Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

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If I were to assign myself a psychological disorder, it would be post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD is a mental health disorder triggered by a life-changing event, which includes experiencing it or even witnessing it. People who have PTSD may experience such symptoms as flashbacks, nightmares as well as severe anxiety, which may be accompanied by uncontrollable thoughts regarding the event. The onset of PTSD symptoms may begin at any time, including within the first month of a traumatic event, but at times it might not appear until years after the fateful event.

The resultant symptoms of PTSD may cause significant problems in social or work situations as well as relationships. Besides, the symptoms can interfere with a person’s ability to go about their normal routines. PTSD symptoms can be classified into four groups depending on the behaviors exhibited by the victim. They include avoidance, intrusive memories, negative changes in thinking and mood, and changes in physical and emotional reactions. Just like the symptoms vary in behavior, they as well vary from one individual to another.

Intrusive memories are characterized by symptoms such as recurrent and unwanted distressing memories regarding the traumatic event, flashbacks, upsetting dreams, or nightmares regarding the traumatic event as well as severe emotional distress or physical reactions to something that acts as a reminder of the traumatic event (Shalev & Marmar, 2018). The other behavior is avoidance and is characterized by trying to avoid thinking or even talking about the traumatic event in that it carries a lot of pain. Also, avoidance is characterized by avoiding places, people, or activities that may serve the purpose of reminding them of the traumatic event.

Another category of PTSD is the negative changes in thinking and mood (König et al., 2019). A person who has PTSD may manifest symptoms of negative changes in thinking and mood, which include hopelessness about the future, difficulty maintaining close relationships, and even feeling emotionally numb. Besides, a person may also experience negative thoughts about themselves, other people, or the world, experiencing difficulty experiencing positive emotions and lacking interest in activities that they previously enjoyed. Furthermore, an individual may develop memory problems that may include not remembering important details of the traumatic event, and also, they may feel detached from their family and friends.

The last category involves changes in physical and emotional reactions that may as well be referred to as arousal symptoms. A person who has PTSD may manifest arousal symptoms such as trouble sleeping, being easily startled or frightened, overwhelming guilt or shame, trouble concentrating, and always being on guard for danger (Schwartz, 2020). Also, a person may manifest self-destructive behaviors such as driving too fast or drinking excess alcohol since they no longer care about their lives. They may also exhibit irritability, angry outbursts, and aggressive behavior when confronted even with minor details.

Recently, I lost my grandmother, a close friend who was more than a confidant to me. We were so much connected such that when I learned of her demise, I was almost hospitalized. I have exhibited most of the above symptoms with most of it, contemplating following her, to be united again.


König, J., Kopp, B., Ziegelmeier, A., Rimane, E., Steil, R., Renneberg, B., & Rosner, R. (2019). Young people’s trauma‐related cognitions before and after cognitive processing therapy for post‐traumatic stress disorder. Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice.

Schwartz, A. (2020). The complex PTSD workbook: A mind-body approach to regaining emotional control and becoming whole. Sheldon Press.

Shalev, A. Y., & Marmar, C. R. (2018). Conceptual History of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, 3.