PTSD: Recognizing the Silent Struggle Signs and Symptoms

PTSD: Recognizing the Silent Struggle Signs and Symptoms

PTSD is more common than you might think. Chances are, someone you know – or even you – is affected. Most of us assume that PTSD is solely the domain of veterans who have fought in foreign wars and returned scarred by their experiences. While former service members certainly are affected by PTSD more often than the general population, scores of other people have the condition, and might not know it.

Essentially, PTSD is the body and minds reaction to traumatic events. And for many people, these are single, big, tragic experiences. But for others – such as addicts or alcoholics – the lifestyle itself is traumatic, with its repeated heartbreaks and failures. Overdoses, violence, the death of friends, broken relationships – all of these are the kind of traumatic events that can have a deep and meaningful impact on someone.

Understanding the signs and symptoms of PTSD, or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, is crucial for early detection and seeking timely help. Read on as we delve into the topic to raise awareness and support those silently battling this condition.

What is PTSD?

PTSD is a mental health disorder that can develop after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event. Such events may include combat exposure, sexual assault, natural disasters, accidents, or other life-threatening incidents. It’s important to note that not everyone who experiences trauma will develop PTSD, but those who do may struggle with it for months or even years.

Common Signs and Symptoms:

Recognizing the signs and symptoms of PTSD is vital for early intervention and effective treatment. It’s important to remember that these symptoms can vary from person to person, and they might not appear immediately after the traumatic event. Here are some common signs to watch for:

  • A. Intrusive Thoughts and Flashbacks: Individuals may experience recurring and distressing thoughts or memories of the traumatic event. These intrusive thoughts can be triggered by certain stimuli, causing flashbacks that feel as if the event is happening again.
  • B. Avoidance and Emotional Numbing: People who might avoid situations, places, or even people that remind them of the traumatic event. They may also struggle to express emotions, leading to emotional numbness or detachment from loved ones.
  • C. Hyperarousal and Anxiety: Hyperarousal refers to being in a constant state of heightened alertness. This can lead to difficulties sleeping, irritability, difficulty concentrating, and a feeling of being easily startled or on edge.
  • D. Negative Changes in Mood and Cognition: Individuals may experience persistent negative emotions, feelings of guilt, shame, or hopelessness. They may also struggle with memory problems or have trouble maintaining interest in activities they once enjoyed.

When to Seek Help:

If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms that are interfering with daily life or causing significant distress, it’s essential to seek professional help. PTSD is a treatable condition, and early intervention can make a significant difference in the recovery process.

Treatment Options:

Scottsdale Providence offers comprehensive and evidence-based treatments for PTSD, including:

  • A. Psychotherapy: Various forms of talk therapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), are effective in helping individuals process traumatic memories and develop coping strategies.
  • B. Medications: In some cases, antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications may be prescribed to alleviate specific PTSD symptoms.
  • C. Support Groups: Engaging in support groups can provide individuals with a safe space to share experiences and learn from others facing similar challenges.


Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder can be a silent struggle, impacting the lives of those affected and their loved ones. Recognizing the signs and symptoms is the first step towards healing.

At Scottsdale Providence, we are committed to supporting individuals through evidence-based treatments and compassionate care. If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of PTSD, don’t hesitate to reach out and embark on the path to healing and recovery.

Remember, asking for help is a sign of strength, and you don’t have to suffer alone. You can overcome the challenges posed by this condition and find your way to a brighter and healthier future.

It's not the end. It's the beginning.