A gentle reminder that this mental health series, is not a diagnostic tool, or replacement for the professional advice you will get from a licensed medical and mental health provider. I work within the demographic of clients with severe and persistent mental health issues, which often go unaddressed for years, whether through failure of the system of lack of action on the individual’s part. My posts are meant to bring general awareness.
Let’s conclude this two part post with the final two of the main symptoms; hyperarousal and negative cognitions and mood symptoms.
A symptom that makes someone with PTSD overreact to their outside stimulus. The body goes into high alert thinking about a traumatic event and may make the person feel like they are currently in danger. This feeling can result in a myriad of responses that are confusing to friends and loved ones. Because loved ones aren’t sharing the same feelings of danger, it can be scary or even frustrating to be with someone responding to unseen trauma.
Some of the symptoms of hyperarousal are:
- Trouble sleeping
- Outbursts of anger
- Irritability or ongoing anger
- Easily startled
- Difficulty concentrating
- Always being on guard from threats (hypervigilance)
- Chronic anxiety
- Inability to tolerate loud noises (hyperacusis)
- Panic attacks
- Risky destructive behavior
Negative cognitions and mood symptoms
Another key symptom of PTSD is a negative outlook on self and the world. These feelings are newly formed after the traumatic event and are not typical for the person experiencing PTSD.
These negative feelings may appear like this:
- Intense feelings of guilt
- Distorted sense of blame related to the trauma
- Ongoing negative feelings such as guilt, shame, anger, or sadness
- Lowered interest in activities one used to enjoy
- Detached or estranged from loved ones
- Inability to experience joy or happiness
People suffering from PTSD may have feelings of worthlessness, or may feel deep shame for things they have done or witnessed. These feelings may interfere with forming or maintaining relationships with friends and family. It could also diminish their ability to pursue gainful employment or advance their career.
According to Dr. Matthew Tull: …Maladaptive thoughts, errors in thinking or irrational thoughts, cognitive distortions refer to unpleasant thoughts that are extreme, exaggerated or not consistent with what is actually going on in the real world. As a result, cognitive distortions can have a negative influence on our mood and eventually lead to unhealthy behaviors. The connection between thoughts and actions is part of the reason cognitive distortions are considered a central part of cognitive-behavioral therapy.
Was there a particular bit that surprised you? What are your thoughts on the symptoms ? If you or someone you love are in need of help, please consult with your medical or mental health provider.
Next up, we will examine the different types of PTSD. Yes, types, as it is not uncommon, to think PTSD is just that. I bet many of you will be pleasantly surprised!
To Your Success,