Please remember it is very important to review the introduction in Part 1. Also it is good to have a sense of whether or not your symptoms are chronic, acute, or episodic. Your Mental Health Professional should have a pre and post treatment evaluation scale so that you and he/she can see the degree to which you have each symptom and be able to monitor your progress.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
This category is also known as PTSD. The symptoms can range from mild to intense but the stress is usually from witnessing or being involved in a traumatic event such as a fire, a car accident, natural catastrophe, or crime like rape or assault, exposure to combat in wartime,or major surgery. Usually a person has symptoms of recurring images (sometimes called flashbacks) of the event and a feeling like it is actually happening in the present. Often there are also nightmares/dreams of the trauma, or bodily discomforts (sometimes called body memories) associated with the trauma.
Many people with PTSD have avoidence symptoms (often full blown Agoraphobia) that keep them away from places or things that would trigger their memory or feelings from the event. Feelings of detachment, numbing, or dissociation are typical. At least some physiological hyperarousal symptoms are present as evidenced by insomnia, agitation, irritability, or outbursts of rage. It is also typical that you get excessive physical reactions like a combat veteren who flinches or runs for cover when hearing a truck back-fire. If you are a Partner of a Survivor of PTSD(or traumatic physical abuse, sexual abuse, or neglect) there are a specific set of challenges for you in terms of intimacy and relationship issues- see my main--(Ingenio) Web page www.ingenio.com/experienced+psychotherapist
These phobias are specific phobias to things or situations like insects, animals, airplanes, bridges, elevators, heights, closed spaces. Unlike
having a generalized fear of fearful feelings(agoraphobia) the anxiety is focused on a specific external thing or situation and only in the presence of those things or situations. Simple phobias become problematic when they interrupt personal or work functioning.
Obsessional thoughts are ideas or images or impulses that are often repulsive and intrude on one's consciousness. Obsessive thoughts range from fear of harming others, being infected or infecting others, doubt about behaviors (or conditions) being harmful or unaccepted by self or others. Often these thoughts include worry about things being clean enough or in order.
Compulsions are actions or behaviors that often become rituals. These complulsive actions or rituals are like coping strategies aimed at turning off the obsessive thoughts(and thus anxiety is reduced).Handwashing, counting, checking, touching or excessive cleaning are common compulsions. Although mild obsessions and compulsions are typical they become problematic if they intefere with normal functioning or cause severe distress. If a person is obsessed with contaminated food (obsession)for instance they may check where the food came from in an obsessive way and go back and ask over and over- or check the label over and over again.