Anxiety is increasingly common in the United States. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), over 19 percent of all adults in America have had an anxiety disorder in the last year. However, what many people mistake as an anxiety disorder can instead be a symptom of a larger mental health disorder such as PTSD. Many individuals mistake mild PTSD with anxiety, so to help differentiate the two we have provided seven signs you may have mild PTSD rather than anxiety.
1. You Are Unable to Communicate
After a traumatic incident, individuals with PTSD have trouble with communication. This can manifest itself in being unable to make small talk or being unable to open up to friends and family. You feel an intense sense of disconnection from everyone in your life.
2. You Are Avoiding People and Events
It is common for people to want to avoid situations and individuals that make them feel anxious. Some people hate crowds, don't like small talk, are afraid of heights, or have some other thing that they try to avoid. However, if you are avoiding people and events strictly because they remind you of a past incident, that can be a symptom of PTSD.
3. You Have Trouble Sleeping
Constantly having nightmares about a past trauma or a recurring dream that gives you anxiety is a symptom of PTSD. If you are unable to get a sound night of sleep as a result of your nightmares, seek PTSD treatment.
4. You Feel Worthless and Hopeless
If you are constantly feeling depressed, worthless, and hopeless, and don't have a history of depression, these feelings could be a result of a traumatic incident. Every person reacts differently to trauma, and some people get intrinsic feelings of worthlessness they can't explain.
5. You Sweat the Small Stuff
Every day, little things occur that can make you a little upset or annoyed. Most people can brush these small grievances off, but if a passing comment reminds you of a past trauma, you could feel an influx of negative emotions and feelings as a result of PTSD.
6. Random Things Trigger Traumatic Memories
You are walking down the street in a good mood, when suddenly out of the corner of your eye you see a shirt with a pattern that is somewhat familiar. Suddenly, your good mood dissipates and you feel an overwhelming sense of anxiety and panic. This could be a PTSD trigger, as seeing something that is seemingly random triggers a traumatic memory, leading to symptoms of PTSD. If you are unable to shake the anxiety caused by the trigger, it could be PTSD, not anxiety.
7. You Don't See Yourself Having a Future
Those with PTSD try to avoid thinking about anything that reminds them of their past trauma, sometimes isolating themselves from their loved ones. You also might struggle to imagine a future for yourself, as you are in such a state of despair you can't imagine thriving in your personal life or career, or enjoying a healthy and long life.
Get PTSD Treatment at Alvarado Parkway Institute in San Diego
If you are finding your anxiety is a symptom of PTSD, you should get treatment as soon as possible. Alvarado Parkway Institute offers expert PTSD treatment in San Diego, helping you identify PTSD triggers and learn to manage the symptoms of the disorder. If you are interested in learning more or would like to begin PTSD treatment, contact API today by calling (619) 485-1432.