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What is PTSD and what does it feel like?

Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a disorder that develops in people who have been victims of, or have witnessed a life threatening event. People with PTSD may constantly feel stressed, frightened, anxious, guilty and angry – even when they know they are no longer in danger. 

In teenagers and adults, PTSD can look like the following:

  • Intense feelings of distress when reminded of the tragic event
  • Extreme physical reactions to reminders of the trauma, such as nausea, sweating, or a pounding heart
  • Invasive and upsetting memories of the tragedy
  • Flashbacks (feeling like the trauma is happening again)
  • Nightmares of either frightening things, or of the tragic event
  • Loss of interest in life and daily activities 
  • Feeling emotionally numb and detached from other people 
  • Sense of not leading a normal life (not having a positive outlook on your future)
  • Avoiding certain activities, feelings, thoughts, or places that remind you of the tragedy
  • Difficulty remembering important aspects of the tragic event

Someone with PTSD might have some or all of these symptoms:

  • Reliving the traumatic event. They might have nightmares, flashbacks, or disturbing mental images about the trauma.
  • Avoiding reminders of the trauma. They may avoid people, places, or activities that remind them of the stressful event. They also may avoid talking about what happened, even to a therapist.
  • Emotional numbness. Many feel numb or detached. They may view the world more negatively or feel like they can’t trust anything.
  • Anxiety. People with PTSD may be easily startled, on edge, jumpy, irritable, or tense. This may be due to high levels of stress hormones in the body. Difficulty concentrating and trouble sleeping can be part of this hyper-alert, anxious state.

We would like to suggest you have peace in reading Lamentations 3:20-26

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