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How can I tell if I have PTSD?


How can I tell if I have PTSD?

Light On Anxiety Answer:

First off, if you’re distressed by symptoms, whether medical or psychological, visit a trained specialist if you can. That way you can get a real diagnosis—and treatment.

Until then, here’s some background on post-traumatic stress disorder to get you thinking: We most often hear about PTSD in combat veterans, but it also can happen to victims of sexual assault, abuse, gang violence, and more. The psychology field’s diagnostic manual (called the DSM-5) explains that PTSD can affect someone after they’re exposed to death (actual or threatened), serious injury, or sexual assault—by either experiencing the event directly, witnessing the event as it occurs, learning of the event that occurred to a friend or family member, or experiencing repeated or extreme exposure to aversive details of a traumatic event (like first responders or police officers might endure). Common symptoms include nightmares, involuntary and intrusive memories of the event, and flashbacks in which you feel as if the event is recurring. Avoidance is also common with those who have PTSD—avoidance of external reminders of the event, such as the place the event occurred, activities associated with the event, and situations that arouse distressing memories that are associated with the event.

There are other symptoms of PTSD, so if the above doesn’t apply to you that doesn’t necessarily rule it out. The treatment plan for someone with PTSD includes a variety of types of therapies that a therapist would administer, like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, EMDR, and Cognitive Processing Therapy. You can find a trained therapist by going to ADAA and clicking on Find A Therapist.

Meanwhile, make sure you have a good support system around you. Reach out to family and friends, and consider a support group in your area. Please remember that you are loved and that if things are ever feeling so dire that you don’t see a way out, you can call the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

If you have a similar questions or concern, please schedule a call with Light On Anxiety to explore effective treatment for your anxiety or related conditions.

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