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    Here Are Signs That You May Be Suffering From PTSD

    What you're going through is totally normal but should be closely monitored.

    If you've lived through a traumatic experience, your mind and body may be reacting in seemingly really weird ways.

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    In the first month following a trauma, you might be experiencing acute stress disorder (ASD).

    Common symptoms include having recurring distressing dreams, being irritable, feeling like you're in a daze and experiencing a lot of guilt.

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    You might also experience muscle problems (like tension-induced headaches, back or jaw pain), issues with your stomach (like acidity, flatulence, diarrhea or constipation), rapid heart rhythm, sweaty hands, dizziness, migraines, cold hands and feet, difficulty breathing and/or chest pains. Most of the times, these symptoms are triggered when you're thinking or remembering the trauma.

    But, if these symptoms last for more than a month, you might have Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

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    BuzzFeed Mexico asked Gabriela Hernández Heimper, psychologist with a master's degree in psychotherapy and a volunteer at the Mental Health Inter-Institutional Program, about PTSD as part of our coverage following the earthquakes in Mexico.

    One important thing to keep in mind, according to Heimper, is that you don't have to meet all of the criteria for PTSD or ASD to qualify for help.

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    "Everybody who's feeling discomfort, suffering, feelings of guilt, of hopelessness, etc., has the right to get psychological assistance," Heimper says. "Addressing these symptoms people are experiencing can help prevent disorders from developing."

    And it's extremely important to know that that what you're feeling is totally normal.

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    No one wakes up thinking that they could lose everything they have. "Mentally, we manage to give ourselves a feeling of security, of mental protection, to be able to work, love, walk around and enjoy," says Heimper. But after a traumatic event, that feeling of security vanishes, and we feel vulnerable.

    And if the symptoms start interfering with your daily routine or just feel too much to handle, that's when you should consider seeking help.

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    You might be watching your favorite TV show, and all of a sudden you're overcome with a memory from the traumatic event. Or you could also start getting super nervous every time you hear an ambulance, a random alarm or loud sound. These symptoms are then classified as "intrusive" because they come out of nowhere and affect your daily life.

    To heal, Heimper says, "We must rebuild our minds."

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    It's important to get back into a routine and do the same activities that you were doing before the event. "Once your brain starts focusing on tasks that it knows and can predict, you start repairing your internal structure little by little." During this process, it's normal for you to feel upset, angry, sad, disheartened and/or a little hopeless. You're basically functioning with all of your systems on high alert.

    It's not unusual to want to avoid anything that reminds you of the event.

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    In fact, Heimper says it's a natural response. "We will also watch the news a lot less, we'll avoid going to the places that make us afraid and we'll tune in to Friends on the TV to avoid thinking about what happened." During this process, it's normal to feel like you're not yourself, or to forget certain details of the event.

    For kids, PTSD can show up in different ways.

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    Heimper explains: "Since they don't yet have a language, stress will be reflected in their mood, nightmares or even play time." That's why parents should always pay close attention to kids who have experienced something traumatic. Other signs to look for include crying, regressive behaviors, sleep disturbance, separation anxiety, social isolation or the emergence of new rituals, amongst others.

    In fact, it's a good idea for people of all ages to closely monitor their feelings.

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    There's no one better than you to know if you need help and treatment. And if you need it, ask for it! A professional will be able to guide you through the best possible path to heal in the best possible way.

    In the U.S., you can find help for ASD or PTSD through many organizations and services.

    Such as the Mental Health America, the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN), Talkspace, and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

    Always check with a doctor when you have concerns about your health and well-being. BuzzFeed's posts have a merely informative purpose and they're not substitutes for medical diagnosis, treatment or counseling.

    This post was translated from Spanish.

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