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Symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorders (PTSD), Effects of Violence

Abstract: A list of possible symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

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Symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorders (PTSD), Effects of Violence

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Question(s): 
Written by: Martin Winkler
First version: 22 Jul 2008.
Latest revision: 22 Jul 2008.

What are typical symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorders?

Answer:

People who are exposed to a very scary or potentially dangerous event can develop a syndrome called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Some of the symptoms can be very difficult to identify because they can also be part of other mental diseases or even somatic disorders. This includes insomnia or disturbed sleep, pains or other somatic syndromes like dizziness or gastrointestinal problems. However some of the most characteristic symptoms of PTSD include:
  • You have the feeling or experience, that the terrible event is happening all over again. This can be like a video, images, noises, smells or just thoughts. Usually these flashbacks come without any warning and you do not have control over it.
  • Nightmare and disturbed sleep with memories of the event.
  • Extreme tension or irritability.
  • you avoid certain situations, places or persons as a consequence of the traumatic event.
  • Any confrontation with the event causes emotional pain.
  • It is hard for you to trust other person or to join social activities. So a significant withdrawal of group situation might be a consequence.
  • You feel guilty or ashamed (e.g. because someone died and you are still alive).

Please read , in which the American Academy of Cognitive Therapy summarizes common symptoms of trauma and tips to cope with these experiences.

5 % of all persons suffer from PTSD, 8 % have had it some time in their life. PTSD is twice as common for women as for men.

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