You’re Always Jumpy and Irritable. Might you be Suffering from PTSD?
PTSD (Post-traumatic Stress Disorder) may occur as a reaction to some kind of traumatic event or circumstance that has occurred in an individual’s life, whether by direct experience or as a witness to the traumatic event. Anxiousness, fear and dread can be triggered by a similar event taking place in their present existence. These events might be a natural disaster, a serious accident, a terrorist act, war/combat, rape or other violent personal assault.
PTSD may occur immediately after the event or it may be years before symptoms surface. Individuals with PTSD may “relive the event through flashbacks or nightmares; they may feel sadness, fear or anger; and they may feel detached or estranged from other people.” These reactions make it challenging to carry on the business of every day life.
Symptoms may include:
- Flashbacks which are intrusive memories of the situation which may cause the individual to relive the initial trauma as if it is happening in that moment. They will experience the same emotions as they did in the original event. They can seem very real, and might occur when something reminds the of he original event, or they may occur seemingly out of nowhere.
- Avoidance is another common reaction in PTSD. When this is occurring, the individual does their best to avoid any circumstance, activity or even people who remind them of the original trauma. This symptom may interfere with an individual’s livelihood or social life if the trigger is at work or a friend or family member.
- Insomnia or inability to go to sleep or stay asleep can also be a response to PTSD, particularly if the individual is fearful of going to sleep, wanting to avoid any memories of the event, or, they may have nightmares.
- Lack of motivation. If the individual loses interest in day to day activities or hobbies they used to find satisfying, and would prefer to stay in bed or watch TV all day. This can be an indicator of PTSD or depression.
- Memory loss can be associated with PTSD. Often, an individual will mentally block out the traumatic event temporarily or permanently. This can make diagnosis very difficult as the individual knows they are struggling, but cannot remember the event that created the struggle.
- Feeling jumpy or being hypervigilant This will keep a person constantly on their guard waiting for the next bad thing to happen.This can create an enormous amount of stress and worry.
- Anger and irritability. Aside from being hypervigilant and jumpy, sufferers can find themselves often angry and irritable. This can be a result of always being on edge, waiting for the other shoe to drop. This can have a big influence of personal relationships and work problems.
If you have any of the above symptoms, it is important to get support. There are treatments that can help break the hold that PTSD has over one’s life.