Symptoms and Causes of PTSD


A person can develop PTSD after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic experience. PTSD, if not treated, can have lasting effects on a person’s life, including a loss of interest in daily activities, problems with relationships, anger, and other mood changes, and difficulties sleeping. Thankfully, it is treatable with medication or psychotherapy (also known as talk therapy). Some people find that a mixture of treatments works best.

Symptoms include difficulty remembering key parts of a trauma, intense fear or horror; thoughts that continue about the traumatising event; feelings like guilt or shame; a feeling of estrangement or detachment from friends and family; fewer interests in activities that once brought you joy; inability to feel positive emotions; being easily startled. It can affect children and adolescents. Their symptoms vary depending on the age of the child, the severity and impact of the trauma and how it affected their life.

Researchers aren’t sure what causes PTSD, but they believe genetics and the way the brain processes data are the underlying factors. Now, they are focusing on developing brain imaging and genetic tests that can help pinpoint when PTSD begins and ends. They also want to know what part of their brain is affected. They can then develop more effective and targeted treatment methods.

It is common to avoid PTSD-triggering events, but it can be difficult as people might stop going out or working because of fear. If a person has PTSD following a car crash on the highway, they may avoid driving because they don’t feel safe. Other triggers include visiting specific locations such as the scene where the crash occurred, being near vehicles, or even walking along the street.

Another common symptom is emotional numbness. This can cause problems in relationships, as it makes it difficult to express affection or love. People with PTSD may also have a loss of appetite and difficulty concentrating. People with PTSD often struggle to fall asleep, have nightmares or wake up in the middle of the night. They also don’t sleep enough.

There are several ways to treat PTSD, and it is best to get treatment as soon as you can. Psychological therapies such as cognitive processing therapy and prolonged exposure therapy can help treat PTSD. Sometimes medication is also prescribed. Medications like antidepressants and sedatives can be used to treat PTSD symptoms. Alternative and complementary therapies are also being used more and more with PTSD, such as acupuncture and yoga. Talking therapies, which focus on reprocessing traumatic events or changing negative self-talk or beliefs, are also highly effective. They can be used alone or with medication.

If you would like to speak with a Doctor who is an expert in the field or has Australian training, please contact us. Book an online Telehealth consultation. We are always here for you, 24/7. Contact info@clinicall.com.au.