Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Can Ptsd Make You Physically Sick

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People With Ptsd May Experience Muscle And Joint Aches

How Childhood Trauma Can Make You A Sick Adult | Big Think

According to PTSD UK, muscle pain is a common symptom of PTSD. ” anxiety and hyper-vigilance that often comes with PTSD can increase the tension you put on your muscles and joints in general,” the organization’s website says.

Dr. Michael Murphy, the medical director of River Oaks Treatment Center in Florida, added, “Much like the immune system reacts to a virus and causes damage, the brain can overreact and stay in a perpetual state of hyperarousal and fear that can lead to a cascade of symptoms.”

Impact Of Ptsd On Relationships And Day

PTSD can affect a persons ability to work, perform day-to-day activities or relate to their family and friends. A person with PTSD can often seem disinterested or distant as they try not to think or feel in order to block out painful memories. They may stop them from participating in family life or ignore offers of help. This can lead to loved ones feeling shut out.

It is important to remember that these behaviours are part of the problem. People with PTSD need the support of family and friends, but may not think that they need help.

It is not unusual for people with PTSD to experience other mental health problems at the same time. In fact, up to 80 per cent of people who have long-standing PTSD develop additional problems – most commonly depression, anxiety, and alcohol or othersubstance misuse. These may have developed directly in response to the traumatic event or have developed sometime after the onset of PTSD.

You Have Digestive Issues

Many people with PTSD experience digestive issues due to the mental stress that they are under. “The brain sends signals to the stomach that the brain is under a great deal of stress, and as a result we start to see digestive issues and stomach pain,” says Poag. Like insomnia, digestive issues can be caused by a variety of factors, so if you’re questioning where these problems may be coming from, a trip to the doctor’s can help clarify.

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Support Is Important For Recovery

Many people experience some of the symptoms of PTSD in the first two weeks after a traumatic event, but most recover on their own or with the help of family and friends. For this reason, formal treatment for PTSD does not usually start for at least two or more weeks after a traumatic experience.

It is important during the first few days and weeks after a traumatic event to get whatever help is needed. This may include accessing information, people and resources that can help you to recover. Support from family and friends may be all that is needed. Otherwise, a doctor is the best place to start to get further help.

Your Stomach Is Often Upset No Matter What Foods You Eat

PTSD Causes: The Science of Trauma and How to Treat It

Its only natural that some foods upset your stomach. What isnt natural is to have an upset stomach no matter what you ate at mealtime.

Anxiety has a tendency to make your stomach turn upside down and feel topsy-turvy a lot of the time though, its a little more intense than the typical butterflies you have when youre nervous.

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Repeated Search For A Rescuer

Subconsciously looking for someone to rescue them is something many survivors understandably think about during the ongoing trauma and this can continue on after the trauma has ceased. The survivor can feel helpless and yearn for someone to come and rescue them from the pain they feel and want them to make their lives better. This sadly often leads to the survivor seeking out the wrong types of people and being re-traumatized repeatedly.

What Are The Treatments For Post

The main treatments for PTSD are talk therapy, medicines, or both. PTSD affects people differently, so a treatment that works for one person may not work for another. If you have PTSD, you need to work with a mental health professional to find the best treatment for your symptoms.:

  • Talk therapy, or psychotherapy, which can teach you about your symptoms. You will learn how to identify what triggers them and how to manage them. There are different types of talk therapy for PTSD.
  • Medicines can help with the symptoms of PTSD. Antidepressants may help control symptoms such as sadness, worry, anger, and feeling numb inside. Other medicines can help with sleep problems and nightmares.

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Constructive And Destructive Anger In Ptsd

People often primarily view anger as a negative or harmful emotion. But that’s not always the case. It’s true that anger can often lead to unhealthy behaviors like substance abuse or impulsive actions. Yet, feeling angry isn’t “bad” in itself. It’s a valid emotional experience and it can provide you with important information.

You may have heard anger classified into two types: constructive anger and destructive anger. Constructive anger can help with healing, forward movement, and recovery, while destructive anger can cause harm. It’s a good idea to understand this difference and find ways of managing both in your life.

Persistent Sadness And Being Suicidal


Complex trauma survivors often experience ongoing states of sadness and severe depression. Mood disorders are often co-morbid with complex PTSD.

Complex trauma survivors are high risk for suicidal thoughts, suicide ideation and being actively suicidal. Suicide ideation can become a way of coping, where the survivor feels like they have a way to end the severe pain if it becomes any worse. Often the deep emotional pain survivors feel, can feel unbearable. This is when survivors are at risk of developing suicidal thoughts.

For more information about suicidal issues, see my website.

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Living With An Inflammatory Bowel Disease Diagnosis

See, I’ve been giving my body over to doctors for nearly a decade. In 2012, I was diagnosed with an incurable inflammatory bowel disease called Crohn’s disease that triggers my immune system to attack my digestive system. It causes bleeding and ulceration throughout my digestive tract, diarrhea, vomiting, dehydration, and malnutrition. It causes fistulas , bowel perforations, blockages, fissures , abscesses , anemia, joint pain, fatigue, and something called toxic megacolon .

Most folks with my disease require surgery at some pointbe it bowel resectioning or removal. Many live with temporary or permanent ostomiessurgical openings that divert stool for evacuation, according to the American Society of Colon & Rectal Surgeons. IBD also increases the risk of digestive cancers and other chronic illnesses , and the drugs that treat IBD can trigger significant side effects, like drug-induced lupus , psoriasis , and even cancer.

It’s an unfair, heartless, and often debilitating illness. Crohn’s disease, one of two types of IBD, affects about 100300 in every 100,000 people, which means more than half a million people in the US have it, according to the National Library of Medicine MedlinePlus resource.

There May Be A Correlation Between Ptsd And Obesity

According to the National Institutes of Health, PTSD has been linked to obesity, as well as metabolic dysfunction. Studies suggest this may be due to stress hormones and disrupted circadian rhythms affecting the “hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis” in the brain.

Metabolic dysfunction and stress can change consumptive behaviors, which can lead to an increased consumption of foods with high calorie content.

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It May Also Cause Inflammation In Organs And Gastric Issues

Murphy said that inescapable trauma can result in heightened levels of the stress hormone cortisol and pro-inflammatory chemicals called cytokines. This can cause organ inflammation.

“There’s multiple organ systems that can be affected by the chemicals that are produced when someone is stressed,” Murphy said. “When these are left in a chronically elevated state, they can do subtle damage to the body over time.”

According to a study by the National Institutes of Health, in which researchers examined 4,076 Danish participants who had PTSD over a 16-year period, there is an association between the disorder and the development of gastric disorders, like ulcers. People with PTSD were at a 25% higher risk of developing a gastric disorder.

What Is The Agenda For Clinical Practice

Sex harassment can make victims physically sick, studies reveal

One agenda for clinical practice is for mental-health workers to increase collaboration with primary and specialty medical care professionals in order to better address this relationship between PTSD and health problems. Medical personnel need to become more aware of the potential harmful effects trauma and PTSD can have on health. Specifically, it is important to screen for PTSD in medical settings. Studies of patients seeking physical-health care show that many have been exposed to trauma and experience posttraumatic stress but have not received appropriate mental-health care. In answer to this problem, it might be useful to integrate PTSD treatment services with medical care services.

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What Kind Of Trauma Leads To Ptsd

1. Exposure to:

  • Actual or threatened death
  • Serious injury
  • Sexual Violence
  • 2. Exposure can be:

  • Directly experiencing the event
  • Witnessing the event in person as it happens to others
  • Learning that it occurred to a close family member or close friend
  • Experiencing repeated or extreme exposure to aversive details of the event
  • You May Get Icy Hands And Feet

    During the fight/flight/freeze period your blood flow is redirected away from your extremities and towards your larger organs in your torso necessary for your body to protect the heart and other organs essential to your survival. This redirection can result in poor blood flow to your hands and feet, and cause them to feel cold. One PTSD sufferer who noticed this too said, At times, my toes would be white they looked close to falling off there was almost no blood in them at all.

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    But Adverse Experiences At An Early Age Can Be Treated Says Nadine Burke Harris And Their Damage Mitigated

    At her Bay Area childrens clinic, in interviews, and in her new book, Nadine Burke Harris addresses two questions time and again: Does childhood trauma live in the body forever? And, if it does, is there hope for treating it?

    Burke Harrisa pediatrician, founder and CEO of the Center for Youth Wellness in San Francisco, and author of The Deepest Well: Healing the Long-Term Effects of Childhood Adversitydescribed childhood trauma as persistent, but treatable, during a Zócalo Public Square event at the National Center for the Preservation of Democracy in Little Tokyo in downtown Los Angeles.

    Before an overflow crowd, Burke Harris and moderator Carol S. Larson, president and CEO of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, unpacked the body of research showing that adverse childhood experiences can trigger lifelong physical problems, just as surely as they can lead to profound psychological and emotional afflictions.

    But, said Burke Harris, it doesnt have to. While adversity at an early age can alter childrens biology, for me, she said, the science is profoundly hopeful, because we can get in and interrupt it. Some keys to that, she suggested, are early identification and intervention building and utilizing networks that connect pediatricians to other service professionals and, crucially, addressing the problems and needs not only of the child, but also of the parents, caregivers, and adults who create the environment around the child.

    Dont Be Too Hard On Yourself

    How Trauma and PTSD Change the Brain

    One more thing you should definitely do if you have PTSD: Be kind to yourself. That advice probably makes you roll your eyes but sometimes, cheesy advice rings true. PTSD can cause feelings of guilt, shame and anger. When youre feeling down, it can help to remember that its not you. Its the disorder.

    PTSD changes the structure of your brain, Dr. Wimbiscus points out. Think about that: Your brain is physically different than it used to be. PTSD is not caused by weakness, and you cant just make yourself get over it.

    So what should you do when youre feeling hopeless? Remember that hopelessness, too, can be a symptom of the disorder.

    And try to follow Dr. Wimbiscus advice: Focus on getting through your daily tasks, and know that it gets better. Allow time to do its work. It may be a struggle right now, but time is one of our greatest healers. There is hope.

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    When To Seek Professional Help

    It’s normal to have a variety of emotional, cogitive, and physical reactions to a trauma that may last for days, weeks, or months following a traumatic incident. Typically, symptoms gradually improve over time. However, if your reactions are very intense, get worse rather than better, persist for a very long time, and/or interfere with your ability to function, you may have Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder , clinical depression, or another psychological condition that requires professional assessment and treatment. If you experience persistent feelings of distress or hopelessness and you feel like you are barely able to get through your daily responsibilities and activities, see a licensed mental health professional or medical clinician. It’s especially important to ask for help if you are having thoughts of harming or killing yourself or someone else.

    What Does Ptsd Feel Like

    Although experiencing PTSD is different for everyone, some people have noted they experience feeling pain or pressure in their body, even if theres nothing physically there. Experiencing PTSD can also include experiencing the same emotions felt during the traumatic event, such as fear, horror, or distress. Panic attacks, nightmares, increased heart rate, and difficulty breathing also can indicate PTSD.

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    Other Effects Of Ptsd

    If you are experiencing symptoms of PTSD, you might also find that you have difficulty with some everyday aspects of your life, such as:

    • looking after yourself
    • remembering things and making decisions
    • your sex drive
    • coping with change
    • simply enjoying your leisure time.

    If you drive you may have to tell the DVLA that you have PTSD. For more information on your right to drive, including when and how to contact the DVLA, see our legal pages on fitness to drive.

    “My behaviour changed and became erratic. I would alternate from wanting to shut myself away and not see or talk to anyone to going out to parties in the middle of the week and staying out late.”

    How Ptsd And Physical Health Are Related

    Childhood Trauma Can Make You Physically Sick in Adulthood

    There is something unique to having PTSD that puts people at risk for developing physical health problems. A number of theories have been proposed to explain this connection. It has been suggested that a variety of factors interact to increase the risk for physical health problems among people with PTSD.

    People with PTSD may engage in more risky and health-compromising behaviors, such as alcohol and drug use. The hyperarousal symptoms of PTSD may also put someone in a constant state of stress and anxiety. Factors like these combine to put tremendous strain and stress on a person’s body, increasing the risk for physical health problems and illness.

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    Surprising Physical Symptoms Of Ptsd

    When we think of post-traumatic stress disorder , we often think of the mental pain associated with it. Maybe we think of feelings of depression and hopelessness, or mentally checking out from the present. But PTSD as is the case for many mental illnesses can manifest in tangible, physical ways.

    To understand some of the surprising physical ways PTSD can manifest, we asked people in our mental health community to describe some of the physical symptoms theyve experienced as a result of their condition.

    Heres what they shared with us:

    1. Rapid weight loss without trying. I just dont have an appetite anymore. Schelley K.

    2. My super sensitive sense of smell, and hearing. I can notice things miles before others. It has its downsides though. Most of the time it overwhelms me, and I spend most of my life trying to block sounds out! Lara C.

    3. Distorted vision and hearing. Experiencing sensory overload is a pain in the ass, and when it gets to the point of a panic attack, senses numb and get all out whack, before the inevitable tunnel vision and blackout. Raven C.

    4. The excruciating migraines that come with the horrible bad dreams. Elizabeth D.

    5. For me, its one of two things, both so opposite from each other. Sometimes, its like having a weight on my chest and I can hardly breathe. Other times, its like there is a hole where that weight was making me feel empty and worthless. Kyndra W.

    6. I have physical sensations of my trauma. Katrina A.

    Ptsd Can Lead To Substance Abuse Problems Which Can Worsen A Person’s Health In Many Ways

    “There’s higher rates of substance use in people who have had trauma,” Murphy said. “And substance use itself can do damage to the body, and so for some people, it’s a double problem in terms of the trauma itself causing hyperarousal and hormone imbalances, and the substance then exacerbating it.”

    Murphy said people with PTSD may start using substances like alcohol or sedatives to self-medicate from symptoms of the disorder, but over time they become more dependent on them, which can damage their bodies in myriad ways.

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    Ptsd Fatigue Ptsd Exhaustion As A Symptom Of Trauma

    It is not uncommon for people living with PTSD to develop ME or fatigue syndrome over time. It is one of the major symptoms accompanying PTSD, as are migraines, fibromyalgic pains, irritable bowel syndrome, depressed immune system, and inflammation.

    PTSD fatigue, tiredness, lethargy, and exhaustion can manifest in different forms. It can vary from a flat-out draining attack related to what you are dealing with and suffering from, to a lingering, sullen, but persistently pervasive, exhausted state.

    I think PTSD fatigue and exhaustion is one of the most common symptoms accompanying post-trauma to be utterly exhausted, tired, fatigued, not having the will or the energy to do anything, and especially so after a triggering activation, when one’s story, accompanying emotions, and adrenaline get going.

    The cause of the draining attack is obvious your flight/fight mechanism has kicked in through a triggering event, and after it has run its course, you will have to pick up the pieces and attempt to build yourself up again as best as you can.

    Besides a triggering activation, there’s a lot of energy invested in keeping a traumatic state steadily static, and this is held mostly at an unconscious level. It is this manifestation of PTSD that leads to the persistently exhausted state.

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