Recently, as a resident of Mchenry County, Il, you have viewed numerous traumatic events occurring all across the country. From incidents of mass violence to devastating natural disasters, hundreds of thousands of Americans have experienced or witnessed a disastrous or life-threatening event. In addition to these tragedies, anyone who has experienced a shocking or dangerous incident (such as a car accident or a robbery) is at risk of developing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
PTSD is a serious emotional disorder that requires psychological treatment. PTSD can have devastating effects on every aspect of one’s life, from marriage and family, to friendships and career. If you’re concerned that a loved one may be suffering from PTSD, here are some signs to look out for:
Reliving the Trauma
Someone with PTSD will repeatedly and involuntarily re-experience the event. He may experience nightmares or flashbacks. He may also be vulnerable to certain triggers that remind him of what happened, such as similar sounds or smells.
He may be prone to anger, agitation, or sadness. Feeling irritable, the sufferer may be prone to outbursts of anger that he can’t control. If you’ve noticed your loved one frequently losing control and lashing out in anger, this is a sign that he is suffering emotionally and requires treatment.
People suffering from PTSD often avoid people and situations that are reminders of the triggering situation. As the victim continues to isolate, how you and family react to his withdrawal can likely further isolate him, causing additional emotional distress.
It’s common for those with PTSD to self-medicate. Seeking an escape from high levels of stress and unpleasant emotions, he may turn to drugs or alcohol. The trademark of substance abuse is the growing need for increasing amounts of the drug to produce the same high. If left untreated, as substance abuse grows, it will turn to addiction and eventually dependence. This can have devastating effects on every facet of a person’s life.
If you’re concerned that a loved one is experiencing symptoms of trauma, the most important think you can do is encourage him to seek professional diagnosis and treatment. You can even help by volunteering to take him to his appointment. Assure him of your love and support throughout the process.
For additional guidance and recommendations from a licensed doctoral level professional in the Cary-Crystal Lake, Il area, call my office today. Visits are covered by most insurance plans.