You can’t turn on the television or read a newspaper or blog without hearing about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).Yet most people have no idea of what it is, or that you can truly recover from it. Some writers say you never, ever heal and that there is always a hurt and reminder from severe trauma. However, there are many people, myself included, who believe that when getting the proper treatment, you can heal and recover from PTSD.
If you have PTSD, you know that even the slightest sound or movement can trigger a wider array of symptoms from slight dissociation of current time and place (not being present), to total dissociation, where you are reliving the traumatic event again, such as the death of a spouse.
Do you have any of these PTSD symptoms?
- Anxiety (including panic attacks)
- Sleep Disturbances
- Flash backs
- Intense Fear
- Recurrent and intrusive recollections
- Difficulty falling or staying asleep
- Diminished interest in activities
- Feeling of detachment
- Restricted range of emotions
- Irritability or outbursts of anger
- Difficulty concentrating
- Exaggerated startle response
- Significant distress or impairment in social & occupational
- Sense of foreshortened future (e.g. does not expect to have a career, marriage, children or a normal life span)
- Persistent symptoms of increased arousal (not present before the trauma)
- Physiological arousal
- Physical symptoms as shakiness
- Heart Palpitation
- Breathing difficulty
- Stomach and bowel disturbances
With PTSD, you may wonder what has caused your body to react this way. The reason is that in the middle of you there is a sensor called the amygdala. It detects if there is danger to your life. Once this sensor gets activated, it sends a signal down to your adrenal glands that are on the top of your kidneys. When the adrenal glands get the message the glands send out a chemical called adrenaline that then activates your “fight/flight” response in your Limbic system, which controls your Autonomic Nervous System. This is the system that controls your heart rate, breathing, bowels, your bladder, pupils open and closing, gastric juice, and saliva in your mouth. When your Limbic system is activated you feel a sense of dread. All you know is that your life feels in danger and you want to fight or flee. During this experience, often your ability to rationally think things through has been hijacked. All you know is that you feel an intense sense of activation, be it rage, anger, or just to escape from the situation.