Post Traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms cause horrific and debilitating experiences for PTSD survivors.
However, not every person who has PTSD will experience the same symptoms, but many of these are pretty common. Symptoms’ variables include variations in how severe and frequent each one is experienced. The differences depend on where your loved one is at on their journey. Most likely if they are seeking psychiatric care, therapy, and practicing self-discipline their symptoms are better managed. If your loved one is not under the care of medical professionals, specifically those who specialize in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms, they are more susceptible to more severe and intense issues.
Some Post Traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms include the following.
- Major Depression
- Audio & Visual Hallucinations
- Intense Rage Outbursts
- Suicidal Ideation
- Attention Deficit
- Self Mutilation
Early Signs: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms
One thing mentioned from numerous medical providers is that Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms are caused by intense levels of anxiety. For the most part, PTSD is an anxiety disorder.
Awareness of the onset of anxiety indicates that your significant other is experiencing the beginning of a PTSD episode. That is, if they cannot get his or her anxiety under control quickly. After caring for someone that you love suffering from PTSD you’ll be able to detect an episode manifesting. In fact, the majority of the time, you’ll know how extreme their symptoms will be. Which is helpful in order to keep both of you safe and healthy.
Keep in mind, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms will always subside. Important to point out, my husband and I realized it’s better to quit fighting against Post Traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms. And, just let the episode run it’s course. Because, eventually it will pass. Especially, if he’d been resisting the episode for a long time. By all means, the longer you try to resist it, the worse the symptoms become.
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Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms
Early signs of an episode evolving include noticeable anxiety. In addition, one may begin talking or rambling excessively. 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. The rambling and redundant conversation, if you want to call it that, can last for 24 hours, even days. I notice this more when he in and out of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms and episodes for a few days.
What he usually talks about is someone who has malicious intentions to hurt our family. Or, if a specific person triggered his episode, the “conversation” will be about that person, and a million ways they are disrespectful or judgmental. As mentioned, his paranoia fueled conversations are redundant. In the same fashion, his explanations of the terrifying plans someone has to cause harm includes disturbing details. And, unfortunately I am his captive audience.
Hypervigilance Versus Paranoia
When the milder symptoms escalate he becomes hypervigilant. Hypervigilance is similar to paranoia. The difference is that instead of just crafting up a grand conspiracy theory, someone with PTSD will continuously scour the environment for signs of danger. Specifically, disconnecting from reality. After that, they may begin to hallucinate. This includes both PTSD audio and visual hallucinations. He usually sees and hears people that aren’t there.
Usually, emergency response professionals, such as police men, EMTs, Fire Fighters, and Government officials. All who are surrounding our home, or in our home. Whoever he sees is talking or signalling him in regard to removing him or our children from our home in a violent and terrifying manner.
He’ll peek out the windows for hours, see these people are in our closets, HVAC vents, or sitting on our couch. More severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms are derealisation or dissociation. Dissociation is when someone disconnects from the present moment and/or reality entirely.
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Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms: Dissociative
Most everyone has experienced dissociation before, but in a very different way. For instance, 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
Watching your partner, friend, or family member suffer through these symptoms is absolutely heart wrenching. However, don’t lose hope, because Post Traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms and episodes WILL go away again. Once the episode ends, your loved one with PTSD or Complex PTSD will be extremely exhausted, confused, and have very bad pain throughout their entire body. Most likely, they will not remember what went on during the episode. If they do, it’s bits and pieces that were put together incorrectly. This “hang over” from a PTSD episode is something that I coined as residual symptoms.
As soon as your spouse recovers from this set of symptoms, they are back to the person you know them as. Keep your head up and remember to practice patience and grace with them. Love and compassion are the greatest weapons against Post Traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms. Don’t stop here. There’s so much more here to learn. Here’s a couple that you will benefit from immediately.
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