps people learn how to identify, understand and change negative, destructive, or disturbing thought patterns resulting in a negative influence on their behavior and emotions that disrupt their day-to-day life. For PTSD, cognitive therapy is often used with exposure therapy.

Exposure therapy: This behavioral therapy helps you to face problems safely and cope with them effectively. Exposure therapy is more effective for helping with flashbacks and nightmare problems


Several medicines are available for treating post-traumatic stress disorder:

  • Anti-anxiety medicines: Anti-Anxiety medicines are very effective for treating severe Anxiety diseases and other related problems. Some anti-anxiety medications are Abuse. So, these medicines generally are sold as prescribed medication.
  • Anti-depressant medication: Anti-depressant medicines like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), Sertraline (Zoloft), and Paroxetine (Paxil) can help to reduce the symptoms of Anxiety and depression and also helps to improve sleep and concentration. All these medicines are approved by the food and drug administration for treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Bottom Line From Practical Anxiety Solutions

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a mental illness that can occur to anyone who experiences events that impact them emotionally and physically or who witness a traumatic event. People with PTSD may have intrusive memories, avoid certain places that remind them about trauma, and face sleeping problems and tense Anxiety.

A person needs to consult as soon as possible about the symptoms of PTSD before it gets worst. There are various methods to treat PTSD, such as Cognitive and exposure therapies and different anti-depressant medicines combination of both may get better and faster results.

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