PTSD Anxiety

PTSD Anxiety

Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, can be a debilitating condition. It helps to understand what causes PTSD, what the symptoms are, and how you can cope with it. While PTSD anxiety isn’t something that will just vanish, it can be managed. Psychotherapy and medication combined is the most effective treatment.

PTSD anxiety is a complicated and unpredictable condition. Many people who survive a traumatic experience in their lives develop it. PTSD anxiety can result from traumatic experiences as varied as war, physical or sexual assault, natural disasters, near-fatal accident or illness, or the sudden death of a loved one.

Most people who experience these situations eventually recover without developing PTSD. It isn’t clear why some people get PTSD anxiety and others don’t. Several factors, such having a good social support system or having a history of mental illnesses, can make a person more or less likely to develop it. The same factors strongly effect how well a person is likely to cope with the symptoms.

While PTSD anxiety is similar to other anxiety disorders in some ways, it also differs significantly in others. One of the most obvious is that, unlike other anxiety disorders, there is almost always a clear cause for PTSD anxiety. With a known cause, psychotherapy can be particularly helpful.

Many PTSD sufferers experience feelings of guilt, either because they were unable to help or because they survived while others did not. Fear and helplessness are also common emotions. If PTSD anxiety results from a violent encounter, there are likely to be feelings of fear or hatred towards the perpetrator or others that share gender, race, or other characteristics. Natural disasters and illnesses are especially likely to cause feelings of weakness, helplessness, and depression.

PTSD anxiety has some specific symptoms that differentiate it from normal trauma reactions. Sufferers often re-experience the traumatic event. They avoid situations that remind them of it, and exhibit hyper-arousal symptoms.

Re-experiencing the trauma is a hallmark of PTSD anxiety. Certain situations may trigger waking flashbacks, where the person actually thinks they are back in the original traumatic event. Nightmares and even hallucinations can cause the person to re-live the event.

Avoidance is also quite common. A person with PTSD anxiety will avoid people, places, and situations that remind them of their past trauma. If the event took place at work they may be unable to return. If it was in a crowded place they may be unwilling to go out in public, or if they were alone they may be unable to be left alone even for a moment. Car accidents may leave someone unable to drive or even ride in a car.

Hyper arousal is another kind of PTSD anxiety symptom. The hyper-aroused person is easily startled, tense, has difficulty sleeping, and may often be angry. Because PTSD anxiety leaves the person afraid of repeated trauma, they are constantly on edge and waiting for something bad to happen. They are extremely alert. Depending on the original trauma, they may be affected by people behind them, unexpected touching, certain sounds, or anything else.

While not everyone experiences it, PTSD is a normal if extreme reaction to a traumatic event. A combined treatment plan can help the survivor to re-establish some control and find ways to cope. Psychotherapy helps to determine triggers of acute symptoms, find ways to cope with them, and create new behavior patterns to minimize the effects on daily life. Medications can help with anxiety and depression, difficulty sleeping, and many other symptoms.