Happy Monday, my friends!
I don’t know about you all but today most definitely felt like a Monday. Thankfully, though, we’ve surpassed the worst of it and we’re well on our way through the week!
Not only does Monday bring about the “blues”, it brings our third entry into the Mental Health Archive for Confessions! If you’ve missed out on the last two editions, you can check them out here. Let’s get to it…
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
What is it?
-Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or, PTSD, “a mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event — either experiencing it or witnessing it.”¹ This disorder is commonly grouped with Anxiety Disorders due to its debilitating effects on the nervous system and brain. Common instances that are often associated with PTSD could be combat experience, assault, or even natural disasters.²
Who does it affect?
-PTSD can affect anyone. As stated above, those suffering from such a disorder have experienced an incredibly traumatizing event. The body is naturally wired to respond to danger in healthy ways. Fear, stress, and anxiety can often be great reminders that our bodies are responding naturally to dangerous situations. As with every case, too much stimulation can possibly cause the body to shift into overdrive and damage the brain. NAMI estimates that “3.5% of the U.S. adult population—about 7.7 million Americans are affected by PTSD—but women are more likely to develop the condition than men.”²
What are the symptoms?
-For clarity and exact information, these are directly quoted from NAMI²:
–Intrusive Memories, which can include flashbacks of reliving the moment of trauma, bad dreams, and scary thoughts.
-Avoidance, which can include staying away from certain places or objects that are reminders of the traumatic event. A person may also feel numb, guilty, worried or depressed or be having trouble remembering the traumatic event.
-Dissociation, which can include out-of-body experiences or feeling that the world is “not real” (derealization).
-Hypervigilance, which can include being startled very easily, feeling tense, trouble sleeping or outbursts of anger.
How is it treated?
-It seems that treatment, across the board of Mental Illness, is quite universal. PTSD, however, comes with a varying level of coping mechanism.
-Self-management Strategies are ways that an individual can battle against their dissociation by grounding them back into reality. Service animals are another great way for men, or women, to be reminded of what reality is, or isn’t.
PTSD is an incredibly difficult mental illness to deal with. It differentiates itself from other diseases in how it distorts reality violently. Depression and Anxiety can create an atmosphere where it is hard to know truth from a lie but PTSD creates a reality of horrendous danger and makes it real. If you or a loved one are experiencing symptoms and are worried, consult your doctor and find ways to identify whether PTSD is to blame for how you may be feeling or acting.
Make sure to check back next week when we cover Bipolar Disorder.
Have a great week!
**This is not a professional opinion. All information has been researched and cited. Any responsibility will fall back upon the reader and the resources cited.**