How Do You Know If You Have PTSD: The Common Symptoms

How Do You Know If You Have PTSD: The Common Symptoms

Are you wondering how do you know if you have PTSD? If yes, click here for some helpful information of the different symptoms.

About 7 to 8% of the U.S. population have PTSD at some point in their lives. Meanwhile, about eight million adults have PTSD during a given year.

However, even more people experience trauma in their lives. Most men live through traumas such as accidents, physical assault, or combat. Women, on the other hand, more often experience traumas such as sexual assault or child abuse.

So how do you know if you have PTSD?

When we hear “PTSD,” we usually think of soldiers returning home from war or a tragedy in our very own country. There are numerous ways you can develop PTSD. By knowing the signs, you can seek the treatment you need.

Keep reading to discover the common symptoms so you can complete a PTSD self-assessment.

Emotional Indicators

How do you know if you have PTSD based on emotional signs? Here are a few indicators to look out for. 

Chronic Insomnia

First, are you experiencing any difficulties sleeping? For example, you might have trouble falling asleep. 

Other sleep difficulties can include staying asleep or experiencing frequent nightmares.

Chronic insomnia can lead to other emotional issues, such as irritability. If you can’t sleep at night, make sure you’re not having any caffeine before bed. Once you rule out caffeine, check your sleep patterns again. 

After experiencing a trauma, your brain might start to repeat the scene. Nightmares are your brain’s way of processing what happened. However, nightmares can also contribute to your lack of sleep. 

Many people don’t realize that sleep issues are an indicator they’ve developed PTSD.

Anger

Some PTSD patients start to feel irritable over time. You might find yourself prone to frequent, angry outbursts that feel beyond your control.

After experiencing a trauma, you might find it difficult to regulate your emotions. Mood swings can also make you quick to respond with anger or aggression. As a result, people might find it difficult to be around you.

Friends and family members might even create distance as a response.

Disconnection

Wondering how do you know if you have PTSD? Check how you’re responding to those around you.

You might feel numb and disconnected from loved ones. This can make it difficult for you to access your feelings, even when you know they exist. Numbness can also cause you to avoid certain people or places. 

Avoidance and disconnection can perpetuation the negative assumptions you’ve created. 

As a result, you’ll feel emotionally detached from the world around you. 

Depression or Anxiety

Have you lost interest in activities you used to enjoy?

Depression can hit in a number of ways. In addition to impacting your mood, it can also make you feel hopelessness for the future. 

You might also develop chronic anxiety. You might feel on-guard and have a difficult time relaxing. Panic attacks might even trick your brain into thinking you’re in danger.

Short bursts of loud noise or even a smell that reminds you of your trauma can trigger an attack.

As a result, you might feel intense fear over time. Do you experience a sense of impending doom, even when there’s no clear sign of danger? These are all signs that you may have developed PTSD.

Reliving Your Trauma

Certain distressing thoughts or memories of the traumatic event might play on repeat through your mind. It can feel difficult to stop or control these flashbacks. 

Your PTSD could cause you to experience intrusive thoughts or relive these past moments. As a result, you can lose touch with reality. Your brain will take over and trick your body into reliving the event all over again. 

Without the proper treatment, it’s difficult to get over these symptoms. 

A combination of these symptoms might also lead you to thoughts of suicide. If you’ve completed a PTSD self-assessment and recognize suicidal thoughts as a symptom, it’s time to seek help.

Behavioral Indicators

Many trauma survivors experience behavioral symptoms in addition to emotional ones.

Relationships

You might have noticed your relationships have changed over time. PTSD can cause you to withdraw from your loved ones. You might also find it difficult to trust people or feel intimate with others. 

Increased conflict can also indicate you’ve developed PTSD.

Self-Esteem Issues

Have you noticed a change in how you treat yourself?

Self-esteem issues can lead to behaviors such as self-harm. You might also experience suicidal thoughts or stop taking the time to take care of yourself.

Work Performance

Have you lost interest in your work? You might also notice it’s difficult to concentrate on work or other tasks. In some cases, a lack of sleep or distracting thoughts about your trauma can hurt your work performance, too. 

Substance Abuse

Some trauma survivors choose to cope with what happened by leaning on substances such as alcohol, cannabis, or opioids. These substances can help people calm down. However, substance abuse is also an indicator you’ve developed PTSD.

Lifestyle Changes

You might have decided to change your life completely.

Many PTSD patients make lifestyle changes to feel less vulnerable. They’ll prioritize feeling safe over enjoying the life they once had. This can include avoiding certain places, such as a concert because the crowd reminds you of your trauma.

Ask for Help

How do you know if you have PTSD? Review this list and determine which symptoms you’re experiencing. 

About half of all U.S. adults experience one traumatic event in their lives. However, some people don’t seek help after the event occurs.

If you develop PTSD, it’s important to ask for the help you need. A mental health professional can help alleviate your PTSD symptoms with talk therapy, medications, and a customized course of treatment. 

How Do You Know If You Have PTSD

After taking this PTSD self-assessment, you might have pinpointed a few of the symptoms you’re experiencing. So how do you know if you have PTSD?

The best way to tell is by visiting a licensed mental health professional. They can help diagnose your symptoms and help you find the right treatment. 

Request an appointment today to get the help you need.

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