Thursday, June 6, 2024

Is Ptsd A Chronic Disease

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What Are The Signs Of Ptsd

What is the relationship between chronic and complex PTSD?

The Mayo Clinic mentions several reoccurring symptoms, including fearful thoughts, flashbacks and bad dreams. These symptoms can become problematic in a persons life. Some of the avoidance symptoms include difficulty remembering the traumatic event and avoiding reminders of the experience, such as places, people and objects. Hyperarousal symptoms may also arise, such as feeling tense, being startled easily and having trouble sleeping. While it is normal to experience some of these symptoms after a terrible event, symptoms lasting more than a few weeks may be signs of PTSD.

What To Do When Lyme Disease Triggers Complex Ptsd

Recently I spoke with my medical intuitive, Adrienne, on the phone. Yes, I knowhow California! But this lovely woman has helped me more than anyone else on my journey toward Lyme remission.

With Lyme disease, you take a leap of faith with every new treatment. Will it help? Will I herx? Is it a Herxheimer reaction or does my body just hate that herb? My intuitive answers these questions for me beforehand saving me money, time and hours spent in misery.

I told Adrienne my symptoms are almost gone fingers crossed but that my brain still falls apart midday. It feels like an electrical shut down: synapses slow, thoughts muddy, Im likely to stand in a room wondering why I came in. All I can do is fall asleep for an hour to reset, and this really puts a damper on my work schedule. What gives?

Adrienne told me my brain looks like that of someone with PTSD. She said I needed to retrain my brain midday, wire it slowly back to feeling safe and alert. She told me to do some research, and wed talk again later.

No Harder Job Than Icu Work

Nancy Michaels: Both. Listen, theres no harder job in the world, as far as Im concerned to be in the medical profession. Its incredibly stressful. Its got to be. I remember going back to the ICU and having people cry when they saw me. Many of them I didnt even recognize.

Health Hats: You went back to people who had taken care of you in the ICU?

Nancy Michaels: Yes. I mean people found out. My doctors found out. They were like, that was so good of you to go. There are so few people who are as sick as you are who make it out. Let alone come back and see them. I dont do it often. They have a support group that meets at the transplant unit every Wednesday at noon. Ive gone to a couple of meetings since this happened. I almost feel like I dont want to scare anybody else. My situation was so completely over-the-top, not normal. Most transplants do not go the way mine did. I dont want to scare people.

Health Hats: Scare people because theres different intensities of trauma and reactions to trauma and you feel like youre an outlier and sharing your experience will freak people out?

Health Hats: Lets say this friend of yours all of a sudden had a Eureka moment and goes, man I have PTSD. I need some help. How would you advise her to go about getting that help.

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The Link Between Chronic Pain And Ptsd

There are many people living with chronic pain throughout the UK and the impact on their lives can be profound. From being unable to work anymore to finding everyday tasks too challenging, struggling with the difficulty of the condition to the fear of not knowing why its happening, feeling like they cant cope anymore to the judgement of those around them, there are many reasons why chronic pain can have an impact upon mental health.

However, it seems chronic pain and mental health are inextricably linked. Research has shown that one of the most common physical problems reported by those with PTSD and C-PTSD is pain. It doesnt matter what type of traumatic event they have experienced, from physical assault to car accident, combat injury to natural disaster, people who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder are also more likely to report a pain-related disability. For people with chronic pain, the pain may actually serve as a reminder of the traumatic event, which will tend to make the PTSD even worse. Survivors of physical, psychological, or sexual abuse tend to be more at risk for developing certain types of chronic pain later in their lives.

Signs You Or Someone You Know Has Bpd

Feb 22

The same review finds that, while these two conditions are distinct diagnoses, some researchers have observed that one condition may exacerbate the symptoms of the other. For instance, PTSD can intensify the affective instability of someone who has BPD. It may also serve as a trigger for self-injury among people who have BPD.

BPD is often found in people who have suffered from childhood abuse of any kind, and the authors of this paper cite that out of 547 people who had both conditions, 36 percent had experienced childhood sexual abuse. Broken down by gender, 43.43 percent of women who had both PTSD and BPD had childhood sexual abuse in their backgrounds compared with 19.14 percent of men in this same group.

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Are Chronic Illness And Trauma Related Here’s What You Need To Know

If youve been diagnosed with a chronic illness and experienced trauma, you may have some uneasy feelings about the connection between the two. After all, some doctors who dont really understand tricky conditions like fibromyalgia or myalgic encephalomyelitis , for example, might be quick to tell you your symptoms are all in your head or due to a mental health condition.

While living with a chronic illness can be traumatic, research shows the reverse may be true as well. Trauma, especially if it happens when youre younger, can trigger chronic illness. Its not that simple of course trauma isnt the only factor that determines whether or not you get a chronic illness and its not associated with all conditions. And its worth mentioning, just because you have a chronic illness does not mean you experienced trauma.

Its important to talk about how trauma may impact chronic illness because knowing the connection can improve your treatment options and encourage doctors to look at your health from a holistic, mind-body perspective. In addition, some researchers hope early intervention and prevention of trauma may reduce the number of people who develop chronic illness in the future.

What Is Chronic Ptsd

Chronic PTSD is a long-term disorder that one develops in response to a psychological trauma. Post-traumatic stress disorder is classified as an anxiety disorder that presents with a variety of signs and symptoms often dependent on the individual and severity of his or her trauma. Treatment for chronic PTSD generally involves medication and diverse therapies in an effort to manage symptoms and promote healthy coping skills. Individuals with this condition who do not seek treatment are considered more likely to develop chemical dependency and secondary medical issues, such as autoimmune disorders and heart disease.

The development of chronic post-traumatic stress disorder is generally an acute psychological response to a traumatic event. Witnesses and victims of violence, such as child abuse, rape and random violence, as well as survivors of both natural and man-made disasters, are often diagnosed with some form of PTSD. Individuals in certain career fields, such as the military, media, and medicine, who are likely to be exposed to violence and its consequences, are generally considered at a higher risk for developing this condition. Medical organizations, such as the Mayo Clinic, support the assertion that ones psychological predisposition and genetics may also contribute to the development of chronic PTSD symptoms.

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Past Trauma Can Cause Chronic Illness Anxiety & Depression

Anxiety, depression and chronic illnesses of all kinds can be caused by adverse childhood experiences , invisible ACEs, multigenerational trauma, and institutional trauma such as discrimination due to race, religion, sexual orientation. The research explains how trauma is a risk factor for all of these symptoms. It also explains how the effects of trauma are not because were weak or broken or have a personality flaw, but because adverse life experiences interact with our bodies, brains and physiologies to shape long-term healthShonkoff JP, Garner AS, Committee on Psychosocial Aspects of C, et al. The lifelong effects of early childhood adversity and toxic stress. Pediatrics 2012;129:e232-46. doi: 10.1542/peds.2011-2663, Yehuda R, Hoge CW, McFarlane AC, et al. Post-traumatic stress disorder. Nature Reviews Disease Primers 2015;October:150-57. doi: 10.1038/nrdp.2015.57, shared causation p. 19-2.

When Illness Triggers Ptsd

Chronic Pain, Emotional Consequences & PTSD Symptoms

We know that Post-TraumaticStress Disorder is very real. A good working definition of PTSD is as follows: an anxiety disorder initiated by an exposure to a discrete traumatic event that has generally occurred in the past … and is characterized by symptoms such as re-experiencing, cognitive or behavioral avoidance of reminders of the event, and physiological hyperarousal”.

Scholars have long known that people who live with chronic illness are at a greater risk of experiencing PTSD-like symptoms. However, the trigger for these symptoms is not a one-time event that occurred in the past; rather, chronic disease is an ongoing threat to safety. Researchers thus have proposed a model of PTSD that accounts for this difference entitled the Enduring Somatic Threat model of PTSD. This blog post explains both the EST model and treatment recommendations.

Why the Link Between Chronic Illness and Trauma Matters

Medical Illness as a Triggering Event

PTSD Symptoms

Hyperarousal symptoms for chronically ill people often manifest as an intense awareness of bodily sensations. A fair number of the clients I see have been dismissed by their physicians as hypochondriacs; their acute attention to somatic discomfort is not properly identified as a trauma symptom. Difficulty sleeping and irritability are also hallmarks of PTSD hyperarousal.

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Connecting Trauma And Chronic Illness

The connection between chronic illness and trauma is complex because both affect your body and your mind. When you experience trauma like physical or sexual abuse, a major accident or military combat, the impact isnt just all in your head. Trauma affects your mental health and your nervous system, this is especially true if you develop post-traumatic stress disorder .

Trauma-related symptoms like hypervigilance keep your nervous system perpetually locked in an overactive state. As part of your fight-or-flight response to trauma , your nervous system preps your body for action . This includes changes to how your immune system is working, which can lead to higher inflammation in your body.;Researchers hypothesize inflammation may be a key connection to chronic illness.

According to Karestan C. Koenen, Ph.D., a researcher and professor of psychiatric epidemiology at Harvard University, its possible mental and chronic illness in some cases can be connected through inflammation. Higher inflammation levels may be a factor in what causes some mental illnesses, including PTSD and depression. Higher levels of inflammation have also been connected with certain chronic illnesses, best studied so far in heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Why Do Some People Develop Ptsd And Other People Do Not

It is important to remember that not everyone who lives through a dangerous event;develops PTSD. In fact, most people will not;develop the disorder.

Many factors play a part in whether a person will develop PTSD. Some examples are listed below. Risk factors make a person more likely to;develop PTSD. Other factors, called resilience factors, can help reduce the risk of the disorder.

Some factors that increase risk for PTSD include:

  • Living through dangerous events and traumas
  • Getting hurt
  • Feeling horror, helplessness, or extreme fear
  • Having little or no social support after the event
  • Dealing with extra stress after the event, such as loss of a loved one, pain and injury, or loss of a job or home
  • Having a history of mental illness or substance abuse

Some factors that may;promote recovery after trauma;include:

  • Seeking out support from other people, such as friends and family
  • Finding a support group after a traumatic event
  • Learning to feel good about ones own actions in the face of danger
  • Having a positive coping strategy, or a way of getting through the bad event and learning from it
  • Being able to act and respond effectively despite feeling fear

Researchers are studying the importance of these and other risk and resilience factors, including genetics and neurobiology. With more research, someday it may be possible to predict who is likely to;develop PTSD and to prevent it.

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Next Steps For Ptsd Research

In the last decade, progress in research on the mental and biological foundations of PTSD has lead scientists to focus on better understanding the underlying causes of why people experience a range of reactions to trauma.

  • NIMH-funded researchers are exploring trauma patients in acute care settings to better understand the changes that occur in individuals whose symptoms improve naturally.
  • Other research is looking at how fear memories are affected by learning, changes in the body, or even sleep.
  • Research on preventing the development of PTSD soon after trauma exposure is also under way.
  • Other research is attempting to identify what factors determine whether someone with PTSD will respond well to one type of intervention or another, aiming to develop more personalized, effective, and efficient treatments.
  • As gene research and brain imaging technologies continue to improve, scientists are more likely to be able to pinpoint when and where in the brain PTSD begins. This understanding may then lead to better targeted treatments to suit each persons own needs or even prevent the disorder before it causes harm.

What Is Complex Ptsd

I Have Medical PTSD From My Chronic IllnessHere

Besides the symptoms of PTSD, those with complex PTSD may also have other symptoms.

Problems with self-esteem. Those with complex PTSD may feel worthless or blame themselves for their trauma. They may believe bad things happen because of something in them.

Emotional dysfunction. Those with complex PTSD often experience intense emotions, which are sometimes inappropriate. Besides anger and sadness, they may feel like they’re living in a dream. They may have trouble feeling happy.

Relationship problems. Complex PTSD can make it difficult to trust others. Some people stay in unhealthy relationships because the situation is familiar. If their trauma involved abuse, their feelings about their abuser may be complicated. Or they may obsess about their abuser or focus on revenge.

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Control When Youre Really Sick

Health Hats: Heres a little bit of a reach. Tell me if you think it is. Having control over your life is really important when youre not feeling well. Because feeling well is the way to feel more control. But if youre in the ICU or youre in the ED or have some kind of trauma, the people that are helping you, meaning doctors and nurses and whoever, can figure out ways to maximize those moments of control. Even if your intubated, I wonder if you know a strategy is figuring out how to maximize that control?

Nancy Michaels: I can give you an example of one segment. Listen when I was sick and I was awake that last month where I couldnt speak. They took the rectal catheter out. Never told me they were doing that. I was stripped of all dignity. It was making me crazy that there was a lack of communication.

Nothing was done with ill intent, I get that. People do the job. They do it over and over and over again. I think often times they just forget that for us as patient, its the first time were having it, not the one thousandth. All of that is taken away from you. The one request that I kept making was wanting to go outside. It was August and I kept being told, youre too immune suppressed. We cant take you out right now.

Health Hats: What a gift

Nancy Michaels: And it is the thing that I continue to talk about. It cost nothing.

Health Hats: It just makes you want to cry. How nice.

Health Hats: Yeah dignity.

Health Hats: Nancy, what should I be asking you that Im not?

How Ptsd Impacts Chronic Illness

Illness-induced PTSD can have a major impact on your life, including your illness. One study found those with PTSD were four times more likely to experience worsening chronic illness symptoms than those without PTSD. PTSD can also lead to other complications because it doesnt just affect your brain PTSD interacts with and changes your autonomic nervous system, which controls involuntary body functions like heart rate, digestion and sweating.

If youre struggling with illness-induced PTSD, youre more likely to avoid doctors, treatments and taking medications because they can be painful reminders of present, ongoing trauma. One study found stroke survivors were three times more likely not to follow their medication schedule when they had PTSD. You may also have intrusive fears around death and dying, which is common in illness-induced PTSD. Research has shown a recurrent fear of death makes it harder to follow through with necessary medical care.

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Chronic Pain And Ptsd

Some people’s chronic pain stems from a traumatic event, such as a physical or sexual assault, a motor vehicle accident, or some type of disaster. Under these circumstances the person may experience both chronic pain and PTSD. The person in pain may not even realize the connection between their pain and a traumatic event. Approximately 15% to 35% of patients with chronic pain also have PTSD. Only 2% of people who do not have chronic pain have PTSD. One study found that 51% of patients with chronic low back pain had PTSD symptoms. For people with chronic pain, the pain may actually serve as a reminder of the traumatic event, which will tend to make the PTSD even worse. Survivors of physical, psychological, or sexual abuse tend to be more at risk for developing certain types of chronic pain later in their lives.

Apps for self-help, education, and support after trauma.

Get help for PTSD

If you need help right away:

  • Call 1-800-273-8255
  • Call 911 or visit a local emergency room

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