The first step you can take towards fighting your PTSD is to verify that you actually have this mental illness. PTSD is an anxiety disorder and the symptoms can often overlap with other similar conditions.
See a mental health provider for a thorough differential diagnosis so that you can get the adequate treatment for what's bothering you. In order to receive a diagnosis of PTSD, you must have a history of exposure to a traumatic event that meets specific stipulations. For example, you must exhibit symptoms from each of four symptom clusters for a specific period of time: 1) intrusion- nightmares, flashbacks, and recurrent memories; 2) avoidance- avoiding thoughts, people, places, and things that remind you of what happened; 3) negative alterations in cognitions and mood- feeling alienated from others, persistent negative beliefs about the world, inability to recall aspects of the event, etc.; and 4) alterations in arousal and reactivity- irritability, hyperarousal, sleep disturbances, etc. Anyone who has experienced a traumatic event can end up with PTSD. Children who suffer from abuse, people who have been sexually assaulted, combat veterans, and car accident or natural disaster survivors are all at risk of developing this disorder. Acute Stress Disorder is a related anxiety disorder that can often become PTSD. ASD occurs within one month after the traumatic event. It can last between 3 days and 4 weeks. Acute stress symptoms that last longer than one month are a sign that the disorder has progressed to PTSD.