Do you have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?
Take few minutes to answer the questions to yourself. If you answer yes to several questions, you may want to contact local a V.A. Medical Center or Vet Center and seek further assessment for PTSD.
Were you exposed to severely traumatic event or events which involved actual or threatened death or serious injury? Some examples are combat experience, witnessing American or enemy or civilians killed during war, witnessing explosions from landmines, roadside bombs injuring or killing others, facing life threatening life event.
Were you severely distressed by the event with emotions of feeling anxious, panicky, fearful, depressed, guilty, horrified, shocked, numb etc?
If the answers to above two questions are yes proceed to following questions.
- Do you relive the experience through nightmares, dreams of the traumatic events?
- Do you experience unwanted/intrusive memories, thoughts, images of the trauma, playing over and over in the mind?
- Do you relive the experience through flashbacks of the events as if you are back into the event lasting few minutes to sometimes hours? For example crawling under car to take cover when another car backfires in gas station.
- Do you get severely distressed when any cues/triggers remind you of the traumatic event? For example seeing garbage bag or dead animal on side of road reminds you of roadside bomb and you get anxious.
- Does your heart beat fast or you have any physiological reaction to cues of traumatic events? For example fireworks make your heart speed up or you start sweating when you hear chopper sound.
Do you avoid thinking of the traumatic event?
- Do you make efforts to cope with symptoms by avoiding exposure to reminders of the traumatic event? For example avoid watching war movies or war news, avoiding 4th of July firework. Do you avoid places, events, news which reminds you of traumatic event?
- Do you feel life will not get any better and feel hopeless?
- Do you have difficulty sleeping or staying asleep?
- Do you wake up at night at slightest sound and start checking around?
- Do you make sure windows and doors are locked each night?
- Do you wake up in sweats? Do you toss and turn in sleep frequently that your spouse complains about?
- Have you ever hit, kicked or choked your spouse in sleep?
- Does your spouse complain of you being detached or estranged from family, friends, etc?
- Did you spouse or family members complain of you being emotionally numb, yet angry, irritable, and fear about you becoming violent? Has your family members or friends told you that you have problems with anger?
- Do you have problems with concentration, attention, memory when your mind wonders on trauma events?
- Do you get easily startled by sudden sounds or if someone sneaks from behind? Have you ever hit someone when someone sneaked from behind?
- Are you constantly on guard? Do you always watch your back?
- Do you avoid sitting in restaurant with back to front door? Do you avoid going to crowded shopping malls or grocery stores?
- Do you ever get startled or took cover when you heard sudden loud sound?
- Do you choose to live isolated life away from people?