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Stress, Anxiety, And PTSD
What Is PTSD?
For a few decades, we've known how mental health is as important as physical health.
There are often common connections found between the two.
After witnessing or experiencing a shocking event, like a car accident, an assault, or combat, to state a few, our bodies all have reactions.
And everybody experiences this event in a different way.
PTSD is a mental and emotional health disorder, which often results from exposure to a traumatic event involving death, threats of death or serious injury.
Veterans have experience with the topics of stress and anxiety.
Up to 20% of modern day Veterans deal with PTSD symptoms.
And according to the US Department of Veterans Affairs, about 8 million adults go through PTSD during a given year.
Here is where Veterans can help people understand stress and anxiety that results from the trauma response common to us all.
If you need help now, call 988.
PTSD & Jobs: Which Careers Are Most Vulnerable?
Research has shown that people who work in high stress jobs, like the military, first responders (e.g. police officers, firefighters), & healthcare workers, may be at an increased risk for developing PTSD.
These jobs often involve exposure to traumatic events or situations that can trigger the development of PTSD.
Everybody can experience a traumatic event.
However, it is important to note that not everyone who works in a high stress job will develop PTSD.
Other factors, such as an individual's coping mechanisms and support system, can also play a role in the development of the condition.
But, if you're not in a career with a higher risk of PTSD, your traumas aren't less important.
Potential Signs Of PTSD
If you or someone you know has experienced a traumatic event, it's important to be aware of the signs of PTSD, which may include re-experiencing the traumatic event, avoiding reminders of the event, and negative changes in thoughts and feelings.
Depression, anxiety symptoms, and feelings of stress are also common in people with PTSD.
Many symptoms overlap, but they can all be warning signs.
It's important to seek help from a mental health professional for any signs of depression or anxiety.
With treatment, it is possible to manage stress & anxiety symptoms to improve overall well-being.
- Persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or worthlessness
- Loss of interest in activities you used to enjoy
- Changes in sleep and appetite
- Fatigue or loss of energy
- Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
- Excessive worry or fear
- Difficulty sleeping
- Physical symptoms such as racing heartbeat, shortness of breath, or trembling
- Difficulty concentrating
- Avoiding situations or activities that trigger anxiety
- Constant feeling of being overwhelmed or unable to cope
- Difficulty sleeping
- Irritability or anger
- Changes in appetite
- Difficulty concentrating
Why Does PTSD Happen?
When a person experiences a traumatic event, their body's natural stress response is activated, which can include physical and emotional symptoms like increased heart rate and difficulty sleeping.
This stress response is a normal and necessary reaction to a dangerous situation, but it's meant to be temporary.
For some people, the stress response doesn't go away after the traumatic event is over.
This can lead to the development of PTSD, as the body continues to experience stress and anxiety even when there's no longer any immediate danger.
To manage the trauma response, it's important to find ways to manage stress and anxiety, with effective stress management techniques and stress relief activities.
This can help to reduce the risk of developing PTSD and improve overall well-being.
Risk Factors For Developing PTSD
We're just beginning to understand genetic connections to stress.
Some traits can be passed on from one generation to another, from the family's history of mental health.
The way we respond to stress can have a big influence one the impact of a trauma.
If we tend to be easily stressed and anxious the risk of presenting with PTSD can be higher.
Depending on our environment, and the people around us, the PTSD impact can defer.
When you feel alone or not listened to properly it can be more difficult to overcome trauma.
Can You Prevent PTSD?
It's always good to talk about this experience. Expressing your feelings is beneficial, specifically when you feel some anxiety appearing after an event.
If you don't feel like talking to a professional right away, you can talk to your family and friends. Of course, going to see someone who knows about this situation is ideal.
Talking about it can free yourself from becoming more and more closed off to people and allowing an easier recovery.
The trusting relationship is important, find someone you feel comfortable with.
Joining the topic of trust, creating a safe space at home can be very helpful, especially for people who experience panic attacks.
Communicate the importance of confidentiality and trust.
Note taking and journaling can be a good alternative for introverted people, speaking about trauma can be difficult at first.
Will PTSD Ever Go Away?
The important thing to understand is that you don't have to live with your symptoms forever. Getting help can get you out of the vicious cycle.
If your symptoms are older than a year, it is unlikely that PTSD symptoms will go away on their own.
Getting treatment can help understand where it's coming from and help you get PTSD to stop affecting you and the people around you.
PTSD And Stress Management
When things get hard, we all need different types of support.
Group activities are a great option. Find a recreational program where you can relax and have a little fun.
Having the possibility to listen and learn from other experiences can be reassuring, and can free speech for yourself.
To help our members create and innovate while experiencing stress, The Lift & Shift Foundation runs a virtual makerspace for our Design Team.
Join our Design Team.
A Word of Encouragement About PTSD, Anxiety, & Stress
To offer encouragement, often taking the first step is considered the biggest leap.
And for many it is overwhelming and all consuming.
No matter your trauma coping mechanism, and personal situation, you are not alone.
There are many others out there in similar situations.
No one step in the right direction is the wrong step.
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