5 Signs and Symptoms of Trauma in Your Loved Ones

trauma
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Post-traumatic stress disorder can occur in people who have experienced or witnessed disturbing incidents. It can include experiencing natural disasters, losing a loved one, severe accidents, and facing sexual/ domestic abuse. People struggling with PTSD often exhibit various distinct signs and symptoms related to a traumatic event. It can restrain a person from functioning at full capacity, leading to drastic unwanted changes in behavior. Early identification of such symptoms can help you save your loved ones from facing regretful circumstances or life-threatening situations.

Here are the top five signs of a trauma you can identify in your loved ones:

Avoidance

Individuals struggling with PTSD often tend to avoid things related to the source of their trauma, including people, places, objects, or memories. Exposure to such things and situations can cause flashbacks or severe trauma-induced responses. Therefore, to avoid recurring relapses, such individuals often find refuge in detachment. The detachment can stay confined to just avoiding the things related to trauma or can extend to disconnecting themselves from the outer world, in general. It can lead them to feel alone and prone to risky behaviors.

Intrusive memories

One of the alarming signs of PTSD is the occurrence of uncomfortable memories. Such memories act as triggers for individuals, reminding them about the events that initiated the traumatizing situation in the first place. Following are some of the symptoms of such intrusive memories:

  • Recurring memories about the traumatic events
  • Recalling discomforting details that lead to distress
  • Drastic reactions to the memories of traumatic events
  • Flashbacks 

The surge of traumatic memories can cause a high level of distress, anxiety, and guilt- all of which can lead to severe panic attacks. 

Negative thoughts and mood

PTSD can generate a multitude of terrible effects on an individual’s thoughts and moods. The typical symptoms include feelings of detachment, hopelessness, self-guilt, blame, and self-harm. Some patients can even experience memory loss related to traumatic events, or the condition can temporarily stunt emotions. For instance, people may lack interest in activities, have difficulties feeling joy, and experience emotional numbness. In contrast, some patients may show symptoms that do not link with the traumatized event but exhibit massive changes in moods and thoughts.

Shifts in reaction

The symptoms of the shift in reactions are known as arousal symptoms by psychologists and therapists. Such arousal symptoms cause people to change their behavior and responses to certain situations. Following are some of the commonly observed shifts:

  • Becoming easily frightened or startled
  • Struggle sleeping or focusing
  • Irritation and emotional outbursts
  • Self-harm 
  • Mood swings

Such varied changes in behavior can cause numerous problems in individuals’ daily living, often leading to a relationship or work issues. 

Other

Apart from mood and memory problems, people who have PTSD may exhibit some of the following signs:

  • Nightmares and dreams associated with the traumatic event
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Feelings of shame and guilt
  • Aggression caused by unwanted or disturbing circumstances

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