Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and anxiety are two of the more common mental health conditions that plague individuals all around the world. You can develop PTSD or anxiety from a variety of issues, but one of the more complicating factors is differentiating the two or determining which one is actually affecting you. Steps to Recovery is a top-tier rehab and recovery facility with mental health professionals with key insight into the major signs, symptoms, and treatments for conditions like PTSD and anxiety. With our help, you can identify which of these conditions are impacting your daily life.

PTSD vs. Anxiety: The Individuals Most at Risk

Not everyone exposed to traumatic experiences will endure PTSD, but it can impact virtually anyone, no matter the situation. People with PTSD or those most at risk of developing PTSD often fall into a few categories, which include:

  • Experiencing life-threatening events
  • Being directly involved in a traumatic event
  • Repeated traumatic events
  • Hearing about an event involving a family member or close friend

For individuals at the highest risk of anxiety, many of the risk factors can overlap with PTSD. Individuals in the highest risk categories include those with:

  • A family history of anxiety
  • Absent parents
  • High-stress traumatic events (similar to the ones that cause PTSD)
  • Individuals diagnosed with depression
  • Constant stress that doesn’t seem to end
  • Certain personality traits (shyness, avoidance of criticism, rigidity in moral standing)
  • History of or current difficulties with substance abuse

How Do I Know if I Have PTSD?

Evaluating your placement in one or more of these risk factors is probably one of the first ways to determine whether you have PTSD. But there are other ways to know and questions you might want to ask yourself to determine if you are dealing with PTSD.

It’s important to remember that PTSD feels very different for each individual. For some, PTSD is a mental health condition that takes a heavy toll on daily activities. For others, it may only affect them under specific circumstances. But for most people to be diagnosed with PTSD, it usually means they have experienced trauma and are enduring symptoms for at least a month. Symptoms typically interfere with daily life and aren’t related to substance use. Also, one must be experiencing at least six of the more common PTSD symptoms. 

How Do I Know if I Have Anxiety?

How can you tell if anxiety is the condition presenting you with problems? Most commonly, individuals with anxiety experience extreme worrying that takes a toll on their daily lives. Unlike PTSD, which concentrates on one or two specific situations or things that remind you of the trauma, anxiety can be due to various conditions. You can worry about anything from your job to your health, family members, or minor things like forgetting your morning coffee or not doing household chores. 

Symptoms of Anxiety and PTSD

While many of these symptoms overlap, you can truly differentiate between these conditions by paying close attention to the symptoms you’re experiencing. PTSD symptoms include:

  • Re-experiencing symptoms, which include flashbacks to the situation, frightening thoughts, or bad dreams.
  • Avoidance of certain places, objects, or other things that remind one of the trauma.
  • Avoidance of feelings that remind you of the situation.
  • Feeling on edge or being easily startled.
  • Difficulties or trouble sleeping and breathing.
  • Repeated angry outbursts over various problems.

Symptoms of anxiety include:

  • Uneasiness in various situations.
  • Extreme panic or fear and an inability to control it.
  • Frequent moments of hyperventilation.
  • Inability to stop thinking about a problem or concentrate on certain tasks.
  • Strong fear toward certain items, objects, or situations.
  • Nausea, tense muscles, dry mouth, and dizziness.

Get the Help You Need

Finding help to overcome anxiety and PTSD isn’t as far as you think. Quality trauma treatment programs can help individuals struggling with PTSD, anxiety, or other mental issues. Residents of Levittown and parts of Eastern PA can access the professional expertise available at Steps to Recovery, which include cognitive behavioral therapy and other effective treatments. Get you or a loved one the help you need to diagnose and treat PTSD, anxiety, addictions, and more by contacting Steps to Recovery at 267.719.8528.