Life Transitions and PTSD

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Life Transitions and PTSD

Topic Overview

You go through many transitions, or changes, in your life. They can be good, bad, or just something different. Transitions include getting married or divorced, moving, a new baby, a new job, or changes in your health.

All transitions can be stressful. Even a good transition, such as getting a better job, is a change and can cause stress.

During a transition, you may not feel sure of yourself. You may feel that you have lost something or feel nervous about the change. If you feel this way during a transition, you may notice more intense symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

  • You may not sleep well and may have nightmares.
  • You may feel more anxious or nervous.
  • You may feel distant from friends.
  • You may feel angry, sad, or depressed.

The worries that a transition brings usually go away as you adjust to the change. To help yourself during this time, you can:

  • Get enough sleep.
  • Eat well.
  • Get exercise.
  • Avoid alcohol and drugs.
  • Talk to family and friends about it.

If your PTSD symptoms are still bad months after the transition, see your doctor.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Primary Medical Reviewer Donald Sproule, MD, CM, CCFP, FCFP - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Jessica Hamblen, PhD - Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Last Revised March 17, 2011

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