Symptoms of PTSD syndrome - post-traumatic stress disorder

What is PTSD syndrome and how to treat it?

PTSD syndrome is a serious psychological problem that usually occurs as a result of a traumatic experience and causes fear and a complete sense of powerlessness with the patient. Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) with adequate access and above all understanding of this condition can be successfully mitigated and eventually completely eliminated. How can we alleviate ailments and how to overcome traumatic experiences in the right way, find out below.


Wars, natural disasters, fires and major social changes can cause hard tolerable stress and major trauma, which often causes serious psychological problems and disorders. Such conditions are increasingly common in the modern world and threaten the whole of our society. The broadest definition of the traumatic experience is described as emotionally insurmountable disaster, potentially life-threatening, that cannot be overcome by standard mechanisms. Most people with this problem later have a difficult time to return to the previous, normal state, and the consequences and symptoms of PTSD can last for several months, even years, and completely change the life of an individual. In such cases, it can be concluded that it comes to PTSD syndrome. Posttraumatic stress disorder is classified in the group of anxiety states, and is formed upon exposure to life-threatening situations, it is defined as a sustained or delayed response to a stressful event (called a stressor), which can be experienced in isolation or in groups. Traumatic situations that can cause disease PTSD include violent attacks on individual, natural disasters or accidents caused by human factors, and one of the most common causes of this disorder is the participation in the war. Post-traumatic stress can occur in victims of physical or sexual abuse such as rape and other crimes, people who have survived a terrorist attack, torture, kidnapping or have participated in the rescue of victims of accidents such as floods, fires or traffic accidents. Often, PTSD syndrome occurs after witnessing suffering or killing of another person, or learning that a close friend or family member is in danger.
PTSD Symptoms

Usually the symptoms of PTSD occur in the first three months of a traumatic event, but in rare cases they are expressed only after several years. They are divided in three categories: re-experiencing the trauma, avoidance and increased arousal. The most striking characteristic that carries the syndrome of PTSD is the constant reliving of the trauma experienced through memory or disturbing dreams, and the so-called flashbacks. Avoidance is manifested by rejection of person to face the facts related to the trauma - avoiding thoughts, feelings and conversations on this subject, as well as cities or people who remind them of what happened. Patient becomes uninterested in everyday activities, feels emotionally empty and alienated from the once close people. The symptoms of hyperarousal include insomnia, excessive tension, guilt, excessive consumption of alcohol and other psychoactive substances, problems with concentration and memory, hallucinations, irritability and seizures of anger and even aggression. Post-traumatic stress disorder can dramatically change a person, have a negative impact on the career or social life, and even ordinary, everyday activities. Also, the people diagnosed with this disease are more susceptible to other physical disorders, such as anxiety and depression, eating disorders, substance abuse and propensity to suicide. PTSD can cause and organic diseases, primarily cardiovascular and autoimmune, and diseases of the musculoskeletal system.

Posttraumatic stress disorder; IMPLICATIONS

Symptoms of PTSD are accompanied by overall poor mental and physical condition, due to which the quality of life of the patient is considerably disrupted. It often occurs as a natural event such as severe headache, gastrointestinal disorders, problems with the immune system (much more common is low immunity in patients), dizziness or chest pain, due to which PTSD syndrome often causes anxiety disorder. Post-traumatic stress disorder does not have a predictable stream of symptoms in mild cases it may disappear in a few months, but, in this case it is the acute condition. However, more often is the case that PTSD disease assumes a chronic form, when symptoms last much longer, even for several years. Then the diseased needed urgent medical assistance. When a person finds itself in a situation where they feel intense fear, helplessness and horror, and their life is threatened and physical integrity, we say that the person suffered a traumatic event. In addition, when someone experiences threatening life situations we can talk about the traumatic situation. In short, these are events that can have lasting negative consequences for survivors. Traumatic situations can be physical, sexual and psychological abuse and neglect, but also a result of natural disasters - earthquakes, floods, fires, etc. However, the experience of trauma is an individual thing. What presents a traumatic experience for one person does not have to be the same for another. People differ in temperament, beliefs, value systems and life experiences, especially after the previous traumatic experiences.

Posttraumatic stress disorder; TREATMENT

In order for PTSD syndrome to be treated and to speak about treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder, it is necessary to determine what kind of traumatic event occurred. Recovery includes several stages. According to Judith Herman (Judith Lewis Herman), primarily involves the establishment of a sense of security and reconstruction of stories of trauma and re-establish the connection between the survivor and his community. At the very beginning we need to focus on stabilization, crisis mitigation and encourage people to get involved in treatment. It is important that the patient is informed about what PTSD syndrome is and what are its symptoms, as well as examining the state of the patient which can reduce further suffering. It is very useful to help the individual to develop constructive strategies to overcome the individual symptoms (anxiety, rage, depression, alcohol abuse, sleep problems and interpersonal relationships). An integral part of the process is facing difficult and painful traumatic memories. At this stage of therapy applied are specific procedures, including a particularly effective method EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing). In addition, it is important to help the person to find more appropriate ways of assessing the meaning of experienced things, which will reduce the risk of recurrence of symptoms.

It should be noted that the relationship that the therapist establishes with the patient is crucial for successful treatment. Of particular importance are the acceptance, respect, patience, care and flexibility towards the person who is diagnosed with PTSD syndrome, to help restore dignity and adopt the trauma as part of the life experiences.