Saturday, July 24, 2010

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Hello Everyone, Happy Saturday! I'm hoping for some sunshine today!! I wanted to get back on track with Anxiety Disorders. This one is hard for me to write about because I personally feel the root of my Anxiety Attacks stem from this, which thank God for modern medicine, I do not have to worry about anymore. I experienced a lot of traumatic events growing up with my mother. Two suicide attempts and many psychotic episodes. Not to place blame on her, she was sick and could not help herself, I have no anger towards her, only empathy and forgiveness along with great love, as you know from reading my blogs. It was when I was moved out of my childhood home and as they say felt in a "safe place" that the Panic Attacks came the surface, when Christa was about 2 yrs old. When I was in rehab one of the things they make you do just before you leave is write an "Honesty Paper" to share with everyone. That was tough because you have to tell your life's story out loud to everyone, which for someone like me and everyone in there that have been trying to keep that life story away with Alcohol just do not want to relive sober. But it's the first step in changing that old behavior. I know I started partying at an earlier age because of the trauma which led me to where I am today. I bought a book recently to read on Trauma and every time I've picked it up, I've just put it down. I guess I am not ready to "go there" as they say. The mind is kind and only gives you what you can handle for memories that are buried so deep down inside. I remembered writing that paper that one of the first memories of her was the police giving her a tranquilizer and then the ambulance taking her away. So this is helpful to me as well as I share this information with all of you. We have all experienced some form of this in our lifetime, so I hope this helps you or a loved one of yours. When I am ready to read that book on Trauma I will share some helpful information from that as well. Now on a lighter note, go have some fun today and don't behave!!
Thanks for visiting my blog,
Love ya,
Janet :)

What is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD, is an anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to a terrifying event or ordeal in which grave physical harm occurred or was threatened. Traumatic events that may trigger PTSD include, violent personal assaults, natural or human-caused disasters, accidents, or military combat. PTSD is an anxiety disorder that some people get after seeing or living through a dangerous event. When in danger, it’s natural to feel afraid. This fear triggers many split-second changes in the body to prepare to defend against the danger or to avoid it. This “fight-or-flight” response is a healthy reaction meant to protect a person from harm. But in PTSD, this reaction is changed or damaged. People who have PTSD may feel stressed or frightened even when they’re no longer in danger.

Signs & Symptoms

People with PTSD have persistent frightening thoughts and memories of their ordeal and feel emotionally numb, especially with people they were once close to. They may experience sleep problems, feel detached or numb, or be easily startled.

PTSD can cause many symptoms. These symptoms can be grouped into three categories:
1. Re-experiencing symptoms:
* Flashbacks—reliving the trauma over and over, including physical symptoms like a racing heart or sweating
* Bad dreams
* Frightening thoughts
Re-experiencing symptoms may cause problems in a person’s everyday routine. They can start from the person’s own thoughts and feelings. Words, objects, or situations that are reminders of the event can also trigger re-experiencing.

2. Avoidance symptoms:
* Staying away from places, events, or objects that are reminders of the experience
* Feeling emotionally numb
* Feeling strong guilt, depression, or worry
* Losing interest in activities that were enjoyable in the past
* Having trouble remembering the dangerous event.

Things that remind a person of the traumatic event can trigger avoidance symptoms. These symptoms may cause a person to change his or her personal routine. For example, after a bad car accident, a person who usually drives may avoid driving or riding in a car.

3. Hyperarousal symptoms:
* Being easily startled
* Feeling tense or “on edge”
* Having difficulty sleeping, and/or having angry outbursts.

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

It’s natural to have some of these symptoms after a dangerous event. Sometimes people have very serious symptoms that go away after a few weeks. This is called acute stress disorder, or ASD. When the symptoms last more than a few weeks and become an ongoing problem, they might be PTSD. Some people with PTSD don’t show any symptoms for weeks or months.

How is PTSD treated?

The main treatments for people with PTSD are psychotherapy (“talk” therapy), medications, or both. Everyone is different, so a treatment that works for one person may not work for another. It is important for anyone with PTSD to be treated by a mental health care provider who is experienced with PTSD. Some people with PTSD need to try different treatments to find what works for their symptoms.

If someone with PTSD is going through an ongoing trauma, such as being in an abusive relationship, both of the problems need to be treated. Other ongoing problems can include panic disorder, depression, substance abuse, and feeling suicidal.

This video is for you Kimmy, and to
all my friends who have been so kind
with your support at this time when I
need it the most. Know I Got You Too:)

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