Okay --- I read the article for which you sent me the link. Can we go over the symptoms ad factors?
Symptoms os PTSD:
- Re-experiencing the traumatic event
- Avoiding reminders of the trauma
- Increased anxiety and emotional arousal
Symptoms of PTSD: Re-experiencing the traumatic event
- Intrusive, upsetting memories of the event
- Flashbacks (acting or feeling like the event is happening again)
- Nightmares (either of the event or of other frightening things)
- Feelings of intense distress when reminded of the trauma
- Intense physical reactions to reminders of the event (e.g. pounding heart, rapid breathing, nausea, muscle tension, sweating)
---- so as far as "re-experiencing" symptoms:
1. I do have instrusive memories, but I never did until I started thereapy with Linda.
2. I don't really have flashbacks, except in nightmares.
3. I have nightmares.
4. I don't know that I have or have had feelings of intense distress when reminded of the trauma. ???
5. I don't know that I have intense physical reactions to reminders of the event (e.g. pounding heart, rapid breathing, nausea, muscle tension, sweating), except during or after nightmares. Except now, when I think of the mean one, and sometimes in Linda's office, when she has me really remember details, and I get deep into it, I will shake and get really feverishly hot, and i do get nauseous and my heart pounds and I get tense all over, and sometimes I hurt where they hurt me, but these things do not happen at a mere reminder of the event.
Symptoms of PTSD: Avoidance and numbing
- Avoiding activities, places, thoughts, or feelings that remind you of the trauma
- Inability to remember important aspects of the trauma
- Loss of interest in activities and life in general
- Feeling detached from others and emotionally numb
- Sense of a limited future (you don't expect to live a normal life span, get married, have a career)
--------------------As far as avoidance and numbing:
1. I guess I avoid feelings of the event and thinking about it, and I guess I avoid closeness with guys and somewhat closeness with other people.
2. I don't think there are any important aspects of the event I can't remember.
3. I don't think I have lost interest in activities or life in general.
4. I guess I do feel detatched from others, and I used to feel emotionally numb (I miss that now :) ).
5. I don't have a senses of a limited life span. I don't think I'll ever get married, but I went right on to prepare for my career, etc.
Symptoms of PTSD: Increased anxiety and emotional arousal
- Difficulty falling or staying asleep
- Irritability or outbursts of anger
- Difficulty concentrating
- Hypervigilance (on constant "red alert")
- Feeling jumpy and easily startled
As far as increased anxiety and emotional arounsal:
1. I do have difficulty both falling and staying asleep.
2. I am irritable, and sometimes (but not often) have outbursts of anger.
3. I have a lot of trouble concentrating.
4. I don't think I am hyper-vigilant. Proabably I have been the opposite in the last 19 years.
5. I am super easily startled, but not as easily scared -- I watch murder and abduction and r*** investigation documentary shows every night and it doesn't bother me.
Other common symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Anger and irritability
- Guilt, shame, or self-blame
- Substance abuse
- Feelings of mistrust and betrayal
- Depression and hopelessness
- Suicidal thoughts and feelings
- Feeling alienated and alone
- Physical aches and pains
As far as the other listed symptoms:
1. As discussed, I am irritable and have a little bit of anger.
2. Obviously, the guilt, shame and self-blame has been an issue.
3. I don't have substance abuse issues.
4. I suppose I do have some trust/betrayal issues.
5. I don't think I suffer from depression and hopelessness.
6. I do not have suicidal thoughts or feelings.
7. I do, I guess, feel alienated and alone, and have since the event.
8. As for physical aches and pains, I'm not sure. I'm generally healthy except for some basketball injuries and the complicated and regular migrains. I have back/neck issues, but I imagine that is a residue of the numerous car wrecks in which I have been involved, and years of playing basketball.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) causes and risk factors
While it's impossible to predict who will develop PTSD in response to trauma, there are certain risk factors that increase your vulnerability.
Many risk factors revolve around the nature of the traumatic event itself. Traumatic events are more likely to cause PTSD when they involve a severe threat to your life or personal safety: the more extreme and prolonged the threat, the greater the risk of developing PTSD in response. Intentional, human-inflicted harm-such as rape, assault, and torture- also tends to be more traumatic than "acts of God" or more impersonal accidents and disasters. The extent to which the traumatic event was unexpected, uncontrollable, and inescapable also plays a role.
As for my risks for developing PTSD:
1. I think it did probably involve a severe threat to my personal safety, at least.
2. I don't think, comparatively speaking, that the event or threat was necessarily extreme.
3. The event was not particularly prolonged -- only 2-3 hours, I would guess (although I really have no idea how long it was - it could have been shorter).
4. It was intentional and human-caused, and not an "Act of God," per se.
5. It was deifinitely unexpected, and probably uncontrollable, to an extent,
and I don't know whether or not it was inescapable.
Other risk factors for PTSD include:
- Previous traumatic experiences, especially in early life
- Family history of PTSD or depression
- History of physical or sexual abuse
- History of substance abuse
- History of depression, anxiety, or another mental illness
- High level of stress in everyday life
- Lack of support after the trauma
- Lack of coping skills
As to the other risk factors;
1. I didn't have any previous traumatic experiences, and none at an early age.
2. I have no family history of either PTSD or depression.
3. I didn't have a history of physical or sexual abuse.
4. As far as a history of substance abuse, I did abuse alcohol. I smoked pot for a short time in HS, but that's it.
5. I didn't have any history of anxiety, depression or other mental disorder.
6. As that time, I didn't have a high level of stress in normal, everyday life.
7. I guess I lacked support, some due to my own fault, some due to my knowledge about the way my parents are, some due to the fact I was in college, living with a bunch of other 18-22 year olds.
8. From what you have said when we've been talking about my family, I gather had a lack of coping skills?
So I didn't have most of the risk factors. Why did I develop PTSD, and apparently, recently, with a vengeance???
I do seem to have a lot of the symptoms, but I was trying to gleen from that what other issues I need to work on next. If I understood you correctly, it is the issues on which need to be worked, and not the sumptoms???
Since I laid this all out, any thoughts? Observations??