What Is Emotional And Psychological Trauma
Emotional and psychological trauma is the result of extraordinarily stressful events that shatter your sense of security, making you feel helpless in a dangerous world. Psychological trauma can leave you struggling with upsetting emotions, memories, and anxiety that wont go away. It can also leave you feeling numb, disconnected, and unable to trust other people.
Traumatic experiences often involve a threat to life or safety, but any situation that leaves you feeling overwhelmed and isolated can result in trauma, even if it doesnt involve physical harm. Its not the objective circumstances that determine whether an event is traumatic, but your subjective emotional experience of the event. The more frightened and helpless you feel, the more likely you are to be traumatized.
Emotional and psychological trauma can be caused by:
- One-time events, such as an accident, injury, or a violent attack, especially if it was unexpected or happened in childhood.
- Ongoing, relentless stress, such as living in a crime-ridden neighborhood, battling a life-threatening illness or experiencing traumatic events that occur repeatedly, such as bullying, domestic violence, or childhood neglect.
- Commonly overlooked causes, such as surgery , the sudden death of someone close, the breakup of a significant relationship, or a humiliating or deeply disappointing experience, especially if someone was deliberately cruel.
Regain Focus Through Physical Activity
Many people who have been diagnosed with PTSD say that finding an enjoyable physical activity that they can perform regularly has helped them to reduce their levels of stress and cope with their symptoms.
Rebecca Thorne, who was diagnosed with PTSD following childhood trauma, explains how running has helped her to cope with the symptoms that were impacting her life.
I am a runner and I suffer from , she says. One of the many things I think about while Im running, and also when Im not, is the relationship between the two.
I embrace running in all weathers , always with a considerable amount of ascent. As I fight my way up the climbs, I often imagine that the hill is my illness and I am going to slowly and steadily conquer it. Yet it never feels like suffering and, once at the top of the hill, I can reach out and touch the sky.
Researchers from Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge in the United Kingdom found that surfing can be an effective coping strategy for war veterans diagnosed with PTSD.
According to the team, this sport helps veterans to attain a focused mind state known as flow, in which they are so absorbed in the activity they are performing that all other thoughts and emotions are pushed aside.
Dr. Nick Caddick, who was involved with the study, compares this with the effects of mindfulness meditation, just that it is more active. He calls it a moving form of mindfulness.
Adverse Childhood Experiences Test
The ACE Study is one of the largest scientific research studies of its kind, with over 17,000 mostly middle income Americans participating. The focus was to analyze the relationship between childhood trauma and the risk for physical and mental illness in adulthood.
Over the course of a decade, the results demonstrated a strong, graded relationship between the level of traumatic stress in childhood and poor physical, mental and behavioral outcomes later in life. No new study participants are being accepted into the study. However, you might like to know your own ACE Score.
You May Like: Can You Go To The Er For A Panic Attack
How Does Gad Relate To Ptsd
Approximately 1 in 6 individuals with PTSD symptoms will suffer from GAD, according to some research. Although we do not know exactly why they coexist, worrying is one of the most common PTSD symptoms.
In a hyperaroused emotional state, the worry may become exaggerated until it is caused to become insurmountable. Many people even turn to their worrying as a way to cope with stressful situations.
A person with PTSD symptoms will often say that being distracted by worry about other factors or troubles takes their attention away from events or memories that make them feel the most upset.
Worry can be used as a distraction for people to remain anonymous about their fears and worries. Another potential reason is that both conditions are induced by similar experiences. A past ordeal is an underlying reason why PTSD symptoms appear, but it is also a trigger for GAD.
Tip : Reach Out To Others For Support
PTSD can make you feel disconnected from others. You may be tempted to withdraw from social activities and your loved ones. But its important to stay connected to life and the people who care about you. You dont have to talk about the trauma if you dont want to, but the caring support and companionship of others is vital to your recovery. Reach out to someone you can connect with for an uninterrupted period of time, someone who will listen when you want to talk without judging, criticizing, or continually getting distracted. That person may be your significant other, a family member, a friend, or a professional therapist. Or you could try:
Volunteering your time or reaching out to a friend in need. This is not only a great way to connect to others, but can also help you reclaim your sense of control.
Joining a PTSD support group. This can help you feel less isolated and alone and also provide invaluable information on how to cope with symptoms and work towards recovery.
Need to talk to someone?
Get affordable online counseling from BetterHelp or visit HelpGuides directory for free helplines and crisis resources. HelpGuide is reader supported. We may receive a commission if you sign up for BetterHelp through the provided link. Learn more.
You May Like: Feretrophobia Define
Tips To Get Out Of A Ptsd Episode
Traumatic events can have a lasting impact on your mental health. If youve experienced a violent assault or a serious accident, or if youve been involved in active combat, you may have an ongoing emotional response for days or even weeks. But if youve been haunted by trauma for months or years, you may have a condition called post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.
Traumatic events can have a lasting impact on your mental health. If youve experienced a violent assault or a serious accident, or if youve been involved in active combat, you may have an ongoing emotional response for days or even weeks. But if youve been haunted by trauma for months or years, you may have a condition called post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.PTSD is distinguished from other forms of anxiety by episodes, which are delayed stress reactions to the trauma you experienced in your past. These episodes are frightening when they occur but, with proper treatment, they can be effectively controlled.
What Are The Stages Of Ptsd
Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, has received a lot of attention in the media. The condition is frequently shown on movies and TV, but what is PTSD in real life?
PTSD is a mental health condition in which people experience flashbacks, anxiety, nightmares, and repetitive, intrusive thoughts about the traumatic event they experienced or witnessed. According to the National Center for PTSD, approximately 60% of men and 50% of women experience trauma at least once in their lifetime. The amount of people who go on to develop PTSD from those traumas is comparatively small only 7 to 8 percent but those affected individuals could assert that PTSD is a misunderstood, difficult condition that severely interferes with the quality of their lives.
If you or someone you love has experienced trauma, or is currently suffering from PTSD, its important to know how it affects an individual and how it develops. Read on to learn more about the stages of PTSD as the mental health condition is treated.
You May Like: Aphobic Meaning
What Risks Are Associated With Ptsd
Alcohol and drug use
You might use drugs or alcohol to help you to manage your symptoms.
Drugs or alcohol can make you more unwell and more likely to try and harm yourself or take your own life.
Mental health conditions
Symptoms of PTSD can be made worse by other disorders such as:
- substance abuse, and
- memory problems
Most people with PTSD will have at least 1 other mental health condition. The most common disorders are:
- depressive disorders,
- substance use disorders, and
- anxiety disorders.
Other mental health conditions have the some of the same symptoms as PTSD. This may be why PTSD is hard to diagnose.
Suicidal thoughts and behaviours
In severe cases PTSD can last long enough and have a large impact on day to day life. This can cause suicidal thoughts and behaviours.
Physical health issues
PTSD has been linked to physical symptoms such as dizziness, tinnitus and blurry vision.
It has also been linked to physical illnesses such as heart disease, high blood pressure and obesity.
You can find more information about:
Tip : Take Care Of Your Health
Its true: having a healthy body can increase your ability to cope with the stress of trauma.
Get plenty of sleep. After a traumatic experience, worry or fear may disturb your sleep patterns. But a lack of quality sleep can exacerbate your trauma symptoms and make it harder to maintain your emotional balance. Go to sleep and get up at the same time each day and aim for 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night.
Avoid alcohol and drugs. Their use can worsen your trauma symptoms and increase feelings of depression, anxiety, and isolation.
Eat a well-balanced diet. Eating small, well-balanced meals throughout the day will help you keep your energy up and minimize mood swings. Avoid sugary and fried foods and eat plenty of omega-3 fatssuch as salmon, walnuts, soybeans, and flaxseedsto give your mood a boost.
Reduce stress. Try relaxation techniques such as meditation, yoga, or deep breathing exercises. Schedule time for activities that bring you joy such as your favorite hobbies.
You May Like: Phobic Disorder Symptoms
Does Ptsd Ever Go Away
Like most mental health conditions, the intensity and duration of PTSD depend on several different factors, including the type and severity of trauma that a patient experiences, how long that trauma lasted, how the patients brain was affected by the trauma, and how receptive the patient is to treatment.
Although the Department of Veteran Affairs reports that 53% of people with PTSD who receive trauma-focused therapy and 42% who receive SSRI and SNRI medications will no longer have PTSD symptoms after 3 months of treatment, lingering effects can and do remain even after treatment.
The symptoms of PTSD really never go away, Dr. Sanjay Gupta told CNN. Here is why: There is a profound psychological and physiological reaction to something traumatic. That traumatic event cant be completely undone, though it can be diminished in the mind.
So, does PTSD ever go away? No, but with effective evidence-based treatment, symptoms can be managed well and can remain dormant for years, even decades. But because the trauma that evokes the symptoms will never go away, there is a possibility for those symptoms to be triggered again in the future. With that said, living and thriving with PTSD is more than possible.
Experiencing trauma does not have to take over your life. The PCH PTSD treatment program will help. We want to know what happened to you, not whats wrong with you. Reach out to a member of our staff at 1-888-525-2140 to begin that conversation.
What Happens During A Ptsd Episode
A PTSD episode is characterized by feelings of fear and panic, along with flashbacks and sudden, vivid memories of an intense, traumatic event in your past. These memories are often accompanied by sensory experiences visions, sounds, and even smells from the incident may return, as if they are happening in the present moment. Perceiving imminent danger, your brain will go into a state of alarm: your heart races, you sweat profusely, and your breath speeds up. The feeling is all-consuming, intense, and often debilitating.
Don’t Miss: Does Pristiq Help With Anxiety
How Does A Ptsd Claim Work
Since PTSD could be considered a mental or emotional injury, you might receive payment as part of your pain and suffering compensation.
When you receive a bodily injury liability payout, you also get compensation for pain and suffering. Insurers typically multiply your medical expenses by a number between one and five to determine payouts for pain and suffering. The multiplier depends on how severe and long-lasting your injuries are.
Depending on your symptoms, some cases of PTSD may be deemed a separate injury. If so, the individual medical bills and treatments should be fully covered, rather than receiving a lump sum amount to allot for medical expenses. Then, you may receive a payout for pain and suffering in addition to the injury settlement.
How long do I have to file a bodily injury liability claim?
Most states give you one to two years to file and complete a bodily injury claim. But you should notify the insurance company as soon as reasonably possible after the accident. Many insurance policies require that you notify the company within a specific timeframe, typically 72 hours, or youll forfeit the right to file a claim.
Starting the claim allows you to add medical expenses and report details as you go. You dont have to settle the claim until you reach what insurance companies call the maximum medical improvement . MMI is the point when injuries have been cured or stabilized so that you can get an accurate picture of medical costs.
What Are Some Signs Of Ptsd After A Car Accident
PTSD after a car accident begins to affect everyday life. Its not just feeling stressed or scared after the crash. Your thoughts and actions start to change.
Common feelings related to PTSD include:
- Anxiety about driving or getting into cars
- Chronic feelings of uneasiness
- Feeling disconnected from other people or life
- Fearing medical procedures or routine tests
- Uncontrollable flashbacks from the car accident
There are four types of PTSD , according to Mayo Clinic. Doctors will look at each set of symptoms to diagnose PTSD. Someone with PTSD will have one or more symptoms from each group for at least a month.
Recommended Reading: The Longest Phobia
Recover From Complex Ptsd With Reconnection And Integration
With reconnection and integration, you can establish safety and stabilization as well as practice remembrance and mourning. Essentially, its time to look ahead as you consider who you are without the cloud of trauma hanging overhead. In a way, this process is all about redefining and rediscovering who you are.
Instead of feeling powerless and perpetually victimized, you can find a new voice. Oftentimes C-PTSD gives rise to a sense of purpose through service to others. Giving back helps any kind of recovery work. In the end, this step is all about forward-thinking, not dwelling on the past any longer.
Recommended Reading: What Age Group Is Most Affected By Ptsd
When It Is Ptsd
As you probably noticed, there are many symptoms of PTSD, and very few people have all of them. Also, not everyone who experiences a trauma will develop PTSD. So how do you know if you might have PTSD? Here are 2 tips that might be helpful:
Tip #1: If you have at least 1 symptom in each of the 4 categories, and your symptoms only started AFTER a traumatic event, then you might have PTSD. If your anxiety symptoms were already present before the trauma, then it is probably not PTSD.
Tip #2: It is normal to feel more anxious right after a trauma. But over time, these anxious feelings will settle down. If these symptoms do not settle down then you might have PTSD.
You May Like: Bipolar And Bpd Comorbid
Stay Connected To People
Staying connected to loved ones is a good way to get through tough situations. Avoid being alone if needed and invite a friend or loved one to stay over until medical treatment starts to kick in. Or schedule weekly meetings with friends at a coffee shop or someplace where it is easy to talk. Recovering from PTSD is a good time to invite friends to try new hobbies. Join a softball team, a book reading club, or a bowling league to stay connected with society and avoid being alone with potentially dangerous thoughts.
What Can I Do To Recover From Ptsd On My Own
Self-care. Recovering from PTSD is an ongoing process that takes time. You will usually need the help of others to get through it. But there are healthy steps you can take by yourself to help you recover and stay well. Discover which ones help you feel better and add them to your life.
Read Also: Phobia Essays
Build A Support Network
Having a PTSD support network can also be beneficial for coping with this mental health condition. Having friends, family members, or a coworker who knows about your PTSD and is available to talk can be important for recovery. A PTSD network can be available to listen and offer solutions during difficult times.
Social support has been found to be especially critical for people who have been exposed to multiple traumatic events. One study found that the risk of PTSD was 17 times greater in women who had been subjected to both child abuse and rape, but the severity of PTSD was lower in those who had more social support. Social support can therefore alleviate some of the symptoms associated with trauma.
What Kind Of Trauma Leads To Ptsd
1. Exposure to:
2. Exposure can be:
Also Check: Sex And Schizophrenia