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Worrying a Lot about the Earthquake in Haiti – Do You Have a Stress Disorder (PTSD)?

If a traumatic event you’ve experienced, witnessed or witnessed via news media is causing you extreme and lasting stress, you may have a treatable stress disorder.

Do You Have a Stress Disorder?

According to the American Psychological Association (APA), anyone experiencing any of the following 12 symptoms for longer than 1 month should talk to a mental health professional for a stress disorder assessment.

Signs of a Stress Disorder:

  1. Insomnia or changes in appetite
  2. Feeling hyper-vigilant, or on edge all the time (easily startled)
  3. Feeling depressed or sad a lot of the time – having little energy
  4. Being unable to remember the traumatic event
  5. Feeling like you can’t concentrate or make decisions, feeling scatterbrained
  6. Feeling angry or irritable
  7. Feeling like you can’t connect with others; feeling emotionally deadened
  8. Finding yourself crying all of a sudden or feeling like there is no hope
  9. Avoiding people places or things that trigger memories of the trauma
  10. When something triggers a memory of the trauma, finding yourself feeling afraid or anxious
  11. Experiencing exaggerated worry about the safety and well being of those you love
  12. Experiencing reoccurring nightmares or thoughts about the trauma

If you think that you might have a stress disorder, talk to a mental health professional for an accurate diagnosis and possible treatment. Untreated stress disorders like PTSD do not necessarily get better in time; in fact, they can sometimes get worse. Fortunately, stress disorder treatments are available, minimally intrusive and very effective.

Read PTSD Facts to get a better understanding of stress disorders.

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