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What Are Common Characteristics of PTSD Patients?

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  • Written By: Meshell Powell
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 23 November 2016
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There are several characteristics that are frequently found among PTSD patients, although not every person with this disorder will experience the exact same symptoms. Some of the most common characteristics of those with post-traumatic stress disorder include frequent recollections of the traumatic event, feelings of guilt, and trouble maintaining healthy relationships. Additional characteristics of PTSD patients may include difficulty trusting others, inappropriate or exaggerated reactions, and chronic fear or anxiety. Insomnia, depression, and misplaced anger are also common characteristics of PTSD patients.

The primary characteristic of PTSD patients is a persistent feeling of reliving the traumatic event responsible for the development of post-traumatic stress disorder. A person with this condition repeatedly feels the same emotions experienced during this highly stressful period of life and mentally plays back the physical or emotional events over and over. Feelings of guilt are also common, and many people who suffer from this disorder feel somehow responsible for the painful events of the past.

Relationship problems are frequently seen among PTSD patients, and this is often caused by an inability to trust that anyone else could honestly have their best interests at heart. Suspicion and jealousy can become so severe that these patients inadvertently sabotage relationships, giving further credence to their inability to trust others. People experiencing post-traumatic stress are frequently unable to comprehend the idea that these fears do not have a logical basis.

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Exaggerated physical or emotional responses are common characteristics of PTSD patients. Loud noises, someone approaching from behind, or hearing someone speak in a firm or threatening tone can cause reactions such as trembling, running away from the situation, or cowering in a corner for safety. These patients may feel guilty, confused, or embarrassed once they realize that they were never in any danger and that these reactions were not logical. This can add to the social isolation they already feel and offer justification for why no one seems to understand them.

Insomnia, depression, and chronic anxiety are typical characteristics of PTSD patients. Sleep may be difficult because of an intense fear that something bad will happen or that dreams of the event will be emotionally unbearable. Depression is a natural response to the feeling that things will never get better and a sense of normalcy will never be restored. Chronic anxiety often stems from an irrational fear that danger is lurking around every corner. Any of these symptoms should be reported to a doctor or mental health professional so that an individualized treatment plan can be created.

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