What helps during a flashback?
Look around you. ...
Breathe in a comforting scent, or focus on the smells around you. ...
Listen to the noises around you, or turn on music. ...
Eat or drink something you enjoy. ...
Hold something cold, like a piece of ice, or hot, like a mug of tea.
Changes in physical and emotional reactions
Being easily startled or frightened.
Always being on guard for danger.
Self-destructive behavior, such as drinking too much or driving too fast.
Irritability, angry outbursts or aggressive behavior.
Overwhelming guilt or shame.
Untreated PTSD can cause permanent damage to the brain due to the person living in a hyper-aroused state. Patients with PTSD may have a co-occurring mental health issue such as one of the following: Depression. Anxiety disorder.
Signs and Symptoms of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
People diagnosed with PTSD will experience a wide array of negative effects. The symptoms of PTSD cause physical, mental and emotional pain that can range from uncomfortable to downright life-threatening. Symptoms can include the following:
Flashbacks that involve acting or feeling like the event is reoccurring
Insomnia or difficulty falling or staying asleep
Physical reactions to reminders of the event including a racing heart, rapid breathing, nausea, sweating, muscle tension or headache
Loss of interest in activities and, perhaps, even life itself
Isolation from others
Avoiding activities, people, places, thoughts or feelings associated with the trauma
Feeling paranoid or hyper-vigilant
Feeling irritable or showing outbursts of anger
Feeling depressed, hopeless, alone or guilty
Having suicidal thoughts or feelings
If left untreated, the effects of PTSD can lead to the following:
Other psychiatric disorders
Self-destructive acts or suicide attempts
The effects of PTSD can cause someone to put him/herself in danger or even endanger others including his/her family members. Untreated PTSD can cause permanent damage to the brain due to the person living in a hyper-aroused state.
Patients with PTSD may have a co-occurring mental health issue such as one of the following:
Misdiagnosed or untreated PTSD is commonly associated with substance abuse. Drugs or alcohol can act as a coping mechanism, provide a temporary escape or chance to get away or relieve physical and psychological pain. The misuse of alcohol or drugs can lead to a number of other complications in a life already complicated by PTSD. Alcohol and drug use only serve as a temporary solution. Once the substance wears off, a person will be in the same position or a worse one than before
How Untreated PTSD Affects Family Members and Others
Those who do not find treatment for PTSD allow their condition to get worse. The effects will increase until the victim no longer has control or can manage. When a person loses control to PTSD, every aspect of his or her life is affected.
Individuals struggling with untreated PTSD are unable to control their thoughts, actions, and behavior.
A thoroughly heartbreaking reality for family members and friends to witness, innocent bystanders can also be put in harm’s way due to the dangerous effects of the disorder. PTSD can lead to acts of violence, aggression, and arguments, and these problems only escalate when drugs or alcohol are involved.
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