Do I Have PTSD?
*The following article refers to PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), whereas at Stella, we use the term PTSI (Post-Traumatic Stress Injury). We encourage you to adopt this language to break the stigma against Post-Traumatic Stress. Read more about the shift from PTSD to PSTI here.
If you're asking yourself, "Do I have PTSD?", this is a great place to start. In this article, we answer the following questions:
- How does trauma affect the brain?
- What is PTSD?
- How common is PTSD?
We also share a free PTSD quiz and explain how to interpret the results to help evaluate each individual's situation.
While only mental healthcare professionals can provide a diagnosis, we can help explain the symptoms we may be experiencing in response to a traumatic event or ongoing stressors.
How Does Trauma Affect the Brain?
Did you know that the body's fight-or-flight response turns on after traumatic or high-stress experiences? Whether it's once or many times, these experiences can cause a biological brain injury where the fight-or-flight response gets stuck in overdrive. And this overactivation can cause debilitating physical and psychological symptoms.
What Is PTSD?
PTSD is a term mental healthcare professionals use to describe the trouble we have recovering after a traumatic or stressful experience. PTSD has been referred to as a disorder, yet many claim it's an injury. Stella and others have suggested a new term – Post Traumatic Stress Injury (PSTI) – in place of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)1.
Most say there are 17 different symptoms following trauma exposure; however, there are more. Some of the most common symptoms include anxiety, problems with memory, depression, and headaches.
How Common Is PTSD?
Trauma is a universal human truth. It may surprise you that 60% of men and 50% of women experience trauma at least once in their lives.2 Research suggests that only 2-11% of people experiencing trauma symptoms are actually diagnosed.3
Despite how pervasive trauma is, we may not know how to identify symptoms following a traumatic event or ongoing stressors.
We only learn that we have trauma symptoms after researching the issues being had since the traumatic or stressful experience, confiding in a friend, or seeking a professional's help.
It's estimated that 50% of people experiencing trauma symptoms do not seek treatment.4 Stella exists to change that. We're ushering in breakthrough treatments that are fast, effective, and research-backed.
How Do I Know If I Have PTSD?
If you believe you're experiencing symptoms, take Stella's symptom quiz to assess their severity.
Stella uses a broad symptom assessment tool that gauges post-traumatic stress symptoms and depression symptoms while collecting relevant health and demographic information.
Stella's symptom quiz includes questions regarding mental health challenges and their symptoms like depression and anxiety. For example, "Do you have little interest or pleasure in doing things?" and "Are you super alert, watchful, or on guard?" After carefully reading the first six questions, you'll indicate how much you've been bothered in the last two weeks to a month on a scale of "Not at all" to "All Days." Then, the following three questions for you to answer will help us understand what type of dysregulation you may be experiencing, followed by questions about relevant diagnoses and demographic information. We know that answering these questions can be difficult, but you are not alone.
The answers to these questions produce results that can vary from modest to severe. These results help inform Stella's individual curated care plan recommendations. tell us if our treatments can effectively address your symptoms.
After completing the symptom quiz, your results will be presented on screen and emailed to the address previously provided. In addition, the results page will ask if you would like to speak with a Care Advocate to determine if Treatment by Stella is right for you. After answering "Yes, I'd like to book a call," you will be prompted to find a date and time on the calendar presented. Within the email, we provide you with a telephone number if you want to discuss treatment options with our care team later.
Please know that the results from the symptom quiz is not a diagnosis and that we encourage you to seek a professional assessment.
If you already took the symptom quiz and want to learn more about treatment options, please get in touch with a Care Advocate today: 908-293-7559
1. Itkowitz, C. (2021, October 28). Dropping the 'D' in PTSD is becoming the norm in Washington. The Washington Post. Retrieved February 2, 2022, from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2015/06/30/dropping-the-d-in-ptsd-is-becoming-the-norm/
2. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. (2018, September 13). How Common is PTSD in Adults? U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Retrieved February 2, 2022, from https://www.ptsd.va.gov/understand/common/common_adults.asp
3. Ellen C. Meltzer, MD MSc,1 Tali Averbuch, MPP,1 Jeffrey H. Samet, MD MA MPH,1,5 Richard Saitz, MD MPH,1,3,4 Khelda Jabbar, MD,6 Christine Lloyd-Travaglini, MPH,7 and Jane M. Liebschutz, MD MPH1,5 Discrepancy in diagnosis and treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): Treatment for the wrong reason https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3310322/
4. Spoont, M, Arbisi, P., Fu, S., Greer, N., Kehle-Forbes, S., Meis, L., Rutks, R., & Wilt, T.J. (2013). Screening for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in Primary Care: A Systematic Review [Internet]. Washington (DC): Department of Veterans Affairs (US). Available from: https://www.ncbi. nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK126691/ Spoont, et al., 2013.