In my previous post, I introduced how stress and fear impacts the brain and body. Sometimes the body’s recovery from trauma is truncated, and symptoms of post traumatic stress can result. When these symptoms persist beyond one month after the incident, an individual is considered to meet diagnostic criteria for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
PTSD. Symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder fall into three categories: re-experiencing, avoidance/numbing, and increased arousal.
* A process known as traumatic coupling may occur, during which physiological arousal becomes so strongly associated with the immobilization response that subsequent physical sensations elicit re-experiencing.
This may entail recurrent and intrusive distressing recollections of the event; dreams about the event; a sense of reliving the event, such as hallucinations, illusions, or dissociative flashbacks; marked distress when exposed to events or stimuli (internal or external) that resemble something from the event; physiological reactivity to such stimuli.
Avoidance or numbing:
Symptoms can entail efforts to avoid thinking about, talking about, or being around people or places that produce recollections of the event; inability to remember important parts of the event; detachment/estrangement; diminished participation in activities; restricted affect; a sense of impending doom.
May involve sleep disturbance; irritability or outbursts; difficulty concentrating; hypervigilence; exaggerated startle response.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, know that treatment is available. As difficult as it may seem to believe, life can get better. I believe that each of us is whole and capable of embracing the life we deserve.