Post traumatic Stress Disorder | How to deal with it

Post traumatic Stress Disorder

Post traumatic Stress Disorder is a psychological condition that needs attention and treatment.

Post traumatic stress disorder can affect people of all ages who have experienced a terrifying accident or event.

Stay tuned to learn more about this condition and its treatment.


Definition of post traumatic stress disorder

Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), once called battle fatigue, is characterized by repeatedly reliving intrusive flashback memories, primarily focused on the traumatic event that caused this condition.

This event could be due to a threat of killing or injury, natural disasters, war, or even sexual or physical assaults. 

Therefore, people with PTSD always suffer from continuous danger and stress, even in safe situations.


Causes for post traumatic stress disorder

Scientists still don’t know what causes PTSD or why some people get it while others don’t.

However, some genetic factors can affect some people. 

Personal attributes and neurophysiology can also influence the likelihood of developing this condition.

Moreover, anyone at any age can develop PTSD, and symptoms appear due to changes in the brain chemistry triggered by a traumatic event.

Men are more likely to suffer from PTSD caused by the trauma they experience during wars or accidents. 

Women, children, and the elderly, on the other hand, are not exempt.


What are post traumatic stress disorder symptoms?

PTSD symptoms can interfere with daily activity and decrease the ability to work.

Symptoms may appear obvious when exposed to sounds or situations that remind you of the actual trauma that caused this disorder.

They are classified into four major groups:


Reliving the experience, or the event

The person with PTSD feels discomfort physically and psychologically resulting from repeatedly reliving the traumatic events due to old or present memories, that reflect the trauma or even as nightmares during sleep.


Some people with PTSD try to avoid places and situations that may remind them of the trauma. 

Avoidance can result in feelings of isolation from others, emotional indifference, and a loss of interest in daily activities.

Irritability and Anger

People with PTSD can be irritated and angry in overrated reactions due to terrible events.

In addition to that, they are always on guard with tension or stress, having difficulty sleeping, and repeated anger outbursts.

Some other symptoms

There are some possible individual symptoms that people with PTSD may suffer, such as depression and panic attacks.


Post traumatic stress disorder in children

Post traumatic stress disorder in children

Children may develop PTSD as a result of a family history of mental illness, particularly depression and stress, or after a few weeks of being exposed to a painful incident that they are unable to cope with, such as:

  1. A fatal accident or loss of someone close.
  2. Violent events like beating or sexual harassment.
  3. Natural disasters such as earthquakes and volcanos.

Symptoms of Post traumatic stress disorder in children

Children below six years old show different symptoms than older ones.

Symptoms of Post traumatic stress disorder in children below six years old

symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder include:

  • Night time incontinence.
  • Becoming so attached to an older person that it turns into a disorder and fear of losing this person.
  • Re-acting the traumatic event that causes the illness through playing with other children.
  • Walking disability.

Symptoms of Post traumatic stress disorder in children above six years old

A variety of symptoms may appear in childer who passed six years old, such as:

  • Disrespect to older people.
  • Feeling guilty because of the traumatic incident and a desire for revenge.
  • Losing concentration and ability to think clearly.
  • Fear of sleep because of disturbing nightmares.


Post traumatic stress disorder associated with emotional distress

Sometimes PTSD can happen after an emotional trauma as a consequence of facing a strong emotional shock, such as:

  • losing someone close by death or breakup.
  • Occurrence of a terrible accident.
  • Life-altering events, such as losing a job or a key position.

As a result, the majority of its symptoms centered on the following:

  • Losing concentration and ability to think clearly.
  • Experiencing intensive fear; can turn into panic due to the disability to control it.
  • Insomnia and difficulty sleeping.
  • Exhibit changes in normal behaviors, such as the tendency to isolate despite social personality.
  • Control of negative feelings and thoughts, causing him to feel upset, sad, and desire to cry at times.


Post traumatic stress disorder diagnoses

There is no obvious test for the diagnosis of PTSD for children or even adults. 

That’s because people with PTSD do not prefer to discuss the painful incident or the trauma.

However, a psychiatric specialist can diagnose PTSD through the following:

  1. Clinical Examination: The doctor examines the patient physically to ensure the absence of other diseases.
  2. Psychological Evaluation: Through discussing the symptoms and feelings the patient has.
  3. Diagnosis Confirmation also requires the presence of one or more of the following symptoms that last for one month or more:
  • Experiencing repeated flask backs of the traumatic incident at least once.
  • The appearance of one of the avoidance symptoms.
  • The presence of one or two irritability and anger triggers.


Treating post traumatic stress disorder

The proper and effective treatment of PTSD patients focuses on two points:

First, Helping and guiding PTSD patients to treatment

If the patient is diagnosed with PTSD, the doctor should follow several types of treatment, such as:

Cognitive-behavioral therapy

This method of treatment assists the patient in accepting the traumatic incident and dealing with it by talking about it and freely expressing his feelings about the situation.

Group Therapy

Meet other people who have experienced PTSD assists the patient in developing self-awareness, becoming aware of his problems, and overcoming feelings of loneliness.


The doctor usually prescribes antidepressants and anxiolytics to help the patient sleep and overcome negative thoughts.


Second, help the PTSD patient understand his illness

Because the patient misunderstands the nature of his illness, he may turn to alcohol and drugs to cope with the symptoms.

This method may temporarily relieve symptoms, but it does not address the underlying cause of the disorder, and it has the potential to worsen the condition and complicate symptoms.

Therefore, if the patient begins abusing drugs to relieve his symptoms, he should consult a psychiatric specialist.

Here are some steps to deal with post-traumatic stress disorder:

  1. Learn about the illness and read about it a lot.
  2. Ask for help.
  3. Psychological Therapy.
  4. Maintain a calm lifestyle away from stress if possible.
  5. Eat healthy and balanced food.
  6. Practice sport.
  7. Accept assistance and get support.


In conclusion, try to be as calm and accepting of life as possible and avoid overstressing yourself. 

Also, take care of your loved ones and offer support and assistance if they are affected by this disorder.

Finally, don’t hesitate to go to a specialist when you feel psychological stress. We are all vulnerable to trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder.


Read Also;

Types and symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder

Translated by
Dr. Shahenda Gebrel
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