When there is eminent danger impacting an individual, a natural “fight-or-flight” response awakens within the body. This reaction has a natural start and stop order to the physiological effects it has throughout the nervous system and other parts of the body. PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), however, happens whens this reaction is altered or damaged. Individuals who experience PTSD feel stressed or threatened even when they are no longer in harm’s way or a dangerous situation.
There are countless traumas that can induce PTSD namely war victims, which was how the disorder was initially brought to the attention of the public and medical profession. It can be set off in anyone experiencing a wide variety of devastations: a car accident, violence of any kind, rape, mugging, torture, bombings, crashes, and even natural disasters. This can be the victim, a family member of the victim or a witness of any of these crimes or events.
One of the challenging aspects to PTSD is that there are so many fluid variables in regards to diagnosing and anticipating the symptoms of PTSD. It develops differently in each individual. It can take days, weeks, months or even years before the symptoms appear after the initial event or trauma that caused it. The difference between a normal response to a life-altering stressor or trauma is that the symptoms don’t lift or decrease. In fact, they actually can worsen over time.
Some of the many symptoms include but are not limited to; flashbacks, nightmares, distressful intense reactions to the reminder of the attack, loss of interest in life, detachment from activities once enjoyed, irritability, difficulty falling or staying asleep, and so many more.
The important thing to remember with PTSD is that it is a real disorder that affects about 7.7 million adults, but is not limited to any age or stage in life. Without proper help or care for the individual, symptoms can increase and even alter the overall physical wellbeing of the person. There are various means to treating this life-changing disorder, so talk to your counselor or doctor on how you or someone you love can be helped.
Contact Noelle Bevelhymer at 561-758-6816.