symptoms of ptsd

Catecholamines are chemical compounds derived from the amino acid tyrosine. Some of them are biogenic amines. Catecholamines are water soluble and are 50% bound to plasma proteins, so they circulate in the bloodstream. The most abundant catecholamines are epinephrine (adrenaline), norepinephrine (noradrenaline) and dopamine. Catecholamines as hormones are released by the adrenal glands in situations of stress such as psychological stress or low blood sugar levels[1].

The symptoms of PTSD include:

  • sleep problems including nightmares and waking early
  • flashbacks and replays which you are unable to switch off
  • impaired memory, forgetfulness, inability to recall names, facts and dates that are well known to you
  • impaired concentration
  • impaired learning ability (eg through poor memory and inability to concentrate)
  • hypervigilance (feels like but is not paranoia)
  • exaggerated startle response
  • irritability, sudden intense anger, occasional violent outbursts
  • panic attacks
  • hypersensitivity, whereby every remark is perceived as critical
  • obsessiveness – the experience takes over your life, you can’t get it out of your mind
  • joint and muscle pains which have no obvious cause
  • feelings of nervousness, anxiety
  • reactive depression (not endogenous depression)
  • excessive levels of shame, embarrassment 
  • survivor guilt for having survived when others perished or for not having done more to help or save others
  • a feeling of having been given a second chance at life
  • undue fear
  • low self-esteem and shattered self-confidence
  • emotional numbness, anhedonia (inability to feel love or joy)
  • feelings of detachment
  • avoidance of anything that reminds you of the experience
  • physical and mental paralysis at any reminder of the experience

I write this out because I am thinking about owning up to the reality of having a mild form of PTSD.  I am in denial about it.  I do not discount that others may experience it.  I discount that I warrant the right to do so myself.  I note to myself in observance that the last statement is telling.  I can see my therapist hitting on that remark and investigating the sources.

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