Relationships, Trauma, and PTSD

Trauma survivors who have PTSD - Post Traumatic Stress Disorder - may have trouble with close family relationships or friendships. PTSD symptoms can cause problems with:

  • trust
  • communication
  • feelings of closeness
  • problem solving abilities

These difficulties can change how a survivor interacts with loved ones, which changes how the loved ones interact with the survivor - and now an unhelpful, possibly destructive pattern emerges.


Signs and Symptoms of PTSD

  • reliving the trauma through flashbacks and nightmares
  • intense fear
  • depression
  • rage
  • feeling detached or numb
  • hypervigilance
  • exaggerated startle response
  • irritable
  • distracted
  • difficulty concentrating


Other problems people with PTSD experience

  • feelings of hopelessness, shame, or despair
  • depression or anxiety
  • drinking or other substance abuse problems
  • physical symptoms or chronic pain
  • employment problems
  • relationship problems, including divorce



While there are similar symptoms  between PTSD and ADHD/ADD, such as difficulty concentrating or anxiety, the main difference is the cause of the symptoms. PTSD results from a traumatic experience where one's life or one's person/soul feels threatened. ADHD isn't due to a traumatic event or caused by a traumatic childhood.

It is very important for a thorough assessment of ADHD include questions about possible traumas experienced in life. PTSD could be missed and misdiagnosed as ADHD - and the person suffers needlessly due to not getting the right treatment. 

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