Dealing with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
When bad things happen in your life, you may at times have a hard time coping, grieving, and continuing to live a “normal” life. However, many of us are strong enough to work through the trauma, and even though you may never be the same, you can come to terms with the event and go on to lead a happy, productive life. Some individuals, however, are at risk for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) when dealing with tragic life events. What exactly is PTSD? And what help is available if you’re suffering? Keep reading for more information on PTSD.
Denial and fear are common reactions when bad things happen in your life, and you may try to avoid talking about the life-changing event that has taken place. Whichever way you react, it’s essential to note that these feelings are normal and that any sort of disaster can result in overwhelming and undesirable stress. More importantly, you need to know that you’re not alone in these feelings.
What is PTSD?
PTSD often follows a shocking event, such as a death, assault, rape, war, or serious physical injury. The disorder changes the way the body responds to stress, probably as a result of chemical imbalances that increase levels of stress hormones and alter nervous system reactions. People who have PTSD tend to re-experience the traumatic event in at least one of several ways. Trauma victims may have disturbing dreams, frequent images of what happened, or intense distress at events that are similar to, or that symbolize what happened, such as an anniversary of the event. In some cases, people experiencing PTSD may stop talking and isolate themselves by avoiding people, places, and activities that remind them of the trauma. Because it is an anxiety disorder, PTSD can cause headaches, a racing heart, fast breathing, and stomachaches.
Who is affected?
PTSD can occur at any age, including childhood, and women are more often affected than men. The severity and duration of the disorder varies, but most people recover within a year. However, in some cases, recovery can take much longer.
What causes PTSD?
Symptoms can occur shortly after the traumatic event or weeks, months, or even years later. The causes are not known, but psychological, genetic, physical, and social factors seem to be involved. Previously experiencing a traumatic event might amplify the risk of the disorder.
What can be done about PTSD?
Luckily, there is hope for PTSD sufferers. If you're concerned about your own feelings or those of someone close to you, let your doctor or mental health professional know. Talking about the events is a critical way to help master them. Allowing time to grieve is also important.
If you or someone you love is experiencing PTSD, give them space but be willing to listen. Be on the lookout for the symptoms, and if the situation becomes severe, you may need to find a way to intervene and get help. An active lifestyle and well-balanced diet (enhanced by natural supplements) can help elevate the mood and prevent physical manifestations.