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How Does One Get PTSD?

Mark John



How Does One Get PTSD

Photo by Kristina Tripkovic on Unsplash

Post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD is a mental health condition that develops after experiencing an extended traumatic experience or following a terrifying event. These psychologically traumatic events include natural disasters, war, or going through situations that make you feel intense fear or helplessness. After these traumatic events, many people find it temporarily hard to adjust and cope with their traumatic experiences.

Many people after going through traumatic events will temporarily find it hard to cope and adjust. However, they should gradually be able to feel better as time passes. If this doesn’t happen, and instead symptoms such as severe anxiety, nightmares, and flashbacks of the events keep getting worse, this is indeed a sign of PTSD. Here’s a guide on the most common causes and symptoms of PTSD.

Causes Of PTSD

Between every 1 to 3 individuals who go through severe trauma will at one point suffer from PTSD. While the situations that might lead to PTSD vary from one individual to another, certain events do stand out. Here’s an overview of the most common traumatic events that lead to PTSD;

  • Sexual or physical abuse
  • Serious car accidents
  • Going through violence such as during war and conflict
  • Being diagnosed with a severe and life-threatening condition such as cancer
  • Being bullied, abused, or harassed, for example, sexism, racism, or domestic or childhood abuse
  • Torture
  • Seeing others killed or hurt
  • Being kidnapped and
  • Loss of a loved one Traumatic childbirth, either as a partner or mother witnessing distressing birth

The human body has developed traumatic stress reactions which have been embedded in us over time to help one cope with a stressful event. This stress response to trauma is usually the body’s natural response to safeguard you from danger. It’s later after that you’ll try and replay the frightening event in your head to try and make sense of it. This is usually the standard approach for dealing with any stressful event.

Following a traumatic event, persons suffering from PTSD experience reactions such as anger, guilt, nervousness, shock, and fear. These symptoms then keep worsening over time hence preventing the individual from going about with their normal daily duties.

Who’s At Risk For Developing PTSD

It’s yet to be fully understood why individuals can go through a stressful event yet not all of them end up suffering from PTSD. With that said, a couple of things increase the chances of you ending up with PTSD after a traumatic event, and this include;

  • Lack of support from your family or friends
  • Suffering from anxiety or depression
  • Genetic factors such as having a parent with mental health issues

Being able to identify the symptoms of PTSD is essential as this helps think what’s the best treatment possible. The most common symptoms include;

  • Negative thoughts and mood: This refers to the feelings and thoughts linked to estrangement, blame, and memory problems of the traumatic event. As a result, you end up having a hard time maintaining close relationships, being hopeless about the future, feeling emotionally numb, and not being interested in activities you enjoyed in the past.
  • Avoidance: This manifests itself by avoiding people, activities, or people who remind you of the distressing event. You also don’t want to discuss the traumatic event with anyone.
  • Increased arousal: The most common symptoms include having a hard time sleeping, concentration, being easily irritable, showing excessive emotions, and outbursts of anger. You also might suffer from rapid breathing, muscle tension, diarrhea, nausea, as well as increased heart rate and blood pressure.

SEE ALSO: 5 Hobbies for a Mental Health Boost

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