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As a piece of being diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, a person needs to experience symptoms in 4 separate categories beyond just exposure to a traumatic event.
One of those is the experience of intrusion symptoms, which look like recurrent, intrusive, and distressing memories of the event.
An intrusive thought or memory means we aren’t recalling it on purpose, it is not voluntary, but rather appears when we aren’t expecting it, and we don’t want to think about it.
Intrusive thoughts can make a person feels as if they don’t have control over their thinking, which is distressing in and of itself, let alone that the traumatic memory is also painful.
Other intrusive symptoms include recurrent distressing dreams or nightmares and flashbacks.
Flashbacks are wakeful moments in which the person feels as if they are reliving or acting out the traumatic event all over again.
The last set of intrusion symptoms are experiencing extended and intense emotional and physical distress when exposed to internal or external circumstances that remind us of the traumatic event such as certain sights, sounds, or smells.
Check out other videos in our Psych in 60 series for more information on PTSD and leave your question in the comment section below.
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