What is PTSD? Learn The Definition & TRUE Meaning of PTSD

Post a comment
What is PTSD? Learn The Definition & TRUE Meaning of PTSD

What Is PTSD? The Official PTSD Definition

When people hear the word “PTSD,” they often think of military veterans .

They think having Post Traumatic Stress Disorder means you’re a psychotic crazy person who is a danger to themselves and everyone else around them.

You might envision a depressed and “broken” person who is destined to a life of pain and suffering.

But in reality, this isn’t an accurate picture of PTSD.

Not even close.

The true picture is a lot closer to home, and you probably know someone right now who has PTSD. In the USA 24.4 million people have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder at any given time.

In this guide, we’ll discuss the definition of PTSD, explore its true meaning, evaluate why people have it, and show you how to make a full recover from it.


What Is PTSD? The Official PTSD Definition

Let’s define PTSD. We’ll start with PTSD’s definition according to the Oxford Dictionary.

PTSD means “A condition of persistent mental and emotional stress occurring as a result of injury or severe psychological shock, typically involving disturbance of sleep and constant vivid recall of the experience, with dulled responses to others and to the outside world.”

This is often involving sleep problems, vivid nightmares or flashbacks, and a dulled, overwhelmed, or overloaded feeling.

So what is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?

PTSD is when a past traumatic event causes persistent emotional and physical stress.

The definition is that simple.

So what events cause PTSD?

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder can be caused by any event that causes someone an immense amount of stress.

Notice there is nothing being mentioned about veterans, war, or gruesome events. If you’ve experienced an immense amount of stress and fear, you could have PTSD.

Someone can get PTSD from war, but you can also get it from emotional abuse at home where there are no visible signs of damage. If an event causes someone to feel extremely fearful and stressed it can cause PTSD.

All this begs the question, why do people get PTSD?

The answer to that question lies in the core meaning of PTSD.

The True Meaning Of PTSD

PTSD causes somebody to experience persistent emotional and physical stress from a past traumatic event.

So the question we have to ask is, “Why do we get PTSD from traumatic events?”

Well to know this we need to ask, how do our brains process events?

To explain that, let’s talk about how your brain processes normal events, and why it doesn’t fully process all past traumas.

The diagram above shows how normal life events are processed. On left you experience an event, and then goes through what is called the working memory of your brain. The “working brain” is part that correctly processes your memories and experiences.

After the event has been properly processed it enters your long term memory where it is safe and sound. This processing occurs subconsciously, and much of it happens during the REM cycles of your sleep.

However, your brain gets overloaded when you experience a traumatic event. The traumatic memory and experience bypasses your working memory altogether and is directly stored into your long term memory.

These long term memories of traumatic events are unprocessed, meaning that they contain negative thoughts, beliefs, reactions, emotions, and all the symptoms that are associated with PTSD.

This is why and how people get PTSD.

The true meaning of PTSD is when a past unprocessed traumatic event causes persistent emotional and physical stress.

So, in order to heal PTSD you have to safely process past traumatic events and remove the “charge” from them. People with PTSD are not crazy, they have just been hurt really badly and are in need of attention and healing.

Our brains intentionally don’t process the traumatic event to protect you from the pain, but unfortunately this unprocessed event causes many undesirable symptoms.

When a traumatic event is stored in the long term memory without being properly processed it causes chronic stress, anxiety, fear, and more.

So, what are the exact warning signs and symptoms that means someone has PTSD?


What Are The Symptoms Of PTSD?

There are 5 main categories for the symptoms of PTSD based on the DSM-5 (the official and most up-to-date criteria for diagnosing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and other mental disorders).

1. Re-Experiencing The Traumatic Event

  • Constant, uncontrollable, and intrusive memories about the trauma.

  • Traumatic nightmares or night terrors. Note: Children may have frightening dreams without content related to the trauma(s)

  • Flashbacks to the trauma, which could be brief or complete loss of consciousness.

  • Feeling extremely stressed after being reminded of your trauma.

  • Re-living your trauma in your body. This can be through tense muscles, shortened breathing, sweating, racing heart, etc.

2. Intentionally Avoiding Things That Remind You Of The Trauma

  • You avoid thoughts or feelings that are related to your trauma.

  • You avoid external reminders of the trauma. Things like people, places, conversations, activities, objects, or situations.

3. Negative Changes To Your Thoughts, Mood, And Personality

  • You’re unable to remember key parts of the traumatic event (not due to a head injury, alcohol, or drugs).

  • Uncontrollable and distorted negative beliefs about yourself or the world (“I’m a bad person” “I’m a broken failure” “The world is a dangerous place”).

  • Extreme and uncontrollable blaming of self or others for causing the traumatic event or for resulting consequences.

  • Extreme and uncontrollable negative emotions related to the trauma. Things like fear, horror, guilt, shame, or anger.

  • You lose almost all interest in things you used to enjoy before the traumatic event.

  • Feeling alienated, or detached from other people.

  • You feel like you’re unable to feel positive emotions at all

4. Changes In Behavior And Reactions

  • You get angry easily, aggressive, and feel like you lash out at everyone and everything.

  • Engage in self-destructive or reckless behavior that you normally wouldn’t have before the trauma.

  • Hypervigilance: When you always feel scared, fearful, or “on edge”.

  • You’re easily startled and seem to jump at everything.

  • You have difficulties in concentrating and focusing and feel mentally overwhelmed or overloaded.

  • It’s hard to fall asleep and stay asleep, and experience many sleep disturbances throughout the night.

5. Dissociative Symptoms

  • Depersonalization: This is when you feel like you’re an outside observer or detached from yourself. Like you are living in a dream, or thinking “this is not happening to me”

  • Derealization: feeling that things are not real, or that a substance is separating you from the world, such as an intense fog, a pane of glass, or veil. What you see is dull and lacks vividness. You’re not even sure if what you’re seeing is reality or not.

If you’re experiencing these symptoms you’re probably wondering…

“How do you heal PTSD?”


“Is it even possible?”

PTSD Treatment Options

It can be confusing when you look online and find the hundreds of treatment options for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Do you choose Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy, Prolonged Exposure Therapy, Antidepressants, Beta Blockers, Benzodiazepines, or what?

The list goes on and on.

With so many treatments for PTSD how do you know where to start?

Does PTSD medication even work?

What PTSD treatments are proven to work?

This is what Kayleen, the founder of Broken To Unbreakable, struggled with when she was healing her own 17 years of CPTSD. She found that reliable and effective PTSD treatments were either inaccessible, complex, or conflicting.

With thousands of options, how do you know what to do?

How Can I Heal PTSD?

There are 3 pillars to healing PTSD.

  1. Master your mindset
  2. Learn how to consistently heal over the long-term
  3. Learn the process to eliminate symptoms permanently

While in the past, knowledge about PTSD was extremely archaic and ineffective. Even to this day many professionals and therapists are still stuck using these harmful out-of-date treatments.

But the truth is that recovering from PTSD has never been easier.

With new modern technology, research, and developments people are making full recoveries in just weeks. If you are in need of healing your PTSD, there has never been a better time to get started.

Here at OvercomingPTSD.info, we’ve put together a helpful, completely free webinar that teaches you these modern techniques to help you quickly recover from PTSD or CPTSD. Click here to sign up now.


Show More

Similar Posts

Comments & Discussion