Skip to content

5 Signs You or Someone You Love May Be Experiencing PTSD

How to Spot the Signs and Symptoms of PTSD

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health disorder that arises after exposure to a traumatic or distressing event. This disorder is often associated with the military since members of the armed forces can experience symptoms as a result of exposure to combat. But, combat isn't the only traumatic experience that can cause PTSD. Natural disasters, abuse, acts of violence, car accidents, intense emotional experiences and tragic losses can all lead to PTSD.

Anyone who is suffering from PTSD should seek help from a mental health professional as soon as possible. But, unfortunately, many people may not realize that they or their loved ones are suffering from this disorder. Here are some of the signs and symptoms that indicate you or a loved one may be experiencing PTSD.

1. Binge eating

A study published in The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry revealed that many people who suffer from PTSD begin to binge eat to alleviate their symptoms. This lesser-known sign of distress was especially prevalent in women who were suffering from PTSD as a result of being abused as a child.

2. Avoiding certain situations

People who are experiencing PTSD will often make an effort to avoid any situation that may remind them of their trauma. Sometimes, this avoidance strategy can interfere with their ability to live a normal life.

For example, someone who is experiencing PTSD after being in a car accident may avoid traveling by car. This can impact the person's ability to work, run errands and so much more.

3. Hypervigilance

Do you habitually scan the room to look for potential threats? Does your loved one seem nervous or uncomfortable whenever you go somewhere together? These are signs of being hypervigilant , which is another lesser-known symptom of PTSD.

People who experience PTSD are always on high alert. It can be hard for them to remain calm or concentrate because they are constantly on the lookout for potential danger. Being hypervigilant can interfere with sleep and reduce the quality of your life, which may only make matters worse.

4. Chronic pain

Many people with PTSD have suffered some form of physical trauma that leads to chronic pain. But, even if there was no physical trauma, chronic pain can still be a sign of PTSD.

Chronic pain is a common symptom of PTSD. According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, between 15-35% of people with chronic pain also suffer from PTSD. There's no doubt that there is a connection between these two conditions, but scientists haven't figured out the link yet. Nonetheless, if you or a loved one complains of chronic pain, it could be a sign of PTSD.

5. Flashbacks

People who suffer from PTSD may experience flashbacks of their trauma. The flashbacks are often so intense that they feel as if they are reliving the traumatic experience all over again. A flashback may come out of nowhere or be triggered by a smell, sound or sight that reminds you of the traumatic experience.

Don't hesitate to reach out for help if you or a loved one is experiencing any of these signs and symptoms of PTSD. If you live in the Fort Collins, Windsor or Loveland area, keep our compassionate counselors in mind — they have experience helping countless PTSD sufferers find peace after trauma .

The caring therapists at Foundations Counseling can help you and your family overcome life's greatest challenges. Contact us today!