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 Do You Get Someone Out Of Psychosis
The Do’s and Don’ts of Helping a Family Member in PsychosisDon’t panic or overreact. … Do listen non-judgmentally. … Don’t make medication, treatment, or diagnosis the focus. … Do speak slowly and simply. … Don’t threaten. … Do stay positive and encourage help. … Don’t hesitate to contact a mental health professional.1
Some Internal Ptsd Triggers
- Feelings of anger, anxiety, or sadness
- Seeing something on the news or online that reminds you of your traumatic event
- Watching a movie or television show that reminds you of your traumatic event
- Certain smells
- A specific place
- Seeing a person who reminds you of someone connected to your traumatic event
It’s important to become aware of what your PTSD triggers might be. Awareness of things that trigger you, may allow you to avoid triggers all together, or at least allow you to understand your response when you encounter them. Of course, you can’t avoid feelings and thoughts, or even some external triggers, so it’s also important to have some coping strategies for those instances.
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How Do Children And Teens React To Trauma
Children and teens can have extreme reactions to trauma, but their symptoms may not be the same as those seen in adults. In young children under the age of 6, symptoms can include:
- Wetting the bed after having learned to use the toilet
- Forgetting how or being unable to talk
- Acting out the scary event during playtime
- Being unusually clingy with a parent or other adult
Older children and teens usually show symptoms more like those seen in adults. They also may develop disruptive, disrespectful, or destructive behaviors. Older children and teens may feel guilty for not preventing injury or deaths. They also may have thoughts of revenge.
For more information, see the National Institute of Mental Health brochure, Helping Children and Adolescents Cope With Disasters and Other Traumatic Events.
How Do We Develop Ptsd Triggers
Trauma memories are encoded sensorially, not linguistically. This means that they are encoded through the senses. What does this mean? When we experience a trauma our brain attaches sensory experiences to the trauma memory. This means that when we experience a similar sensory stimulus again it can trigger PTSD symptoms. When we experience a similar sensory stimulus to one we experienced at the time of the trauma our brain tells our body that we are in danger. It is telling the body to mobilise the resources needed to either fight or flee the danger.; PTSD triggers can include anything we experience through the senses of sight, smell, touch or taste. They might also include anything that reminds you of the trauma.
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Studies On Mindfulness And Ptsd
As is the case with many “therapies” such as mindfulness, research has only begun to explore the benefits for people with anxiety disorders such as post-traumatic stress syndrome. That said, the research done thus far implies that there is a significant benefit to these practices.
Mindfulness has been shown to be an effective stress reduction practice in general, but there may be other ways it works for people with PTSD as well. Recent research suggests that mindfulness may help to mitigate the relationship between maladaptive thinking and posttraumatic distress.
Eye Movement Desensitization And Reprocessing
EMDR is commonly used to treat PTSD, and it can be helpful for CPTSD as well. Youll be asked to briefly think about a traumatic moment while moving your eyes from side to side. Other techniques include having someone tap on your hands instead of moving your eyes. Over time, this process may help to desensitize you to traumatic memories and thoughts.
While theres some debate within the medical community over its use, the American Psychological Association conditionally recommends it for PTSD. This means that they recommend it but additional information is still needed due to insufficient evidence.
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How To Overcome And Cure Ptsd
There are many different scenarios that can lead a person to experience PTSD . As a person who has had to deal with PTSD and knows about the extreme fight or flight response and adrenaline that accompanies this severe disorder, I know how painful it can be to deal with. Not everyone with the disorder will overcome the severity of symptoms that they experience, but after putting up with the rapid-thinking, extreme sense of fear, flashbacks, and hyperarousal for years, part of you will want to move on.
If you are ready to acknowledge that part of your spirit is ready to move on to a state of living free of fear and free of this fight or flight response, this is when you know you are ready to attempt to deal with PTSD. For me, I honestly thought I was going to live in a state of fear for the rest of my existence. In totality, my experience with PTSD ended up lasting about 8 years. Mine was brought about by a severe life-threatening diagnosis at the doctor. Im not going to get into all the details, but lets just say that I became so scared, that I was literally hyperfocused on every breath, every heartbeat, and my senses were off the charts; normal sounds were like sonic booms.
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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Getting Help For Triggers
Trigger warnings are useful in some cases. But avoiding ones triggers will not treat the underlying mental health concerns. If triggers interfere with someones daily life, the person may wish to see a therapist.
In therapy, people can process the emotions concerning their pasts. Some may learn relaxation techniques to cope with panic attacks. Others may learn how to avoid unhealthy behaviors. With time and work, a person can face their triggers with much less distress.
Have A Safety Plan In Place
Although it is important to increase your awareness of your triggers, doing so can cause some distress. Some people might actually become triggered by trying to identify their triggers. Therefore, before you take steps to identify your triggers, make sure you have a safety plan in place in case you experience some distress.
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Tip : Support Ptsd Treatment With A Healthy Lifestyle
The symptoms of PTSD can be hard on your body so its important to take care of yourself and develop some healthy lifestyle habits.
Take time to relax. Relaxation techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, massage, or yoga can activate the bodys relaxation response and ease symptoms of PTSD.
Avoid alcohol and drugs. When youre struggling with difficult emotions and traumatic memories, you may be tempted to self-medicate with alcohol or drugs. But substance use worsens many symptoms of PTSD, interferes with treatment, and can add to problems in your relationships.
Eata healthy diet. Start your day right with breakfast, and keep your energy up and your mind clear with balanced, nutritious meals throughout the day. Omega-3s play a vital role in emotional health so incorporate foods such as fatty fish, flaxseed, and walnuts into your diet. Limit processed food, fried food, refined starches, and sugars, which can exacerbate mood swings and cause fluctuations in your energy.
Get enough sleep. Sleep deprivation can trigger anger, irritability, and moodiness. Aim for somewhere between 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. Develop a relaxing bedtime ritual and make your bedroom as quiet, dark, and soothing as possible.
Benefits For People With Ptsd
In recent years, research has shown that journaling may help people with PTSD in several different ways. Psychologically, expressive writing appears to help people better cope with the symptoms of PTSD, such as anxiety and anger. Physically, journaling can make a difference as well, reducing body tension and restoring focus.
In addition, we are learning that traumatic events may lead not just to post-traumatic stress, but to post-traumatic growth. In other words, there can be silver linings and experiencing trauma may help you change in positive ways as well. Expressive writing has been found not only to improve the symptoms of PTSD and coping with them, but it also appears to help foster post-traumatic growth, or the ability to find meaning in and have positive life changes following a traumatic event.
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Identify Early Warning Signs
Flashbacks and dissociation may feel as though they come out of the blue and they may feel unpredictable and uncontrollable. However, there are often some early signs that you may be slipping into a flashback or a dissociative state.
For example, your surroundings may begin to look fuzzy or you may feel as though you’re separating from or losing touch with your surroundings, other people, or even yourself. Flashbacks and dissociation are easier to cope with and prevent if you can catch them early on. Therefore, it’s important to try to increase your awareness of their early symptoms.
Next time you experience an episode, revisit what you were feeling and thinking just before the flashback or dissociation occurred. Try to identify as many early symptoms as possible. The more early warning signs you can come up with, the better able you will be to prevent future episodes.
Different Types Of Ptsd Triggers
PTSD triggers typically fall into one of two categories: internal triggers and external triggers. Internal triggers encompass what you experience inside your body, including thoughts, emotions, memories and bodily sensations. External triggers are people, places or situations that happen outside the body and mind that remind you of the traumatic event.
Examples of internal triggers include:
- Memories tied to the traumatic event
- Feeling overwhelmed,;vulnerable, abandoned or out of control
Examples of external triggers include:
- Seeing someone related to the trauma
- Encountering someone with physical traits that remind you of someone involved in the trauma
- TV shows, movies or news articles that remind you of the traumatic event
- Certain sounds involved in the trauma, such as yelling or sirens
- Visual cues related to the trauma, such as a specific color, piece of clothing, house, or street sign
- Smells associated with trauma, such as smoke
- Specific words or phrases
- The anniversary of the trauma
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Putting These Strategies To Work
When engaging in these strategies, make sure to focus completely on the task at hand. That is, be mindful of your senses and what you are experiencing. Anytime you are distracted, simply bring your attention back to what you are doing.
Come up with your own self-soothing strategies that you can do when you are upset. Try to list as many as you can. The more you have at your disposal, the better off you will be in improving your mood when you are experiencing distress.
The Soothing Aspects Of Touch
Your skin is the largest organ in your body and it is very sensitive to external stimulus. This makes it a powerful tool in your ability to relax, unwind, and find relief from the stress that you’re feeling.
Water is one of the ways that you can feel instant relief. That can come from soaking in a warm bath or going for a swim. Likewise, you can give your skin a warm touch by simply sitting in the warmth of the sun or changing into your most comfortable clothes.
Among other things, you might try taking a few minutes to stretch your musclespossibly through a few simple yoga poses or tai chi movementsor getting a massage. Even taking a few minutes to play with and pet an animal can be amazingly beneficial to your mood.
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The Refreshing Power Of Smell
A number of research studies have looked into the positive benefits of aromatherapy. It is often one of the recommended natural treatments for people dealing with stress, anxiety, depression, and problems with sleep.
For instance, one study found that intensive care patients with anxiety slept better after inhaling lavender essential oil. In a meta-analysis of various clinical studies, researchers found that aromas can play a positive role in stress management.
There are many ways you can take advantage of soothing scents. Browsing a flower shop or spending time literally “smelling the roses” in a garden can brighten your mood. Likewise, simply stepping outside and taking a deep breath of fresh air can provide instant stress relief.
Lavender, vanilla, bergamot, and a number of other fragrances have proven to reduce stress as well. You can get these through scented candles, aromatherapy diffusers with essential oils, or a variety of other products.
Who Can Get C
- People who have survived living in concentration camps.
- People who have survived prisoner of war camps.
- Survivors of long-term childhood physical and/or sexual abuse.
- Anyone who has been part of a prositution brothel.
- Survivors of long-term domestic violence.
PTSD and C-PTSD share many of the same symptoms, but literature has pointed to three symptoms exclusive to C-PTSD;
- Problems with emotional regulation.;You might have a lessned sense of emotional sensitivity. You may lack the ability to respond to situations appropriately or feel you are unable to control your emotions.;
- Problems with interpersonal relationships.;You may have difficulty feeling close to another person; feel disconnected or distant from other people. It may be hard for you to maintain close relationships with family, significant others, or friends.;
- Negative self-concept.;You may have a poor perception of oneself. You might feel worthless, helpless, shame, guilt, and other problems related to self-esteem.;
C-PTSD can be treated with the same evidence-based treatments that are effective for treating PTSD. However, some research suggests that therapy with a focus on reestablishing a sense of control and power for the traumatized person can be especially beneficial.;
Some examples of how to treat anxiety include:
While there is no one simple answer, people do recover with a combination of supports. It can take some time to find out what works best for you, but it does get better.
Factors Influencing The Duration Of Ptsd
How long PTSD lasts depends on multiple factors. Some relate to the trauma itself, while others relate to the person and his/her life.
Trauma-related factors that impact the duration of PTSD include:
- Multiple or chronic trauma experiences vs. a single traumatic event
- Intentional trauma vs. accidental trauma
- Human-induced trauma vs. natural disasters/traumas
- Sexual assault vs. traumatic event not sexual in nature
Experiencing multiple traumas tends to make PTSD last longer, as do repetitive traumas, intentional traumas, human-induced traumas, and sexual assaults.
Person- and life-related factors that impact the duration of PTSD include:
- History of other traumatic experiences
- Living with other mental health challenges
In general, PTSD lasts longer in people who have experienced other traumatic events in the past, have current or past mental health difficulties, use fewer coping skills, and have little social support.
How Is It Diagnosed
CPTSD is still a relatively new condition, so some doctors arent aware of it. This can make it hard to get an official diagnosis, and you might be diagnosed with PTSD instead of CPTSD. Theres no specific test for determining whether you have CPTSD, but keeping a detailed log of your symptoms can help your doctor make a more accurate diagnosis. Try to keep track of when your symptoms started as well as any changes in them over time.
Once you find a doctor, theyll start by asking about your symptoms, as well as any traumatic events in your past. For the initial diagnosis, you likely wont need to go into too much detail if it makes you uncomfortable.
Next, they may ask about any family history of mental illness or other risk factors. Make sure to tell them about any medications or supplements you take, as well as any recreational drugs you use. Try to be as honest as you can with them so they can make the best recommendations for you.
If youve had symptoms of post-traumatic stress for at least a month and they interfere with your daily life, your doctor will likely start with a diagnosis of PTSD. Depending on the traumatic event and whether you have additional symptoms, such as ongoing relationship problems or trouble controlling your emotions, they may diagnose you with CPTSD.
Keep in mind that you may need to see a few doctors before you find someone you feel comfortable with. This is very normal, especially for people dealing with post-traumatic stress.
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