Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) – causes, symptoms, treatment & pathology

Posttraumatic stress disorder, also called
PTSD, happens when some memory of a past traumatic event—like war or sexual assault—causes
recurrent mental and physical distress. Now the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual
5th edition or the DSM 5 categorizes PTSD as a “trauma-and-stressor-related-disorder”
that happens when the symptoms of an acute stress response persist for over a month. The main symptoms are psychological ones,
for example someone might re-experience their trauma through nightmares, flashbacks, and
intrusive thoughts, but these can lead to behavioral changes as well. Somebody might start to avoid environments
and situations that remind them of their trauma and feel a sense of hypervigilance where they
are constantly on guard or hyperarousal where they have this exaggerated startle response
to the smallest of triggers. Not surprisingly, all of these thoughts and
behaviours can lead to trouble sleeping and general irritability, which can lead to angry
outbursts. Interestingly, this pattern is different for
young children who are less likely to show distress, but instead they might use play
to express their memories, sometimes acting out scenes that trouble them. Whether or not someone develops PTSD in response
to trauma is determined by a number of different factors. For example, it’s clear that interpersonal
trauma, like rape or violent muggings, are more likely to result in PTSD than accidents
or environmental disasters. In addition, people that go through extreme
trauma as children are more likely to develop PTSD in response to other traumas faced in
their adult life. Having said that, if someone manages to develop
effective coping strategies for trauma including having a social support network, then that
can help with future traumas as well. As far as causes go, there are some clues
about biological factors related to development of PTSD. For instance, people with dysfunctions of
the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, deficits in the arousal and sleep-regulating systems
in the brain, and problems with the endogenous opioid system—which helps with pain control—have
all been shown to be at higher risk for developing PTSD. PTSD has also been linked to having a family
history of mood disorders or anxiety disorders. The precise mechanism, though, that ties all
of these relationships together has yet to be worked out. Treatment for PTSD can be kind of complicated,
since people with the disorder are often reluctant to to engage with the trauma in any way—in
their thoughts, emotions, or in conversations, which can make treatment really hard. Research has shown that exposure therapy,
which slowly exposing individuals to situations that cue recall of trauma, can be very effective. Group therapy is also a popular choice for
individuals with PTSD, because it provides survivors with a safe place to relive their
trauma in a supportive environment. In terms of medications, antidepressants,
in particular selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (or SSRIs), can help to reduce
depressive symptoms that often accompany PTSD, and can help minimize flashbacks and nightmares. Anti-anxiety medications can help decrease
the heightened physiological arousal often seen in people with PTSD, and finally sleep-aids
can also be an helpful because lack of sleep and restlessness is such a serious problem
in PTSD. In addition to this, a lot of people with
PTSD self-medicate with alcohol and other substances which can actually worsen their
symptoms and their overall health. So an important treatment consideration for
both therapy and medications, is to help alleviate their symptoms while also safely managing
substance abuse issues. So as a quick recap—PTSD usually happens
after a violent interpersonal trauma and involves recurring thoughts that persist for over a
month, and can be managed with effective coping strategies and medications. Thanks for watching, you can help support
us by donating on patreon, or subscribing to our channel, or telling your friends about
us on social media.

100 thoughts on “Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) – causes, symptoms, treatment & pathology

  1. Question:Do you have to have gone through a near death experience to be diagnosed? I was severely bullied as a child but my parents still deny it years later but in recent months I have started to really struggle sleeping and have flashbacks when ever I read/see/hear a similar senario that happend while I was being bullied and sometimes it even escalates to mental breakdowns.

  2. Yea i have ptsd but my symptoms neve persisted for a month. Like I can't watch horror movies. I just figured out its because of ptsd. Group therapy. The only time I've ever been ok with a horror movie is with a group. Wow. Wtf. That was one time and i still remember it fondly. What the hell.

  3. I take sertraline for PTSD yes I did self medicate and yes I really find facing my trauma difficult and feel worse after a session but apparently if O stick to it some day it will help maybe I should give it another go. I have come so far an if you are suffering just know there is hope and if you want to talk message me ok anytime yeah I'm talking to you all ✌

  4. But is this true because all these things happen to me accept the nightmare thing in the first part,I rage,I cry,I stress,I hurt people,this has been going on for 5 years for me so I don’t know if this is even true for me

  5. What a bullshit there or people
    Crimenals setting people hardworking people in this
    Type of warefare their using
    This term of co operations
    To harm people on work place

    Or crimenals who use it
    To harm u that so call
    Secret police force that use
    Alot of narcissistic and psychopaths and all the
    Agents tactics to harm people
    On the street its is explain able

    With good details about it
    Who this people really or
    What organisations u dealing with

  6. i think i got ptsd from an evil gang trying to blame murders on me, just endless thoughts about it and dont trust anyone anymore

  7. Do you have a hard time recalling what Happened to you? I have blocked out most of my childhood. I get so frustrated trying to even figure out what happened.

  8. It annoys me slightly how PTSD is only really associated with military or assault. I was diagnosed with PTSD at the age of 13 after years of bullying. It doesn’t just occur in veterans or assault survivors

  9. i just had a full blown ptsd attack while i’m at church because there’s this girl who was having a seizure and then i start panicking and hyperventilating and having difficulty breathing because i was having flashback when my father died and now i feel so emberassed because almost all the people who saw me crying and almost all of the people that go to that church are in the same college as i am (i went to a religious college so that’s why) and know i don’t think i want to go back to college ever again . i hate this i hate this.

  10. I developed severe ptsd after being exposed to (investigating) extremely violent and gruesome crimes. I can’t even watch a movie that involves people being hurt or anything that involves suffering as I just cry like a sook.

  11. Today I had reviewed my medical records. I seen post traumatic stress disorder. I was unfamiliar with this. I talked to my counselor about major depression, SAD, and anxiety disorder but the ptsd got me off guard. I’m just confused.

  12. I have ptsd from seeing my mom's lifeless body after seeing her slowly dying in the icu unconscious for over a month

  13. PTSD is a terrible thing, I know this through having it due to sexual abuse when I was younger. I just want to say though, if you do have PTSD don’t be scared to see a therapist or a doctor

  14. Sick people called me a terrorist and made me a target and this led to me being harmed again and again and again and again and again and again. Now I am hypervigilant and have nightmares all the time as well as mood swings ( PTSD).

  15. So this is when u have nightmares or flashbacks from a trauma, and that makes u stay on alert and be stressed out all the time.

  16. So my son is 18 doesn't want to find a job goes out with his friends for days at a time and stays up all night playing video games and does clean up after him self. Argues with me his father about everything and now his heart hurts 💔 because I his father takes away his Xbox game and make him clean up after him self while his mom takes his side and says I'm mean to him. I guess being lazy and not wanting to do anything productive is called PTSD….

  17. I have ptsd due to being raped as a young boy…anxiety and depression took over in my early 20s and I feel I'm at the tail end of beating it but to cope I became a alcoholic. One battle at a time

  18. Oh I could not handle exposure therapy every time I see “it” I feel the emotion change in my face and it triggers nightmares. I can’t look at images of “it” (I’m saying it because I don’t want to admit it)

  19. I have a depersonalisation which was caused by trauma but how do I know if I have PTSD?

    Surely I would have PTSD as well as my symptoms are terrible because dissociation is a disruption in your memory, consciousness, identity, perception, emotionally numb

  20. Even I was in 3rd grade through 5th my father mentally abused me,
    He was a alcoholic and he smelled like beer
    So whenever I smell beer ptsd kicks in

  21. when i was about 8 years old i was taken behind the school wall by an older boy. He made me sit down amongst his friends. He started saying to me if i did sexual acts with my freinds and family, where if i said no they would hurt me. i had no choice but to say yes to everything they asked. i was terrified.

    years later into adulthood, i started getting sexual thoughts and feeling toward basically everyone who i came across, family members included. what always came with the thoughts are extreme panic and extreme anxiety.

    my question to you is, "am i suffereing from ptsd?".

  22. i had a bad drug experience which caused trauma for me, it made my anxiety a lot worse and i struggle with derealization attacks and today i smelt a scent that reminded me of that day and i began to feel dizzy and everything around me looked strange and unusual and my mums face didn’t even seem familiar to me it’s so strange i don’t know what to do

  23. I don’t think I have ptsd, cause that’s too much, but something happened to me the other night which involved a dearest friend of mine, and that situation keeps replaying in my head and every time it does i get filled with anger frustration sadness and regret + many more. When I’m at peace those thoughts keep reoccurring and I don’t know what to do so I just cry with all the anger inside me

  24. I was bullied, bashed and humiliated by my parents my whole childhood life. I'm slowly drinking myself to death but don't want to be this person. It is a traumatic or multiple experiences that lead us to this point. Doctors would prescribe me anti depressants or anti psychotics for the last 30 odd years. Tablets never helped me just made it worse. Now I just drink every night to either sleep, make time go quick or ease the pain of something very deep seated. I know there has to be another way?
    Just know to anyone feeling this way you are not alone…..

  25. My friend dosent go to school for some reason. He says that he gets stressed and gets a ball in the stomach when he goes to school and he tries to stop going to school. He has been gone for 2 months

  26. I had ptsd from like 0-13, I'm 17 now and recovered. Sociopathic dad in a dysfunctional household. Abusive towards my mom and my brothers ect, i was never fed. I was affected by having super bad anger issues and always felt like everyone is after me, so i tend to carry weapons with me ect. I carried a pocket knife around and would always fight and bully neighborhood kids, and tell myself that I was all these bad things, self harm and suicidal thoughts, all at the age of 8 years old. I'm fully recovered now and love myself ect, but when I'm in a new environment or new school ect, i think that kids are gonna mess with me so i walk around very mad and tense, I'll wear a muscle shirt to expose my body because I've been hitting the gym for a few months, I'm not trying to brag btw, i just want people to be intimidated by me and not mess with me, and also i tend to turn into a huge jerk. I go to a new school this year and people try to talk to me but i don't want friends so I'll just tell them to fuck off and I'll punch lockers and stuff, now people view me as this mean intimidating dude and that's what I want. I'm not a bad person, I'm actually a really cool dude once you get to know me. I don't disrespect people unless they disrespect me first.

  27. i was bullied by my sister for years and i get really emotional when someone picks on me i dont have this but i just came here because i like knowing things about mental health

  28. PTSD is trapped fight/flight energy. It's our interpretation(s) (via our thoughts) that keep us immobilized in the altered state that is PTSD/trauma. A major key in allowing our body (organism) to heal itself, lies in seeing the thoughts or the ego mind for what it is (mere rumination/mental chatter) – then once [the ego/thoughts/interpretations are] slowly dismantled (seen through), the trapped fight/flight energy automatically comes shaking and trembling (neurogenic tremor) out of our nervous systems and we are no longer prisoners of the internal straitjacket that is PTSD/CPTSD. Our bodies know how to heal, we have to learn how to let go (surrender).

  29. My boyfriend mentally abused me and I now have ptsd and I became very angry all the time and so I became controlling and he calls me the abusive one but never wants to acknowledge his abuse and he still continues to do things behind my back but I am stuck and can’t escape the relationship because he’s seriously all I have 🙂 so I try to deal with my ptsd but he doesn’t even care 🙂

  30. i dont know if i do have Ptsd
    but..for some reson ever since my parents had a devorce i start to scream and cower up as if sombody were to hit me this only happends if sombodys yelling at me and is super close to me i have Autisum so im not sure if this is part of it or if i realy got that scared just over my parents devorce.

    PS:No i have not been abused
    allso if you were to be so kind and reply abou this i would be verey thankfull…

  31. I feel so bad for my family that has me as a father. I'm diagnosed with PTSD, and everything that is loud and out of control (everything my kids love to do) puts me in a sort of mental coma. Its like being held in a prison in my mind when I just want to enjoy the precious time with my little ones.
    But time is just flying by and soon school starts for them and it feels like I have been the worst father of all time. I wish they had another father that is not sick. 😢

    I hope you get the treatment that you need if you suffer from ptsd. Or else its hell on earth.

  32. PTSD burns like a fucking knife. I obtained PTSD after I was blamed for several things that I was not responsible for. From being blamed for talking badly behind people's backs, to keying cars, to being a "phony seducer," to the one that left me the most damaged, being blamed for someone's suicide (what a world). I wish that things can go back to normal, because it's hard to live now without being reminded about the past. If anyone uses anything to aid their symptoms can you please let me know? I find St. John's Wort to be good, but let me know about whatever helps you. And S/O to all of us with mental illnesses of any kind. I would describe mental illness as a sort of electric eel that wraps around our brains, guiding electricity through certain neurons as it pleases, twisting our words and behaviors. People need to realize that it's not always easy to control ourselves & it's not always our fault.

  33. I agree. PTSD happen to more than just soldiers. I’m ex Canadian Military myself, but I also went through very traumatic child sexual abuse for years, and being bullied in elementary & junior high, as well. I hope you are doing better & have found a way to cope from your experiences.

  34. My dad passed away, and i watched him die, and was in the room when he died, he was like my best friend shoot, better than best friend, and that was around 7 or 8 months ago, and I get flashbacks or thoughts of the day he died, and its like everyone is trying to say I have mental issues or something, first ppl said I had depression, then anxiety, and now ppl are saying I might have PTSD which I highly doubt it..

  35. I have PTSD after being at the Ariana Grande concert and seeing things I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. I give myself headaches by crying for hours and still, 30 months later, tense up at loud noises. Nothing seems to help. If anybody has any good coping strategies they’d be appreciated xxx

  36. I was physically abused by my father as a kid/adult. Now he stopped abusing me but I see him hitting me in my dreams. Is that PTSD?

  37. Idk if this is PTSD or not But everytime I'll just be normal and all and I'll randomly get a flashback of the past of me getting bullied or like something bad that I don't wanna think about then I'll end up screaming of fear or squealing in fear or hit my head with my hand multiple times or shake my head just trying to get the memory out my head? Idk cause I'm suffering from Maladaptive Daydreaming and I thought maybe it was part of that but then I thought something different between the flashbacks I get.

  38. How to overcome non stop pstd flashbacks? How to stop these intrusive memories from replaying on an endless loop multiple times a day when your doing your best to focus with your regular life. It has become so excessive i literally don't know how to cope there is nothing that works they interfere with every aspect of my life and thoughts. The trauma eats you up even decades later, worsening each day.

  39. I'm not a doctor but I have experienced ptsd for years and was addicted to pain killers. And once I got on methadone I truly feel like it fixes whatever is wrong in my brain

  40. Anyone here who have Ptsd due to living with in laws. Must be common with Asians. (I am Asian BTW)

  41. I was abused by my cousin when I was little I was terrified at him when I was little but it keeps getting worse, I met him again at a family reunion a few months ago and had to go into the bathroom so I could have a breakdown. I just had a dream of my going to my cousins house and sleep in his room- where he would abuse me. I literally paid him money for him to stop hurting me. I’m scared. I don’t want to be here.

  42. I think I had a ptsd episode yesterday. I’m only 16 so Im not sure if it is or not, but when I was a kid my dad used to scream at me, beat me up, publicly humiliate me, etc. yesterday he hit me with an open fist while yelling at me. I took the blow just fine, I didn’t feel it to be honest, but when he left I cried, (nothing unusual I’m not allowed to cry in front of him so I held myself together until I was alone). Then all of a sudden i was a little kid again and I saw and heard my dad screaming at me. All I heard was yelling and crying and screaming and I felt so unsafe. My whole body was alerted. I was stuck in a pencil position but I was shaking. I was staring into my memory and SAW it. I literally saw and heard it like it was 2013 again. I was stuck like that for probably 45seconds and it was one of the scariest experiences I’ve ever had. I was out of it after that. After I stopped crying I was disoriented, confused, and I couldn’t focus on any task that I needed to get done. I kept catching myself staring into my memory and tearing up. I was shaky for a couple hours, my breathing was heavy for the first hour. I’m scared of myself. Typing This and thinking about it makes my heart beat fast, my breathing becomes heavy, and my stomach hurts. I know this is an anxiety disorder, but what if it happens again? What if it happens in public. I just unleashed a part of myself that I didn’t know existed. I’m super scared but I can’t tell a councilor because they’ll call cps. I can’t tell my family because they’ll see my dad as a bad guy, I can’t tell my parents because they’ll say I’m faking it and im weak. Please help me

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