Understanding PTSD

Good day Hard-Chargers!

We’ve all heard of it, the general populace seems to think it involves one being ill mentally, often times snapping at the ones they love. Even lashing out and getting physical, many see individuals with PTSD as ticking time bombs.

Have you ever gotten down to the basis of it to see what this truly entails?

Well the definition of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is as follows ——–> A mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event.

The keyword in P.T.S.D. though is POST, meaning past tense, an action or situation that happened in past time. So with that being said, why does something that happened in the past stick around and enables us to feel a certain way, evoking such emotion that causes one to commit suicide.

**PTSD Is Very Common**

About 3.6% of adult Americans, which is about 5.2 million people suffer from PTSD. During the course of a year, an estimated 7.8 million Americans will experience PTSD at some point in their lives.

** Symptoms include **

Mood: Anger, general discontent, guilt, hopelessness, inability to feel pleasure, loneliness, loss of interest, nervousness, panic attack, or emotional distress.

Behavioral: Aggression, agitation, hostility, hyper-vigilance, irritability, screaming, self-destructive behavior, self-harm, or social isolation.

Psychological: Depression, fear, flashback, hallucination, severe anxiety, or mistrust.

Sleep: Insomnia, night terror, nightmares, or sleep deprivation
 
Cognitive: Thoughts of suicide or unwanted thoughts
 
Whole body: Acute stress or blackout
 
Also common: Emotional detachment, headache, or lack of emotional response.
 
** How PTSD Is Diagnosed **
There are no lab tests to specifically diagnose PTSD, the doctor may use various tests to rule out a physical illness as the cause of the symptoms.
If no physical illness is found, you may be referred to a psychiatrist, psychologist or other mental health professional who is specially trained to diagnose and treat mental illnesses.
 
The goal of PTSD treatment is to reduce the emotional and physical symptoms, to improve daily functioning, and to help the person better cope with the event that triggered the disorder.
 
** Cognitive behavioral therapy, which involves learning to recognize and change thought patterns that lead to troublesome emotions, feelings, and behavior.
 
** Exposure therapy, a type of cognitive behavioral therapy that involves having the person re-live the traumatic experience, or exposing the person to objects or situations that cause anxiety.
This is done in a well-controlled and safe environment.
Exposure therapy helps the person confront the fear and gradually become more comfortable with situations that are frightening and cause anxiety. This has been very successful at treating PTSD.
 
** Psychodynamic therapy focuses on helping the person examine personal values and the emotional conflicts caused by the traumatic event.
 
** Family therapy may be useful because the behavior of the person with PTSD can have an affect on other family members.
 
** Group therapy may be helpful by allowing the person to share thoughts, fears, and feelings with other people who have experienced traumatic events.
 
** Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a complex form of psychotherapy that was initially designed to alleviate distress associated with traumatic memories but is now also used to treat phobias.
 
*** How the brain reacts during PTSD ***
** Hippocampus

The most significant neurological impact of trauma is seen in the hippocampus. PTSD patients show a considerable reduction in the volume of the hippocampus.

This region of the brain is responsible for memory functions. It helps an individual to record new memories and retrieve them later in response to specific and relevant environmental stimuli. The hippocampus also helps us distinguish between past and present memories.

PTSD patients with reduced hippocampal volumes lose the ability to discriminate between past and present experiences or interpret environmental contexts correctly.

Their particular neural mechanisms trigger extreme stress responses when confronted with environmental situations that only remotely resemble something from their traumatic past.

This is why a sexual assault victim is terrified of parking lots because she was once raped in a similar place. A war veteran still cannot watch violent movies because they remind him of his trench days; his hippocampus cannot minimize the interference of past memories.

** Prefrontal Cortex

The prefrontal cortex region in the brain is responsible for regulating emotional responses triggered by the amygdala.

Specifically, this region regulates negative emotions like fear that occur when confronted with specific stimuli. PTSD patients show a marked decrease in the volume of ventromedial prefrontal cortex and the functional ability of this region.

This explains why people suffering from PTSD tend to exhibit fear, anxiety, and extreme stress responses even when faced with stimuli not connected – or only remotely connected – to their experiences from the past.

** Amygdala

The Amygdala region of the brain helps us process emotions and is also linked to fear responses.

PTSD patients exhibit hyperactivity in the amygdala in response to stimuli that are somehow connected to their traumatic experiences.

 

They exhibit anxiety, panic, and extreme stress when they are shown photographs or presented with narratives of trauma victims whose experiences match theirs; or made to listen to sounds or words related to their traumatic encounters.

 

 
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Recovery from PTSD is a gradual and ongoing process, symptoms of PTSD seldom disappear completely, but treatment can help sufferers learn to cope more effectively.
Treatment can also lead to fewer and less intense symptoms, as well as a greater ability to cope by managing feelings related to the trauma.
 
If you feel that you fall into this category, I ask that you please swallow your pride and get a bit of help, I to have been diagnosed with PTSD.
About 1 year ago, I tried to take my own life by swallowing 36 Tylenol extra strength pills. I was in a place that I never thought I’d be, depressed, non social, angry, lonely and refused to let anyone in.
There were even times when I went 3-4 days with no sleep, It was hard and I felt the only way was to take my life. After such incidents being in the hospital for 3 days (ICU) followed by the psych ward for another 5 days, I was released and was under strict supervision.
As time went on I accepted help and to my surprise I began to get a bit better, you can do the same, you’re worth something and you’re here for a reason.
Don’t succumb to negative thoughts as far as harming yourself, there are people here who can and also want to help you.
Please don’t be a statistic, you can overcome and learn how to live with post traumatic stress disorder.
 
 Isaac J. Hall II
#SemperKill
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5 thoughts on “Understanding PTSD

Add yours

    1. Thank you for being a reader sir. I don’t get much attention so for you to say this means a lot.

      I was actually thinking of dumping the site due to the lack of responses. I was thinking it was me, and I should just try something else.

      Thank you for your kinds words, made me feel a bit better 🙂

      Isaac
      #SemperKill

      Liked by 1 person

      1. There are billions of websites – you really need to work at it. Respond to anyone who does find you; go on the Reader page to see the site you follow; on the Tag line on the left side of your Reader page, click add and type in tags that you normally use so that people can find you, etc.
        If these instructions are written too hastily (usually my problem), ask questions. Fellow bloggers helped me out when I started – I would only be too eager to assist you.

        Like

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