Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms and PTSD symptoms compound various challenges.
Not every person who suffers from PTSD will experience the same symptoms, but many of these are very common. Symptoms’ variables include variations in how severe and frequent each one is experienced. These differences are dependent on where your loved one is in their journey. Most likely if they are seeking psychiatric care, therapy, self-discipline, and potentially medications then their symptoms are milder. If your loved one is not under the care of medical professionals, specifically those who specialize in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, then they are more susceptible to higher severity levels.
- Major Depression
- Audio & Visual Hallucinations
- Over Stimulation
- Intense Rage Outbursts
- Suicidal Ideation
- Attention Deficit
- Self Mutilation
Early Onset of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms:
One thing that I have learned from my own medical providers and my husbands’ is that Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms are derivative of extreme levels of anxiety.
Awareness of my husband’s onset of anxiety indicates to me that he is experiencing the beginning of what will become a PTSD episode if he cannot get his anxiety under control. After caring for someone that you love who suffers from PTSD you too will be able to detect when an episode is manifesting. Majority of the time you will also be able to determine how extreme their symptoms will be and what to do to keep them, and yourself safe and healthy.
Keep in mind, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms do subside. There are times when my husband and I realized it is better to quit suppressing the early onset of symptoms.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms
Especially, if he has been resisting an episode from developing for a long period of time. We found it better to give in to the episode and let it pass…
Early signs of an episode evolving consists of anxiety. Additionally, one may experience excessive talking or rambling. To clarify, defined above is over stimulation compounded with mild paranoia. I can always tell by looking at my husband’s face whether or not his anxiety is increasing. His skin starts to turn red and blotchy, his breathing speeds up with shorter breaths, and he begins to get antsy.
After that, he begins talking about someone who is disrespecting him or who has ill intentions to cause our family serious harm. His paranoia fueled conversations are redundant. In the same fashion, his explanations of the made-up plan someone has to cause harm includes very scary details and unfortunately I become his captive audience.
Hypervigilance Versus Paranoia
When the milder symptoms evolve he will become hypervigilant. Hypervigilance is similar to paranoia. In addition to the paranoid behavior he will experience visual and audio hallucinations of people, usually first responders such as police men, EMTs, Fire Fighters, and Government officials who are surrounding our home and communicating with him regarding removing him or our children from our home in a violent manner.
My husband will peek out the windows for hours, see these people are in our closets, HVAC vents, or sitting on our couch. Hypervigilance is also similar to the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder symptom of dissociation. Dissociation is a version of disconnecting with the present moment and/or reality.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms: Dissociative
Most individuals have experienced dissociation but in a very different way. Have you ever found yourself five miles passed the turn you were supposed to take while driving? Perhaps you were super focused on something that you were thinking about. Only when you realize that you missed your turn, you have no recollection of how or when you missed your turn or anything that you may have seen during that five miles of road. A PTSD sufferer experiences the same phenomenon but much more intensely.
A few months ago I came home to find my husband standing in the kitchen staring at an HVAC vent in the wall. When I tried to talk to him he was unresponsive. He ended up standing there for three hours staring at the same place! I called his therapist because I was at a loss, and she coached me on how to conduct a guided grounding exercise. These are intended to bring someone dissociating back into the present moment.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms Recovery
Although watching your loved one suffer through these symptoms is heart wrenching the symptoms eventually subside. Once the episode ends your CPTSD or PTSD sufferer will be extremely exhausted, confused, have no memory of the episode, and have physical pain throughout their body. Due to what I have coined as residual symptoms. Once they recover from the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms they are back to the person you know and love.
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