What Causes PTSD?
Common triggers for PTSD or problematic trauma responses include:
- Threat of death or serious injury
- Sexual abuse, violence, and rape
- Physical abuse and severe emotional abuse
- Child abuse or neglect
- Experiencing a car crash or another accident
- Surviving natural disasters (hurricanes, fires, or earthquakes)
- Community violence (like school shootings or riots)
- The death or suicide of a close friend or family member
- A significant loss or a series of losses over time
- Any experience that overwhelms an individual’s ability to adapt in the moment paired with an inability to successfully reattune to typical life engagement after the experience
If you have gone through any of these experiences, our heart goes out to you. Nearly everyone who goes through trauma will experience a range of reactions, and most people recover from trauma naturally, over time, and with the help of friends and family.
For some, though, PTSD symptoms emerge within 3 months of the traumatic incident. In other cases, still, PTSD emerges years after the traumatic event.
No matter when you are diagnosed with PTSD, Tapestry is here to listen and help. Call us anytime at (828) 490-4032 to get started.
What Are the Symptoms of PTSD?
The traumatic response with PTSD is expressed across multiple domains including re-experiencing, avoidance, and arousal symptoms, as well as impact on individual’s thought and mood. Re-experiencing symptoms consist of:
- Flashbacks (where you feel like you are going through the event again)
- Bad dreams
- Frightening thoughts
- Intrusive memories
You can trigger re-experiencing symptoms with your own thoughts or be set off by an external word, object, or situation.
Avoidance symptoms include:
- Avoiding places, events, and objects that remind you of the traumatic experience
- Suppressing thoughts and feelings related to the traumatic event
Many avoidance symptoms will cause you to change your personal routine. For example, if your traumatic event was a car accident, you might avoid driving or riding in cars.
Arousal and reactivity symptoms consist of:
- Being easily startled
- Feeling tense or “on edge”
- Having trouble sleeping
- Snapping at people or having angry outbursts
These symptoms can make you feel stressed, angry, or “jumpy,” and can interfere with daily tasks and activities. Feeling on edge, for instance, can make it hard to eat, sleep, or concentrate.
Cognition and mood symptoms include:
- Losing interest in activities you used to enjoy
- Distorted feelings like guilt or blame
- Thinking negative thoughts about yourself or the world
- Trouble remembering the key features of your traumatic event
While you may have been harmed in your traumatic incident and PTSD is often a co-occurring disorder, these symptoms are not physically motivated. They may also cause you to self-isolate or feel distant from your friends and family members.
If an item or 2 on each bulleted list feels familiar, know that treatment is available. Our evidence-based treatment programs can help you overcome many of the thoughts and feelings listed above.