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A Psychologist's Thoughts on Clinical Practice, Behavior, and Life

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Symptoms are NOT Your Enemy

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) has gained much of its erroneous though popular knowledge from frightening movies depicting berserk ex-soldiers on killing sprees. Yet PTSD symptoms can develop in anyone including children. It exists because the mind has a limited capacity to cope with stress and, when exceeded, symptoms develop. A symptom is the sign that something is wrong and, with PTSD, can include nightmares, flashbacks of the causative event, psychogenic seizures, over-sensitivity to startling noises, or odd fears and obsessions. These reflect the urgent message from the unconscious that help is needed to avoid damaging the mind or body as great continuing anxiety can do. Thus PTSD symptoms are like the bodily fever that warns of infection, being temporarily uncomfortable but needed since it leads to gaining the required care and regaining health.

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