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Read more about Raising an Optimistic Child

Raising an Optimistic Child: A Proven Plan for Depresion-Proofing Young Children--for Life
(McGraw-Hill, 2006) by Bob Murray and Alicia Fortinberry

Read more about Creating Optimism

Creating Optimism:
A Proven Seven-Step Program for Overcoming Depression

(McGraw-Hill, 2004) by Bob Murray and Alicia Fortinberry

PTSD Facts and Symptoms

By Bob Murray, PhD

PTSD is often misdiagnosed and misunderstood. Here we list the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder and what you can do to get help.

Symptoms of Trauma

  • Difficulty in concentrating
  • Changes in appetite or sleep patterns
  • Erratic behavior
  • Lack of enthusiasm for activities previously considered fun
  • Irritability, lethargy, and the desire to stay away from people

These symptoms usually only last a month or so.

Symptoms of PTSD

  • Re-experiencing traumatic events (ie, obsessive recollections, flashbacks, nightmares)
  • Avoidant symptoms (fear of being with people)
  • Signs of hyperarousal (easily startled, irritable)

PTSD usually sets in up to several months after the most recent trauma, and can last years or even a lifetime.

What's Needed

For PTSD, be sure to seek professional help. However, all trauma needs friendly support:

  • Encouragement to be with people
  • Encouragement to express feelings and fears
  • Exchange of needs instead of second-guessing what will help
  • Lots of safe exercise, such as walking, and preferably with friends
  • Lots of safe exercise, such as walking, and preferably with friends
  • Sticking to routines, especially social ones, at home and work
  • Reality checks from friends especially around safety (money, job) issues

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About the Author

Dr Bob Murray is a widely published psychologist and expert on emotional health and optimal relationships. Together with his wife and long-term collaborator Alicia Fortinberry, he is founder of the highly successful Uplift Program, and author of Raising an Optimistic Child (McGraw-Hill, 2006) and Creating Optimism (McGraw-Hill, 2004).

Disclaimer: The diagnosis and treatment of medical or psychiatric disorders requires trained professionals. The information provided in this article is for educational purposes only. It should NOT be used as a substitute for seeking professional help.

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 Disclaimer: The information presented on this website is based on the research, clinical experience and opinions of Dr Bob Murray and Alicia Fortinberry. It is designed to support, not replace a relationship with a qualified healthcare professional.