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What are the symptoms of disabling post-traumatic stress?

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Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can be considered a disability when it impacts your ability to work. As such, you may be entitled to benefits in California. To claim them, it's very important to document your symptoms, some of which could include the following:

1. Intrusive memories. You may have dreams or flashbacks that recreate the situations that gave you PTSD in the first place. For example, soldiers will sometimes have flashbacks to when they were in combat, especially when there is an outside influence, such as a car backfiring or the sound of a gunshot.

2. Negative thoughts. Your overall mood may shift so that you have a far more negative outlook on life than you did before. Some people even find it impossible to feel positive about aspects of their life that should bring them joy—such as their children or success at work.

3. Clinical depression. At their worst, these negative thoughts could lead to clinical depression that has to be treated. This could in turn lead to thoughts of suicide to escape these feelings.

4. Active avoidance. Some people with PTSD know what places will trigger it, and they'll refuse to go there. This can significantly alter your lifestyle, depending on what event caused the PTSD and what you are avoiding.

5. Irrational anger and other such outbursts. You may be more likely to yell at people or get more angry than a situation warrants. This can even lead to physical altercations, which could then lead to allegations of assault or abuse.

If you suffer from PTSD, be sure you know how to document it as a disability and seek proper compensation.

Source: Mayo Clinic, "Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)," accessed Dec. 29, 2015

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