June 27th is PTSD Awareness Day - Signs and Triggers of PTSD

Today, June 27th is National PTSD Awareness Day. This day is dedicated to promoting available treatment for PTSD and spreading awareness about this mental health condition. In our last blog, Some Things to Learn About Trauma During PTSD Awareness Month, we talked about specific traumatic events that can lead to the development of PTSD. But, there is more to spreading awareness about PTSD than just providing information about traumatic events that may lead to PTSD. Another way to potentially help people living with this condition is to provide information to help identify potential symptoms and triggers of PTSD.

Signs and Symptoms of PTSD

We know that traumatic events can lead to the development of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in some people. Not all people that experience a traumatic event will develop PTSD. But, those who do may be able to recognize this disorder in their own lives by identifying some of the symptoms of PTSD they may be portraying. Some of the most common signs and symptoms of PTSD include:

  • Having flashbacks of the traumatic event or events
  • Experiencing vivid nightmares that resemble the traumatic event or events
  • Memory loss in relation to a traumatic event or events
  • Having trouble concentrating
  • Sleep issues – either sleeping too much or too little
  • Sudden shifts in mood – especially anger
  • Being easily startled by noises or other sudden events
  • Feeling apathetic about life and relationships with others
  • Destructive behaviors like drug abuse to attempt to numb symptoms
  • Being constantly hyperalert and on-edge

Triggers of PTSD Symptoms

There are certain things that can trigger an onset of PTSD symptoms. These are called triggers and can vary from person to person as no two people will have the same experiences with trauma. Some people with PTSD may experience PTSD triggers and consequential symptoms every day and other people may not experience PTSD triggers and consequential symptoms for many months at a time. In either case, triggers can lead to experiencing symptoms, so they are important to identify. This way, people living with PTSD can understand what triggers symptoms and attempt to steer clear of these triggers to better manage symptoms.

Some common PTSD triggers can include:

  • Watching the news and hearing about/seeing incidents that remind a person of their trauma
  • Senses (sounds, smells, tastes, feelings) that can remind a person of a traumatic event
  • Not having a support system to lean upon
  • Additional stressors (changing or losing jobs, financial stress, legal issues, losing a loved one, etc.)
  • Sustaining an injury or being diagnosed with a life-altering illness
  • Experiencing concurring mental health issues
  • Negative and unwanted feelings

Available Treatments for PTSD Triggers and Symptoms

People that have PTSD may have PTSD for the remainder of their lives. But, treatment can help people diagnosed with this mental health issue learn to cope with the symptoms of PTSD and manage their lives in more healthy ways. This includes learning coping mechanisms that can help to reduce the severity and frequency of symptoms. And, learning how to identify and deal with PTSD triggers. Some of the available treatments for PTSD currently include:

Medications: Some people respond well to psychiatric medications that are proven to lessen the severity and frequency of specific PTSD symptoms

Therapy: Specific therapies, including behavioral therapies, can help people with PTSD learn why this condition developed. And, give them tools in order to manage and overcome debilitating PTSD symptoms

Holistic Approaches: Holistic therapies like mindfulness meditation, yoga, personal training, and more can help individuals living with the symptoms of PTSD understand how to balance their lives and better cope with unwanted symptoms

Getting Help for PTSD at Delray Center for Healing

Outpatient PTSD programs can help people living with PTSD to live better lives of mental well-being and overcome the battle they face with PTSD triggers and symptoms on a daily basis. Delray Center for Healing offers a PTSD and trauma-resolution program to provide outpatient support and mental health treatment for people living with PTSD. Find out more about this program and how we can help from our website.