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Trauma-Related Disorders Symptoms & Signs

What Are the Warning Signs of a Trauma-Related Disorder?

Half of all people will experience a traumatic event in their lifetime. Traumatic events include being exposed to death, serious injury or sexual violence. A trauma may be a one-time event or experienced over a long period of time, like child abuse. Traumatic events are, by nature, emotionally overwhelming.
 
When an individual experiences a traumatic event, they may have trouble coping with life as usual for several weeks of months. This short-term distress is quite common. 
 
However, some individuals will develop long-lasting (chronic) symptoms of distress following a trauma: posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or another trauma-related disorder. Approximately 7 to 8 percent of people will experience PTSD after a traumatic event.

Signs and symptoms of PTSD

Posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms can seriously disrupt one’s work, home life and relationships.
 
The primary symptoms of PTSD include the following:

  • Reliving or re-experiencing the traumatic event

  • Avoiding situations that are reminiscent of the traumatic event

  • Feeling negative about one’s self

  • Feeling highly aroused or keyed up

Other symptoms associated with PTSD include:

  • Hypervigilance

  • Feeling anxious or unsettled 

  • Having nightmares or flashbacks

  • Feeling shame or guilt

  • Losing interest in hobbies or activities one used to enjoy

  • Feeling irritable or angry

  • Struggling in relationships

  • Having trouble sleeping

  • Feeling easily startled

Children and adolescents may show signs of PTSD as listed above or they may show different symptoms of PTSD. They may be more likely to: 

  • Display “oppositional” behavior

  • Abuse drugs or alcohol

  • Practice self-harm

  • Act out sexually

  • Overly focus on video games or online activities

  • Dissociate, feel numb or unreal

The symptoms of PTSD may begin a short time after the trauma occurs or take years to develop. Posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms may also come and go over time. 
 
People with severe mental illnesses like PTSD face an increased risk of having chronic medical issues. Those with severe mental illness die, on average, 25 years earlier than others — often due to health complications that are treatable. 

It’s never too late to get help for a trauma-related illness

A trauma-related disorder can affect anyone. It is not a weakness or something to be ashamed of. 
 
At Insight Behavioral Health Centers, we provide comprehensive medical, psychiatric, and psychotherapeutic treatment for trauma-related disorders and PTSD — helping patients achieve a full and lasting recovery. 
 
If you, or someone you care about, are struggling to recover following a trauma, please call us at (877) 291-9981. We offer free, confidential consultations with Master’s-level clinicians.

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