What is PTSD and what are the symptoms of PTSD?

Posttraumatic stress disorder, also known as PTSD, is a mental disorder that develops in the aftermath of trauma. Trauma was once thought to be an emotional response, but it is now understood to be a response that impacts the brain physically after a terrifying or horrible event, such as an accident or witnessing a crime. PTSD is characterized by;

Intrusion

Intrusion is when memories, thoughts, and anxieties around a traumatic event pop up without the sufferer feeling any warning or control over their arrival.

Avoidance

Avoidance is when a sufferer may try to avoid being around people, places, or things that remind them of the traumatic event. This can mean the sufferer misses work, school, or social events and overall loses connection to loved ones.

Mood / Cognition

People with PTSD may feel as though they can’t feel anything anymore. They might have a hard time remembering things, and may have negative and hopeless feelings about themselves, others, and the world.

Arousal / Reactivity

People with PTSD often suffer from anger and paranoia. They may often self-destruct when they begin to heal, especially when they feel they might have to trust someone or something again.

More than 8% of Americans suffer from PTSD (ptsdunited.org). We understand the painful symptoms of PTSD at Olympia House and know the importance of a peaceful environment, patience, and educating our staff about the symptoms of PTSD. We offer our information freely as part of our philosophy around individualized treatment.

What is the Science Behind the Symptoms Of PTSD?

Although in the past PTSD was seen to be an emotional response to trauma, we understand now that this emotional response is based deeply in physiology and biology. At Olympia House, we pride ourselves on sharing the knowledge that informs our treatment with our clients to help lead them to recovery patients can testify to.

Recent developments in science have also informed us that the hippocampus, or the center in the brain greatly in charge of memory, plays a huge role in the long-term effects of PTSD. When the hippocampus was activated in a laboratory environment, patients showed signs of dissociation.

Dissociation is when somebody feels disconnected from reality, almost as if they are in a game or a dream. In PTSD, glucose, or the food the brain needs to work properly, is moved away from the hippocampus. This makes it difficult for the hippocampus to store long-term memories. In general, this continuous damage to the hippocampus causes cell atrophy or death. This leaves this key brain area smaller than it is in those who do not suffer from PTSD.

How do the Symptoms Of PTSD Relate to Addiction?

PTSD relates to addiction in two ways. First, the symptoms of PTSD can put addiction into motion to begin with. Secondly, PTSD can also impact treatment.

How the symptoms of PTSD can put addiction in motion

The symptoms of PTSD can put addiction into motion. When an individual has experienced a traumatic experience, it can seem like almost anything can remind them of it. Part of the pain of PTSD is wanting to forget and being unable to.

Additionally, alcohol can affect the ability to remember. It is not surprising then, that according to the US Department of Veteran Affairs, ¾ of people with PTSD are also diagnosed with alcoholism. It can also help them feel numb to things that remind them of the event, or triggers.

How treatment can be impacted by the symptoms of PTSD

Seeking out substances can be a dangerous activity in itself. This can lead to experiencing several traumatic events, resulting in an extra resistant form of PTSD, called complex PTSD (cPTSD). However, our talented and caring staff know that with the right spiritual, medical, and psychological help, our treatment can help you on your way to recovery from trauma.

PTSD can also impact treatment. Those with PTSD may feel very tired most of the time. They may spend a lot of time sleeping or otherwise resting, because their brain is trying to make sense of these painful memories. They often feel confused, and not entirely sure about what they are confused about. This leads to a sense of brain fog. Feeling like this can make someone feel hopeless and unable to trust, as if everything is too much. We understand these feelings and know they are the seeds to growing back the self you once knew. Our talented staff at our beautiful Olympia House facility will work with you every step of the way, whether you are tired, angry, or finally feeling a precious hope return to you. It is our honor to assist you.

How Olympia House Aims To Alleviate The Symptoms Of PTSD

We want to begin helping you or a loved one heal from the symptoms of PTSD and help you open the door to the world again. Call Olympia House to begin your recovery at one of the locations near you: (888) 795-1965.