People with Combat PTSD have three kinds of experiences for weeks, months (or if gone untreated, indefinitely) after the event(s) are over and the individual is in a safe environment:


Re-Experience
  • Cannot put the experience(s) out of their minds - no matter how hard they try.
  • Repeated nightmares about the event(s).
  • Vivid memories (flashbacks), as if it were happening all over again.
  • Strong reactions (also flashbacks) when they encounter reminders, such as cars backfiring, fireworks or something as innocent as someone walking over an overpass or seeing a soda can discarded to the side of the road.


Avoidance
  • Avoid people, places, or feelings that remind them of the event(s). They also avoid places where there are crowds. In some cases, they avoid going out in public altogether and will even detach from their families and close friends.
  • Work hard at putting the event(s) of their minds but are often unsuccessful. 
  • Feelings of numbness and detachment - some resort to drug or alcohol abuse to escape from their feelings. 
  • They avoid people or places that remind them of the event. 


Edginess or “Keyed up” Feelings
  • May startle easily.
  • May be irritable or angry all the time for no apparent reason. 
  • Trouble relaxing or getting to sleep. 
  • Always looking around, hyper-vigilant of their surroundings.
  • In a restaurant, they need to sit where they have their back to a wall and can see the entrance.
People who have Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder have experiences from all three of the aforementioned categories. These experiences stay with them most of the time and can interfere with their ability to live their life or do their job.

Used with Permission from the Facebook Group  Loved Ones of Combat Veterans (PTSD/TBI Support)


Note:  PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) is sometimes referred to as PTSS (Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome) or Post-Traumatic Stress
Post-traumatic stress
WHAT IS PTSD?  Below is an abbreviated version of Combat PTSD.

PTSD is a condition that develops after someone has experienced a life-threatening situation, such as combat. In PTSD, the event will have involved actual or threatened death or serious injury and caused an emotional reaction involving intense fear, hopelessness, or horror.
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