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When Did the Symptoms of PTSD First Appear, After the Initial Traumatic Event?

Discussion in 'PTSD Polls' started by anthony, Jul 2, 2006.

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When Did The Symptoms of PTSD First Appear, After the Initial Traumatic Event?

  1. 1 - 3 months

    32.7%
  2. 3 - 6 months

    10.0%
  3. 6 - 9 months

    5.2%
  4. 9 - 12 months

    4.0%
  5. 12 months or longer

    48.1%
  1. anthony

    anthony MyPTSD Admin Staff Member Premium Member

    gamereign555 likes this.
  2. piglet

    piglet New Member

    This is a question I can't even answer, as I cannot remember when the trauma started, only when it stopped. I do have a distinct recollection of something that I now know was a flashback. This was only a few months after I left home. However, it is very probable that I might have shown signs of ptsd as a young child. I just don't know.

    If I think about when I actually sought help with symptoms, this was 21/2 years after I left home. I had been coping with the symptoms for a long time and just accepted them as part of me. My life was quite restricted, but manageable. I couldn't handle the depression side of it though and that is what sent me into the doctor. This was ten years ago.
    Rosalia, Zef, faraway and 1 other person like this.
  3. Nam

    Nam New Member

    My trauma was during childhood. I did not have symptoms of PTSD until I was twenty five. I did suffer from undiagnosed depression here and there growing up, but the PTSD did not happen until my memories, or flashbacks returned.
  4. carpediem2006

    carpediem2006 New Member

    It is hard to say as many of us have more than one traumatic event. When exactly it becomes PTSD is difficult to quantify, but the symptoms are more or less immediate. I think that we should also look at PTSS (stress syndrome) that would be a temporary reaction to a one off event as opposed to long standing ongoing stressful situations such as combat, harassment, bullying and abuse. In these cases the symptoms are present but intensify as the threat does not diminish but increases.

    As the threat increases so do the negative impacts, such as loss of employment, relationships, friendships so the symptoms then become self-exacerbating.

    For many I think full recovery from something like a car crash, earthquake or other one off event is fully feasible.

    There will always be triggers, but at the same time we learn to protect ourselves for reasons of self preservation, just as we look before crossing the road. We know and deal with daily 'dangers' every day. The problem is when these dangers are much more than checking to cross the road. And the response is similarly much stronger. I begin to think of it a bit like self protection where the response has gone haywire because the threat(s) were so large.
    mfbadaracco and raven123 like this.
  5. Farmer

    Farmer New Member

    My traumatic event happened when I was 8 but the sympoms didn't show up untill 13 or 14, Being an adoleciant I told no one for fear of being different even tho I could see the world was going on a different road than me.
  6. nml

    nml New Member

    Im not sure if the symptoms started as a child or not. There wasnt anyone really paying attention to me unless I was being abused. I was diagnosed with Complex/Chronic PTSD also as I have carried the traumas into my adulthood attempting subconcsiouly to change the outcome of a long ago story. As now I know the symptoms, they ahve been there for many years. Some very traumatic memories were surpressed some were not. I crashed about 9 months ago.
  7. lorrie

    lorrie New Member

    how long?

    Stress and trauma has been in my life since my childhood, but the abuse from my marriage and the relationship is my demon. The question is tough because I tried to hide with alcohol but it jut covered the symptoms. I guess it has been about 12 years and my mind has just recently really started trusting my ability to deal with things that I never could before.
  8. reallydown

    reallydown VIP Member

    Don't know if this is helpful

    I also went through childhood trauma... I can't say when exactly my symptoms started (there was some related depression in highschool) but I didn't give it much importance until college--when it really started affecting me...

    I also have a memory(very sketchy though) of another childhood trauma...and when I asked my mom about it she said that at about that time I had started wetting myself (even though I was fully potty-trained)...so I guess at that time the symptoms showed up earlier...
  9. nml

    nml New Member

    I had forgotten about the bed wetting. Which made matters worse as I would get "punished" for it. I also remember throwing up alot as a small child between ages 5 to 8 years old. I guess symtoms were there. I didnt think about those things as being symptoms. geez.
  10. sonrisa

    sonrisa New Member

    Same here, bedwetting until age 7 (and got punished for it), and at a younger age a lot of outbursts (over and above the terrible twos) which were thought to be some kind of disorder but eventually put down to an allergy to a soft drink. Sure in my teens it was starting to come through more, with depression due to home siutation and bullying at school too, but it was after the car crash when I was 22 that ptsd was clear. Even then, was young [40 now] and didn't understand what it was etc, but definitely about 4 years ago the final crash came, and totally withdrew.

    Been finding my own ways of dealing with things until reading on a depression site a year or so ago about ptsd, and suddenly remembering it had been referred to around the time of the car crash. It really made sense then, and to finally have someone assessing correctly just this week, and referring me on for the right help, is a real positive step of progress, and feels like the end of a very long chapter, and the beginning of a much better chapter. This week the first diagnosis was put to me as 'depression with cumulative ptsd that could have begun in the developmental stage but isn't innate', so I agree that often we don't realise how early ptsd is beginning, until the symptoms become much clearer. And definitely, when ptss becomes ptsd I agree must be when we either can't find a way to resolve a trauma or are overwhelmed with circumstances that are consistently traumatic over a long period of time. And e.g. if something very difficult is hanging over your head day in day out, I can very much understand carpediem's point about when it crosses over to 'major threat/flashing lights' when the threat response has got so overwhelmed.

    Cat
  11. becvan

    becvan Queen of the Blunt!

    I voted for 12 months or longer.

    My first memory of trauma (and there are too many to count) is when I was around age 5 but I don't have many memories before the age of 12. So we'll just go with that!

    Bec
    myself likes this.
  12. cookie

    cookie New Member

    It has been a loooooooong time. trauma started around 3. Symptoms didn't come until last yr. 45 yrs afterward. I know it's strange, i can't seem to do anything the normal way.
  13. jods

    jods New Member

    If a spouse can answer this question, then my answer would be pretty much straight away & within the 1-3mths. We were told that the doctors had to allow the "correct timeframe before they could use PTSD as the diagnosis".
  14. No-Twitch-Tabitha

    No-Twitch-Tabitha New Member

    My Childhood Was a Series of Traumatic Events

    My mother started her crap on me pretty early, my good friend Jackie died of leukemia when I was 6, the molestations started at the same age and ended by 9; when I was 10, both my parents entered hospital (Dad for colon cancer, Mom for her first stroke), by 11, we'd moved to Florida to settle semi-permanently (Dad was in the Air Force).

    All I remember is that my depression really started at the age of 11 and by 13 I was suicidal. I've had these symptoms for so long, I don't really remember being anything but "damaged goods". I think may I have started operating in the framework long before I became conscious of my symptoms.
    LSNP and myself like this.
  15. erryyn

    erryyn New Member

    I had to go with 1-3 months though I don't know how accurate that assessment is. Basically, I found myself in a very violent environment and responded to that violence by developing 'survival' skills - staying away from home as much as possible. I don't know if that was PTSD or not - I think it was a beginning, though.

    I quit sleeping (survival skill) but that wasn't because of nightmares until maybe five years later - when most danger had passed; then the nightmares started up in a major way.

    I had severe startle reactions immediately but, again, I was in the middle of it. It never went away, though.

    Staying away from groups was a learned survival skill at the time but I still can't stand them.

    Where I used to be afraid to be at home, I turned into someone who 'protects' my territory beyond belief. I've known people for ten years or more who are not allowed in my space. If they showed up at my door one day, I wouldn't answer the door. As it is, if someone knocks on my door, I don't open it or acknowledge them.

    Most people probably think I'm a little odd but they seem to have accepted my 'rules'. I think it's odd that they never ask. Of course, (knowing me) if they asked, we likely wouldn't be 'friends' - it's extremely rare for me to talk to someone about who and why I am.

    So, it's a combination that, at the time probably looked like PTSD but I consider it simple survival skills that mutated. *shrugs*
    LSNP likes this.
  16. Claire

    Claire VIP Member

    I had a car crash. went on functioning pretty normally until about 6/8 weeks later when I imploded.
  17. Thornbird

    Thornbird New Member

    Being a police officer, I went through one trauma after another. I think it kept me from thinking of the main event which started my PTSD. Once I resigned from the force, when I had more time to think and relax, everything came rushing back.
  18. slhlilbit

    slhlilbit New Member

    Im not sure. the day i was given my honerable disharge it took me a couple of days to get my self togeather so i could go home to my son. I spent 2 days in a hotel crying. then i stuffed it all inside. went home and started my life over. i got married to the father of my son two and a half months later. thought everything was fine, until he had to go back on duty, he was on leave becouse he was in japan. when he was stationed at school in vergina.
    wow. i forgot this, i had problems when he put the uniform on. when we went to the base. i didnt know what it was.!
  19. starshine

    starshine New Member

    I put 12 months or more, but its hard to say. Because which trauma?
    I was always an anxious child, and always had night terror type and insomnia and such, and felt suicidal as a teen, but couldn't have told someone of that fact...but when it comes to the hyper-vigilance and all the main PTSD stuff, well, it came on really CONSCIOUSLY after the first break in at my parents' when I was 16 [and still living at home]. It became conscious, through the clear intrusion [had no real concept then that the abuse at home and school was an intrusion..it was my *normal life*] that things weren't safe.
    Then when I moved to E. London, and was teaching in some very iffy areas, it really started to come on. But I couldn't clearly identify it until I was actually definitely safe, and started getting the right support. The safety around me made me more highly conscious of my adaptive behaviours and flashbacks.
    4gtfl1 likes this.
  20. Jim

    Jim New Member

    If I may, I voted/answered for my brother. Believe his symptoms didn't occur for more than 12 months afterwards. In fact, think it was at least 2 years for Eric. Don't quite understand why that is. However. Was quite similar for LtGen Dallaire. He left Rwanda in 94 and didn't have his breakdown until 2000.

    Jim.
  21. 9Lives

    9Lives New Member

    It's hard to remember but, my childhood trauma started about 3 (seeing my dad die) & then starting at age 6-13 molestation by my grandfather. And of course there was the physical abuse by my mother until I was 16 & put in a foster home (where I got raped). So, I decided to join the military (raped again) & the list just goes on & on. But, I used to faint a lot when I was a kid, hyperventilate, & dissociate - maybe those were all symptoms??
  22. Sapper

    Sapper New Member

    Ok, maybe that explains Brian as well. Though I don't get it either.
  23. Claire

    Claire VIP Member

    Could it be something to do with being in the forces? the training and/or being male too. Just not opening up and talking about stuff? Was Brian in the forces? Just wondered if after training you are better at closing off to emotions but you still get them, the way you deal with them is different?
  24. Sapper

    Sapper New Member

    Yes Claire, Brian was in the military. There are certain aspects of our training, the military lifestyle and attitude in general that can set a man up for problems later on. I'm sure being male and not talking or expressing oneself adequately contributes also. So perhaps that's a partial answer, thanks for your input.
  25. anthony

    anthony MyPTSD Admin Staff Member Premium Member

    Claire, the military instills some of the symptoms of PTSD in all soldiers during training as they are requisites for life saving skills, ie. hypervigilance, alertness, awareness, etc etc.

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