Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), an anxiety disorder, is likely to affect those who have experienced the trauma and are affected by the event. PTSD can make you feel trapped with constant fear and painful memories. But no matter what the root cause of your PTSD may be, by seeking help and support, you can cope and combat PTSD. This blog will discuss the fundamentals of PTSD and will also dive into the primary causes of PTSD. Once you understand the causes of PTSD, you will be able to deconstruct and understand your history and the trauma you faced. Awareness and understanding help humans live more informed and healthy life.
What is PTSD?
PTSD, or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, is a psychiatric condition stemming from trauma and disordered anxiety. People who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event may develop PTSD at any age. These traumatic events can be life-threatening and dangerous. In addition, loss, death, and grief suppression may also result in PTSD; for example, life-threatening traumatic events can include a battle, a natural disaster, a vehicle accident, or sexual assault. However, the situation may not always be dangerous. PTSD, for instance, can also be brought on by the abrupt, unexpected death of a loved one.
In addition to psychological damage, PTSD can easily result in physical damage. Our body produces cortisol, a stress hormone and adrenaline, a flight-flight-freeze hormone, whenever we face a distressing or dangerous situation. The “fight, flight, or freeze” reaction is the body’s natural reaction to a threat.
Studies have revealed that people with PTSD continue to produce these hormones even when no danger exists, which may account for some symptoms like heightened alertness and sensitivity to startle triggers. In addition, physical symptoms, including headaches, dizziness, chest pains, and stomach aches, are comparable to those of anxiety.
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What Are the Primary Causes of PTSD?
Following a trauma, you’re likely to feel anxious and sad, as well as stressed out and disengaged. It is important to remember that sudden stress, fear, sadness, and anxiety are normal right after a traumatic experience. However, when the emotional irregularity sustains and you often find yourself in a heightened adrenaline state or feeling anxious about your security, you could suffer from post-traumatic stress.
Extended Horizons of Trauma
The majority of people connect PTSD with assaults or wounded soldiers. We agree that military battle is the most frequent cause of PTSD in males. However, studies have proven that any event or series of events that leave you feeling overwhelmed with despair and leaves your heart broken can cause PTSD, mainly if the event is unpredictable and inexplicably challenging to control. For example, the recent pandemic – COVID-19.
The pandemic will result in 230,000 additional referrals for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) between 2020–2021 and 2022–2023, reports the Royal College of Psychiatrists.
After a traumatising event like a natural disaster, traffic incident, terrorist attack or assault, most people suffer from at least one of the signs of PTSD.
Fractured Sense of Security
When your sense of security is shattered, feeling out of balance, disengaged, or even numb is normal. It’s common to experience negative dreams, feel anxious and have difficulty letting go of the thought of the events that occurred. These are all normal reactions to events that happen in different ways. They may last for a few days or even weeks. However, they will gradually ease.
However, if you have post-traumatic stress disorder, your symptoms don’t diminish, and you don’t really feel better with time. Following are the common identifiers resulting from causes of PTSD:
- If you’re stressed, the nervous system reacts to fight or flight
- Your heart rate and blood pressure increase
- You might also feel muscular tightness
- The speed and strength of your reaction will increase
- Immediate dizziness leading to passing out sometimes
Again, the ones listed above are ‘normal human responses as well. It becomes PTSD when you feel stuck at the moment long after the event has passed.
The Nervous System Freeze
PTSD occurs when, even after the danger is over, your nervous system remains “stuck,” unable to get back to its average balance, and you’re unable to recover from the experience. Recovery from PTSD requires aiding your nervous system to become “unstuck” so you can recover and heal from the experience.
Furthermore, you can control your symptoms, minimise emotional trauma, and go into your next life phase. With the help of modern-day PTSD treatments and therapies, it is possible to feel secure and get over the anxiety. Specific self-help methods have also proven effective in coping with the emotional rush occurring in PTSD and regaining control of your life.
Tying Up Loose Ends!
Although PTSD is a psychiatric disorder, it is treatable. However, the first step is to accept your condition and look for a treatment option. PTSD treatments and therapies, simply put, are the aiding tactics for your nervous system and help you better cope by understanding your condition. Always remember
Understanding your history will help you understand why you are who you are. The monsters you keep finding under your bed predominantly tell you to revisit your childhood and address that trauma you keep running away from!
Those who witness the event and take the pieces with them, for example, emergency workers and law enforcement officers, may find it difficult to adjust to the emotional turmoil. It could also become a problem for the family members or friends of those who suffered the trauma because managing a disordered person is never a piece of cake. So, our advice will always be to prioritise your mental health and seek professional help. Our PTSD experts are always ready to help you and guide you.