I see a number of cases of PTSD ieach years. PTSD is commonly thought to only affect ex-services people, but anjyone can get PTSD. It usually manifests itself as a constant feeling of danger and hyper-vigilance. PTSD can be sparked by certain situations, like military action or violence, but nthen causes anxiety in other situations such as having to drive across a bridge. As in many psychological problems, everyone's PTSD is unique. It's hard for partners and friends to understand how difficult it is to live with PTSD.
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One distressing aspect of PTSD can be that it can sometimes feel almost like a child's fear. It feels completely alien and uncontrollable, almost as if the person is experiencing someone else's fear. This is often because the PTSD itself is coming from an old memory, sometimes even from childhood, and so it is old emotion.
Another major cause of phobias is PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). It's a profound anxiety disorder which
results from a traumatic event or period of time, usually,
but not always, life-threatening or violent. Sometimes just witnessing a violent event can cause it. The term was originally first applied to Vietnam war veterans and was coined to try to get the public and politicians to recognise that what was once called "battle fatigue" or "shell shock" is, in fact, a serious problem. UK forces have been involved in multiple conflicts recently and PTSD is, unfortunately, very prevalent among forces veterans. NB I have a special "Veterans' PTSD" rate.
More information from the Royal College of Psychiatrists.
Many non-veterans, even children, can develop similar symptoms to PTSD. They suffer the same flashbacks, hyper-vigilance and situation avoidance. This is the mind's reaction to any psychological shock. It is quite common for victims of bullying, or physical /sexual abuse to present these same symptoms.
Many health problems can be attributed to the chronic anxiety that results from PTSD. Chronic anxiety creates a high level of a number of stress hormones within the body. These hormones would normally be "used up" in a real situation by, for instance, running away. In daily life, the hormones are retained and cause lots of problems. These include gastric problems, tension headaches & migraines, high blood pressure, some skin conditions associated with stress. These can themselves lead to heart disease, etc.
David Stocks RSM
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