4 Commonly Overlooked Signs of PTSD
Most people link post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to flashbacks, nightmares, and dramatic outbursts. These are easily recognizable effects of past trauma. However, PTSD can manifest in a host of other ways that are often overlooked. These lesser-known symptoms impact a person’s everyday life and range from overall mood to sleep quality to disinterest in what is important to them.
On their own, these symptoms might not warrant concern about PTSD. When they are combined with more serious symptoms, clinical intervention becomes necessary. These symptoms include but are not limited to sleep disruptions, trouble focusing, paranoia, mood swings and feeling numb and isolated.
1. Sleep Issues
Disruptions in sleep patterns are often related to underlying complications of PTSD. Sadly, sleep is one of the first things to be affected by the disorder. The effects of PTSD make it difficult for the nervous system to regulate; to calm down at night because of intrusive thoughts and vivid memories. These thought disruptions can cause anxiety and paranoia, ultimately leading to restlessness and insomnia. It is proven that sleep is critical for good health and mental well-being, so having poor sleep-quality can exacerbate other symptoms of PTSD. Common effects of sleep-deprivation include:
- Memory problems
- Increased risk of accident or injury
- High blood pressure
- Weight gain
- Increased risk of heart disease
- Weakened immune system
- Decreased sex drive
2. Trouble Focusing
Many people suffering from PTSD feel like danger is waiting for them around every corner. This creates a feeling of paranoia. When they are worrying about possible danger, it is easy to lose focus on what is happening around them. When their mind is in a panicked state, it becomes extremely difficult to do things like sit through a movie, read a book, complete work assignments, and do simple things like wash the dishes or laundry.
3. Mood Swings
While mood changes are a normal part of everyday life, dramatic shifts in attitudes and feelings are a telltale sign of PTSD. A person suffering from the disorder might feel completely fine one minute, and awful the next. Feeling numb to emotion is another component of PTSD. Others might feel inclined to become overly suspicious. Becoming excessively agitated and annoyed with small inconveniences like lines or traffic are also common occurrences.
Post-traumatic stress disorder can overwhelm and overshadow important parts of life for the sufferer. These include activities, hobbies and relationships. Friends and family are important for health and happiness. They provide support and comfort in trying times. However, PTSD can make maintaining relationships seem unimportant or too difficult. Someone with PTSD can lose interest in things that were once exciting or pleasurable to them. Feeling disconnected from relationships and activities that were once enjoyable can add to feelings of isolation and loneliness and may serve to exacerbate symptoms of PTSD.
If you or someone you know suffers from PTSD, please reach out to us. Recovery Ways wants to help, please call today at 1-888-986-7848