What are the symptoms?
I did 2 episodes on this topic already (Episode 2 “PTSD and its symptoms” and Episode 26 “Could I have (C)PTSD?”), which are among my most listened episode. So there seems to be a vested interest in this topic.
I copied part of the Episode 26, because I felt like it is the more recent one and better understandable.
If you have additionally questions or the like, please feel free to contact me.
Let us begin softly
So where to start? I would say with: Do you have nightmares? You know the ones that really unsettle you? But eh, its just a dream? And you move on? If that sounds familiar, make your first check mark.
Are you feeling… kind of under pressure? Like you can’t really deeply relax, or at least extremely rarely? Its like you are always on the edge? And you can’t really pinpoint why? Another check mark.
Are you having issues with your emotions? You feel like you are on a roller coaster and not in control? Sometimes maybe even snapping at people and don’t really know why afterwards? That’s another one.
Do you feel a general form of frustration? Like you are just frustrated, but it is kind of everything? Like you don’t know? Especially if it was different before? You just want a break from your life? A check mark.
Has your brain been just kind of full? Like it is just so much… it is hard to keep track of it all? Things just slip you sometimes? Like there isn’t enough space? And might find it difficult to remember things? One more.
Have you trouble concentrating? Like it has become hard? It is hard to fully concentrate? You easily slip out? Difficult books and the like are no longer a side thing you can enjoy? Another check mark.
Are you feeling tired and exhausted? Like you really just want to take a break? But no matter how much you sleep, you feel tired? A kind of heaviness in your muscles? Like a weight you are carrying? Last check mark.
All those things are check marks, that your brain is dealing with something, that it has trouble handling. You will see similar symptoms after a close ones death, etc. Getting help, in whatever form, is strongly advised!
Now we get the more serious warning signs.
Do you feel chest pain? Something dull? Like you bumped into something? Otherwise just a bit tense? Might fade in and out? That is a warning sign.
Do you start seeing things? Like for a moment you though you saw something, but then it was gone? Usually in the corner of your eye? Or similar out of focus? A clear warning sign.
Do you feel hunted? I don’t mean necessarily literal, but a feeling on something is there? That you have to be on your guard? You don’t feel save and secure? That is a warning sign.
Do you suffer from Insomnia? I mean do you have trouble with sleeping? Despite being tired unable to sleep? Sleeping badly? Feeling tired most of the time? Yes, another warning sign.
Is the love you once felt for something just kinda gone? I mean passions, food, movies, music, relationships and so on? Like it’s just somehow only a gray mass now? All feels kind of empty? A strong warning sign.
Does your body show strange symptoms? Like your heart is racing, but for no reason? Or you are suddenly sweating? Or your body just seems to kind of… malfunction? That is another strong warning sign.
These are serious signs there is something really wrong with you at the moment. Try to get help soon. Or at least change things. Stabilize yourself to keep the symptoms from escalating.
We are now in red flag territory. Big red flags. You are in danger. Change things as soon as possible. Stabilize as much as you can.
Do you have hallucinations? Do you see things that aren’t there? This time relatively in your focus? Things, people or even whole scenes? That happened or not? Yeah, this is one big red flag.
Do you have triggers? Things, sentences, people, smells, sounds, tastes, anything really, that causes you to react? Or to respond in a specific way? You try to avoid them because of that? Another big red one.
Do you have strong chest pain? Like if someone is pulling your chest open? But it just hurts and stays there? But still not a sharp pain? Which fluctuates? Maybe feels like permanent heartbreak? Yes, this is also one.
Do you suffer from strong insomnia? Complete chaos in your sleeping pattern? Never really know when you will sleep? And the quality of sleep is rather bad? Definitely a big red flag.
Are you in a state of constant fear? Your heart going faster? Your breath? Your are afraid but… you don’t know why? There is no reason? Still you feel fear? And not safe? Another big red flag.
Do you have anxiety or panic attacks? Like for no real reason? You might even feel silly for having them? But no watter what you do, they keep reappearing? As before.
We left the big red flag territory, but now instead the soviet army is marching past you. Get help as soon as possible. You are in dire need of help. Or at least you need to change something as soon as possible.
Do you have sometimes no idea where and when you are? Even just for a brief moment? Just a complete loss of feeling of orientation? Yes, this is one of them.
Are you able to barely get any sleep? And I mean that literally. Do you sleep for only an extremely short time? Barely at all? Well, I think you most likely already know that this is really bad.
Do you have nightmares while you are awake? I mean does your nightmares sometimes kind of bleed into real life? Or you sort of daydream nightmares? Once again, most likely you already know this is bad.
Please take those hints VERY seriously. It is not really hard to figure out if you have PTSD on the long run, as this disease is not subtle. Take care of yourself, this is going to be a long journey.