Imagine carrying the weight of traumatic experiences long after they’ve occurred. This is the reality for individuals dealing with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Diagnosing PTSD involves unraveling the complex web of symptoms and experiences that vary from person to person.

At Harmonica Psychiatry in McKinney, Texas, Eka Oyeka, MSN, APRN, PMHNP-BC, and our dedicated team offer compassionate PTSD diagnosis and treatment that helps you overcome the most distressing traumas and find the healing you deserve.

In the meantime, we explore the diagnostic process, the signs to watch for, and why seeking professional help is crucial.

Understanding PTSD

Before delving into the diagnostic process, it’s important to understand what Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) involves. PTSD is a mental health condition that stems from experiencing a traumatic event, such as physical violence, accidents, combat, or abuse. It’s a condition that can affect anyone, extending beyond military personnel, and its impact can disrupt various aspects of daily life, relationships, and overall well-being.

Diagnosing PTSD

Understanding how PTSD gets diagnosed is far from a one-size-fits-all process – it’s about tailoring the assessment to your unique experiences. Dr. Oyeka uses specific criteria to evaluate this intricate condition and understands what you’re going through.

Let’s break down these criteria:

Exposure to trauma

This means you must have personally gone through a traumatic event or witnessed it happening to others. It’s about acknowledging the impact these events have on your mental well-being.

Re-experiencing symptoms

These symptoms can include flashbacks that transport you back to the traumatic moment, nightmares that intrude upon your sleep, or even intrusive thoughts that pop up unexpectedly. It’s as though the event is replaying in your mind, affecting your day-to-day life.

Avoiding and numbing

You might find yourself avoiding situations, places, or even people that remind you of the traumatic event. This emotional numbness or detachment is a way to shield yourself from reliving those distressing emotions.


Heightened alertness might become your new norm, making it hard to relax or sleep soundly. The irritability you feel when combined with a hair-trigger startle response, can leave you feeling constantly on edge.

Duration and impairment

These symptoms aren’t fleeting. For a diagnosis of PTSD, they need to persist for at least a month. Moreover, they aren’t just minor inconveniences; they significantly impact your daily life, from your relationships to your overall well-being.

The importance of seeking help

Diagnosing PTSD isn’t a solo endeavor. Here’s why professional guidance is essential:

Accurate assessment

Dr. Oyeka and our team can accurately distinguish PTSD from other conditions with similar symptoms.

Tailored treatment

A proper diagnosis allows for a personalized treatment plan that addresses your unique needs.

Validation and support

A diagnosis can validate your experiences, helping you understand that what you’re going through is real and valid.

Avoiding misdiagnosis

Misdiagnosis can lead to ineffective treatments, delaying recovery and exacerbating symptoms.

Overcoming stigma

Seeking professional help breaks down the stigma surrounding mental health, promoting a healthier mindset.

Ultimately, diagnosing PTSD is a meticulous process that requires professional expertise and individual courage. If you or someone you know is grappling with the aftermath of trauma, remember that reaching out for help is a step toward healing.

To learn more about PTSD and treatment options at Harmonica Psychiatry, call us at 469-754-9941 or book an appointment online.

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