Wednesday, January 25, 2023

How To Deal With Traumatic Stress

The Lasting Impact Of Covid

Demystifying Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

You distract yourself for a while, but you think about it again, she says. Thats going to continue, she adds, but should start to diminish over the course of a few weeks.

This acute response, Galligher says, can cause:

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Struggling to fall or stay asleep
  • Intense emotions, like anger, anxiety, sadness, or shame
  • Emotional numbness
  • Elevated heart rate or blood pressure
  • Fatigue or exhaustion

Most survivors report that symptoms periodically return around significant milestones after the event, such as anniversaries. But for most people who experience trauma, initial symptoms subside after a few months to a year.

Its often a struggle to get through the first holiday or the first birthday after that, symptoms drop significantly, Naturale says.

Naturale noted that in her experience working with survivors after 9/11, just sharing this information about normal responses to trauma significantly reduced the incidence of mental health symptoms.

Favorite Resources For Becoming An Advocate

Want to get involved with PTSD advocacy for yourself or a loved one who is a veteran of the Armed Forces? We like the PTSD Foundation of America for its resources on volunteer opportunities and fundraiser ideas. While youre at it, check out ways you can help sponsor a veteran or get involved in your local chapter.

Looking to change local and federal policy to support mental health initiatives? NAMI is your best resource for how to get involved. Even if you cant make it to Capitol Hill personally, NAMI offers ideas on how to write letters, engage in your own community, and more.

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Regain Focus Through Physical Activity

Many people who have been diagnosed with PTSD say that finding an enjoyable physical activity that they can perform regularly has helped them to reduce their levels of stress and cope with their symptoms.

Rebecca Thorne, who was diagnosed with PTSD following childhood trauma, explains how running has helped her to cope with the symptoms that were impacting her life.

I am a runner and I suffer from , she says. One of the many things I think about while Im running, and also when Im not, is the relationship between the two.

I embrace running in all weathers , always with a considerable amount of ascent. As I fight my way up the climbs, I often imagine that the hill is my illness and I am going to slowly and steadily conquer it. Yet it never feels like suffering and, once at the top of the hill, I can reach out and touch the sky.

Rebecca Thorne

Researchers from Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge in the United Kingdom found that surfing can be an effective coping strategy for war veterans diagnosed with PTSD.

According to the team, this sport helps veterans to attain a focused mind state known as flow, in which they are so absorbed in the activity they are performing that all other thoughts and emotions are pushed aside.

Dr. Nick Caddick, who was involved with the study, compares this with the effects of mindfulness meditation, just that it is more active. He calls it a moving form of mindfulness.

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Support Children’s Concern For People They Do Not Know

Children often are afraid not only for themselves, but also for people they do not even know. They learn that many people are getting hurt or are experiencing pain in some way. They worry about those people and their well being. In some cases they might feel less secure or cared for themselves if they see that others are hurting. It is heartwarming and satisfying to observe this level of caring in children. Explore ways to help others and ease the pain.

Healing And Recovery Process After Trauma

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Any event that places a persons own life or the lives of others at risk results in the human body going into a state of heightened arousal. This is like an emergency mode that involves a series of internal alarms being turned on. Emergency mode gives people the capacity to access a lot of energy in a short period of time to maximise the chance of survival.Most people only stay in emergency mode for a short period of time or until the immediate threat has passed. However, being in emergency mode uses up vital energy supplies and this is why people often feel quite tired afterwards.The normal healing and recovery process involves the body coming down out of a state of heightened arousal. In other words, the internal alarms turn off, the high levels of energy subside, and the body re-sets itself to a normal state of balance and equilibrium. Typically, this should occur within approximately one month of the event.

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Signs And Symptoms Of Traumatic Stress

Whether or not the traumatic event directly impacted you, its normal to feel anxious, scared, and uncertain about what the future may hold. Your nervous system has become overwhelmed by stress, triggering a wide range of intense emotions and physical reactions. These symptoms of traumatic stress can range from mild to severe and often come and go in waves. There may be times when you feel jumpy and anxious, for example, and other times when you feel disconnected and numb.

Talking To Kids When Talking Is Tough

Wars, shootings in schools, natural disasters, deaths at sporting events, terrorists attacksas adults we hope that these and other tragic outcomes will never happen anywhere and definitely will not impact the children and youth we care about. We would like to protect those young minds from the pain and horror of difficult situations. We would like to ensure that they have happy, innocent and carefree lives. So what is a parent, teacher or other caring adult to do when disasters fill the airwaves and the consciousness of society?

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Infidelity And Relationship Ptsd

Randi Gunther Ph.D. a clinical psychologist, marriage counselor and author of When Love Stumbles: How to Rediscover Love, Trust, and Fulfillment in your Relationship writes in Psychology Today:

Of all of the threats to a committed relationship I have treated in four decades of working with couples, the most difficult to heal is infidelity. When a trusted partner in a committed relationship betrays the sacred trust of the other, the relationship will undergo severe instability.

The partner who has been betrayed is emotionally tortured and humiliated when knowledge of the infidelity emerges. They are clearly in trauma and experience the same array of symptoms that professionals now describe as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Similar to any others who have suffered threats to their physical or emotional well-being and security, they are disoriented and confused by what has happened.

Relationship PTSD makes both partners experience symptoms similar to the classical symptoms of PTSD:

  • Repeated intrusive thoughts
  • Alternating between feeling numb and striking out in retaliation.
  • Inability to stop scanning for any new data that might cause more distress.
  • Feeling overwhelmingly powerless and broken.
  • Needing to regain self-worth by assigning blame.
  • Confusion and disorientation.

Talking To Your Loved One About Ptsd Triggers

Pasco Sheriff’s Office develops App to help deputies deal with Post Traumatic Stress

Ask your loved one about things theyve done in the past to respond to a trigger that seemed to help . Then come up with a joint game plan for how you will respond in future.

Decide with your loved one how you should respond when they have a nightmare, flashback, or panic attack. Having a plan in place will make the situation less scary for both of you. Youll also be in a much better position to help your loved one calm down.

How to help someone having a flashback or panic attack

During a flashback, people often feel a sense of disassociation, as if theyre detached from their own body. Anything you can do to ground them will help.

  • Tell your loved one theyre having a flashback and that even though it feels real, the event is not actually happening again.
  • Help remind them of their surroundings .
  • Encourage them to take deep, slow breaths .
  • Avoid sudden movements or anything that might startle them.
  • Ask before you touch them. Touching or putting your arms around the person might make them feel trapped, which can lead to greater agitation and even violence.

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What Exactly Is Ptsd Anyway

First, the basics. PTSD is a type of anxiety disorder. It occurs in people whove experienced or witnessed a traumatic event.

Sometimes, that event is big and obvious: combat, a life-threatening accident or sexual assault. Other times, it develops after a series of smaller, less obvious, stressful events like repeated bullying or an unstable childhood.

Chronic PTSD can result from multiple adverse childhood experiences, or ACEs, which can include unstable adult relationships, food insecurity, childhood abuse, effects of racism, recurrent micro-aggressions and more.

These recurrent childhood stressors can impact brain and overall development leading into adulthood. When a child is exposed to stressors early in life, unhealthy patterns often develop and brain function may change due to internalization of trauma.

When Should You Contact A Professional

You should seek professional help if symptoms persist and interfere with day-to-day activities, school or work performance, or personal relationships.

Experiences with traumatic stress can appear much different for children. Signs that a child may need professional help to cope with a traumatic event include:

  • emotional outbursts

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Arousal And Reactivity Symptoms Include:

  • Being easily startled
  • Feeling tense or on edge
  • Having difficulty sleeping
  • Having angry outbursts

Arousal symptoms are usually constant, instead of being triggered by things that remind one of the traumatic events. These symptoms can make the person feel stressed and angry. They may make it hard to do daily tasks, such as sleeping, eating, or concentrating.

Reassure Young People And Help Them Feel Safe

How To Treat Post

When tragic events occur, children may be afraid that the same will happen to them. Some young children may even think that it already did happen to them. It is important to let them know that they are not at riskif they are not. Try to be realistic as you reassure them, however. You can try to support them and protect them, but you can not keep all bad things from happening to children. You can always tell them that you love them, though. You can say that, no matter what happens, your love will be with them. That is realistic, and often that is all the children need to feel better.

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How Our Helpline Works

For those seeking addiction treatment for themselves or a loved one, the helpline is a private and convenient solution.

We are standing by 24/7 to discuss your treatment options. Our representatives work solely for AAC and will discuss whether an AAC facility may be an option for you.

Our helpline is offered at no cost to you and with no obligation to enter into treatment. Neither nor AAC receives any commission or other fee that is dependent upon which treatment provider a visitor may ultimately choose.

For more information on AACs commitment to ethical marketing and treatment practices, or to learn more about how to select a treatment provider, visit our About AAC page.

If you wish to explore additional treatment options or connect with a specific rehab center, you can browse top-rated listings or visit SAMHSA.

You Are Enough Always Have Been Always Will Be

In this article Marisa explains: When you know that you are enough everyone around you will know that you are enough too. Your life will be so different and so much better when you can resonate your enoughness at a level that positively impacts your career, your relationships and your happiness levels.

You can use the power of stating that you are enough, that you always have been and always will be, to achieve success in every key area of your life. When you say it, think it and believe it and make it an automatic and regular part of your life you can expect to see wonderful improvements in your relationships, in your career and in how you feel about yourself.

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Charities Supporting People Who Have Experienced A Traumatic Event

Cruse Bereavement Care a charity offering support for bereaved people in England, Wales and Northern Ireland

Cruse Bereavement Care Scotland a charity promoting the well-being of bereaved people in Scotland

Rape Crisis there are three rape crisis charities that offer support to people across the UK:

Symptoms Of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder In Children

Signs of pandemic PTSD & tips for how to cope

Children below six years old show different symptoms than older ones.

Symptoms of Post traumatic stress disorder in children below six years old

symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder include:

Symptoms of Post traumatic stress disorder in children above six years old

A variety of symptoms may appear in childer who passed six years old, such as:

  • Disrespect to older people.
  • Feeling guilty because of the traumatic incident and a desire for revenge.
  • Losing concentration and ability to think clearly.
  • Fear of sleep because of disturbing nightmares.

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Relationship Ptsd And Post Traumatic Relationship Syndrome

Some experts refer to Post Traumatic Relationship Syndrome or PTRS as a newly proposed mental health syndrome, which occurs following the experience of trauma in an intimate relationship.

Relationship expert Dr. Tarra Bates-Duford, PhD, MFT, CRS, CMFSW told Bustle: Essentially PTRS stems from the fear and mistrust of relationships. PTRS can be defined as an anxiety disorder that can occur subsequent to the experience of physical, emotional, or psychological abuse in the context of an intimate partner relationship.

Whether you qualify for PTRS, or are simply having a difficult time moving on, these feelings can be very real, and they can prevent you from finding a healthier relationship in the future. So the sooner you can seek treatment, the better.

How To Diagnose Ptsd

The first step in diagnosing trauma is making an appointment with a doctor, preferably someone trained in mental health disorders. The doctor will talk with the patient to determine their state of mind. The practitioner will have to determine whether the prerequisite symptoms for PTSD are present before deciding how to proceed. For a diagnosis of PTSD, the patient must have experienced the following for at least one month:

  • At least one event in which they re-experience symptoms
  • At least three avoidance symptoms
  • At least two hyperarousal symptoms
  • Symptoms that interfere with daily life activities

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Ask For Support From Your Employer

If you experienced the traumatic event as part of your job, your workplace might have support systems in place to help you. If you experienced the traumatic event outside of work, you may want to let your employer know so that they can support you. This could be as simple as telling them what has happened so they can be aware of how you are feeling. You could ask them to make adjustments to how you work, like ensuring you are not exposed to further trauma or intense stress, or adjusting your hours. See the section for employers further on in this resource.

How You Can Treat Ptsd

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If a person is having trouble at work and in their personal life, it may be time to intervene.

Medication can help with symptoms of depression, while therapy aims to address other mental health issues such as anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder.

  • The medication works quite well, especially when anxiety and depression are involved although, not everyone is flexible to medication.
  • Most of the therapies focus very much on the present and what the patient can do, right now, to reduce stress day by day.
  • Other interventions may include yoga, meditation, or exercise that deliver a relaxing effect, maybe something as simple as a daily walk at lunch to enjoy the fresh air.

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The Five Stages Of Ptsd

According to Australasian Psychiatry, over 1.15 million Australians or around 4.4% of our population experience Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder each year, and that number is set to rise to rates higher than ever previously reported.

The groups of people in our community with the highest rates of PTSD emergency workers and Defence Force personnel were those called on in 2019 and 2020 to provide the bushfire response and assistance during COVID-19 quarantine and lockdowns.

While these rates are expected to increase within these careers, the percentage is also increasing among health care workers who were quarantined. These pandemic heroes are now suffering PTSD at higher rates than the general public, due to the impact of COVID-19.

Due to the traumatic events we are all seeing in our lifetime, the prevalence of PTSD in Australia will only increase.

PTSD has long been associated with armed and emergency services, but we are finding that so many more everyday Australians are now dealing with the consequences of traumatic events, resulting in more and more PTSD, says Dr Anja Kriegeskotten, The Banyans Health and Wellness Consultant Psychiatrist.

Added to this is Australias increase in mental illness in veterans, who currently suffer PTSD at rate of 17.7% in the four years after discharge.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder In Children

Children may develop PTSD as a result of a family history of mental illness, particularly depression and stress, or after a few weeks of being exposed to a painful incident that they are unable to cope with, such as:

  • A fatal accident or loss of someone close.
  • Violent events like beating or sexual harassment.
  • Natural disasters such as earthquakes and volcanos.
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