Signs and Symptoms of PTSD

Dr. Antonio Bullon serves the MetroWest Medical Center in Natick, Massachusetts, as medical director of the geriatric and neuropsychiatry treatment units. Over the course of his career, Dr. Antonio Bullon has written and lectured on an array of psychiatric topics, including post traumatic stress disorder.

Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is often associated with veterans returning from war. However, any traumatic life experience can trigger the disorder, including events ranging from a severe car accident to an episode of intense emotional stress. Regardless of the cause, individuals suffering from PTSD demonstrate a number of shared symptoms and behaviors.

Certain personality changes may seem innocuous at first, such as lack of appetite or difficulty sleeping. These changes can quickly intensify to insomnia and nightmares. Individuals struggling with PTSD can also become angry more often, even due to minor incidences. This anger can eventually escalate to rage and physical violence. At other times a person may become completely apathetic in their attempts to relate to family members and friends.

Untreated PTSD can lead to consequences as serious as drug addiction and alcohol dependency as a person seeks to escape the overwhelming and uncontrollable mood swings. Recognizing and responding to these signs as early as possible is the best way to avoid some of the disorder’s most dangerous effects, including suicide.

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