Recognizing the Symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a type of anxiety disorder. It can affect people of all ages and is caused by a traumatic event like war, car accidents and abuse. Symptoms of post-traumatic stress can occur days after an incident and even years after the stress-triggering event. Here are the
symptoms that a person suffering from post-traumatic stress may display.

Avoidance and Numbing

Avoidance is a symptom that helps people who suffer from PTSD avoid things that may recall the event. People with this disorder may try to avoid certain places that remind them of the traumatic event. Individuals might refuse to watch television programming or movies that involve comparable situations. They may not want to go near the site that caused the accident. There can even be an avoidance of smells or sounds that may prompt memories of the incident. People may also shun any activities or feelings that serve as a reminder. Some patients may be unable to remember important aspects of the incident or have an unwillingness to talk about it.

Numbing is another avoidance method. People with PTSD may not be able to handle their emotions when it involves dealing with other people. From an emotional standpoint, these people may be numb. They may stop showing an interest in life and become increasingly detached from others. The numbing may incite feelings of hopelessness and a lowered expectation of living a normal life.

Re-Experiencing the Event

Re-experiencing means the individual is reliving the event. Reliving the event is a major symptom of post-traumatic stress disorder. This symptom can involve disturbing memories that can arise at any time. Some episodes can be triggered by anything that may serve as a reminder of the incident like a sound or image. Re-experiencing can causes a person to have a physiological or psychological response. Severe forms of reliving are called flashbacks. A flashback can make an individual feel as if the incident is happening again. Re-Experiencing can evoke the same feelings of fear and shock that was felt during the event.

Hyper Arousal

A constant state of alertness is another symptom a person with post-traumatic stress might possibly experience. Having an increased state of emotional arousal can cause several thins to occur. People may find it hard to sleep and concentrate. From a personality standpoint, a person with post-traumatic stress disorder may seem irritable and have outbursts of anger. They tend to get easily startled and are constantly worried about impending danger.

Other Symptoms

Hyper arousal, re-experiencing and avoidance and numbness are the main symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. However, there are several other indications of this disorder. Many people who suffer from PTSD suffer from depression and substance abuse. Alcoholism and depression are common symptoms faced by men. Women tend to experience high rates of depression. Social anxiety is another symptom experienced by many women with PTSD.

Symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress in Children

As stated previously, PTSD can affect people of all ages. Children tend to experience different symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder than adults. They may complain of physical aches and pains even though there is no real cause. They will also display separation anxiety when they are separated from a parent. It is also common for children with PTSD to develop new fears and anxiety.

Adolescents that have experienced a traumatic event may play re-enact aspects of the incident in their art, stories and in how they play. Parents may notice a regression in their acquired skills. Like adults, children can show changes in personality and become irritable and aggressive.

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a condition that can affect anyone that experiences a traumatic event in their lives. There are three main symptoms to recognize in someone that is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder: hyper arousal, avoidance and numbing and re-experiencing. Children can suffer from a distinct set of symptoms. It is important for these symptoms to be recognized early. The sooner they are recognized, the sooner treatment for this condition can begin.

All About Hives

All About Hives

Hives are an extremely uncomfortable and itchy skin reaction caused by mast cells being stimulated and releasing histamine into the body. They can occur virtually anywhere on the body. Hives appear as raised red or white bumps on the skin and can be anywhere from a small dot to a large wheal several inches in diameter. Hives can occur occasionally or chronically and often do not need further treatment as they resolve themselves after a few hours to a few days. If hives persist past a few days, it is recommended that a doctor be consulted especially if the symptoms worsen.hives on person arm

People who suffer from hives can get relief from symptoms by taking over-the-counter antihistamines, wearing loose fitting clothing, taking a cool bath or using a cold compress on the affected skin regions. However, if symptoms do not resolve further action can be taken. In fact, doctors can prescribe stronger medication such as steroids that help in the alleviation of symptoms. Finally, a doctor should be consulted if breathing becomes labored or a person experiences loss of consciousness. In severe cases where anaphylactic shock accompanies the hives, the affected person will need a dosage of epinephrine to counteract the allergic reaction or the attack could be fatal. Emergency room visits and follow-up with a doctor are typical courses of action for people who have such severe allergic reactions.

For the most part, hives are caused by an allergic reaction to something. Common initiators of allergic reactions include food, medications, and environmental sources. Bacterial and viral infections can cause hives as well. Stress can also weaken the immune system and result in hives. It has been recommended that those who struggle with hives document and avoid triggers. This can help a person determine which if any food groups or environmental sources are causing these painful symptoms. In some cases, hives that are chronic (lasting many months) and are recurring can be indicative of a deeper autoimmune disease. Only a doctor can diagnosis a condition like this but any documentation that a patient does can aid in diagnosis and treatment.

Often testing can uncover the source of the allergic reaction if hives are coming from an allergenic response. This involves consulting an allergist who can test a patient for common allergens. This testing can range from a few minutes to a few hours and may/may not be covered by insurance.

Hives occur more often in females than in males. Although there is not much documentation since hives often resolve themselves in a few hours, it is thought that at least 20% of the general population will experience hives at some point in their lives. Anyone can get hives at any point in their lives. They are not contagious so isolation or exclusion of the patient is not necessary.

There is another condition that affects the tissue under the skins and occurs in combination with hives or alone. It is called angioedema. This may be genetically transmitted or can be acquired and often occurs in the facial or genital area. The symptoms can be much more serious and do not always involve hives although they can occur together. Both hives and angioedema are uncomfortable and should be monitored to assure that they resolve. When the airways are affected for either, medical attention is required.


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