Trauma or Post Traumatic Stress (PTS) symptoms are caused by the mind trying to make sense of the story when the body/mind system was overwhelmed.
Trauma might be caused by a specific event like a car crash, or by many smaller events eventually building up and overloading the system – such as abuse or continued high levels of stress.
When this happens our primitive brain, the fight and flight responses automatically take over and start to flood our system with hormones to help us escape from threat.
For some the fight and flight dial gets turned up too high and needs a little help to turn back down again.
Some of the key signs of trauma or PTS can be:
- Physical sensations – pain, nausea, sweating
- Flashbacks – involuntarily and vividly re-living events
- Repetitive and upsetting images or sensations
- Constant negative thoughts, self questioning, guilt and shame ‘why didn’t I fight back?’
- Avoidance of similar situations
- Hyperarousal – feeling jumpy and ‘on edge’ all the time
- Angry outbursts
- Excessive tearfulness
- Brain fog
- Sleep problems
- difficulty concentrating
- Numbness and disconnection from the world
PTS symptoms are not just for soldiers. It can happen to anyone.
If you are worried that you might have PTS your GP will be able to help you get a diagnosis. It is important that you get some help.
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