In recent years, much more attention has been given to psychological issues that people from all walks of life have to deal with on a daily basis. One such issue is PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder.
Even though it is not uncommon for people to experience this psychological trauma from any number of traumatic experiences, such as traffic accidents, assaults, or natural disasters, the number 1 cause of PTSD is war.
This disorder disproportionately affects soldiers coming back from wars overseas. Medical experts at REE Medical shared with us some of the ways that PTSD can affect the lives of veterans, as well as regular people who had the misfortune of combating this problem.
PTSD Affects Sleep
It is not uncommon for people with PTSD to also experience insomnia and sleep deprivation. For some people, the most impactful episodes happen in their dreams, which makes sleeping not only difficult, but also an experience to be dreaded instead of welcomed.
As you well know, sleep is vital for normal functioning of the human body and mind. That’s why people who are chronically sleep deprived tend to be far less focused, and even prone to aggression and violent outbursts.
Many PTSD sufferers have trigger experiences that can cause them to re-experience the trauma that brought on the condition in the first place. For people who experienced car accidents, it may be really difficult to be in cars, whereas people who experienced war-related PTSD, loud noises, flashing lights, or even just tense situations can bring about an episode.
This leads many people with this condition to simply avoid the situations which cause them discomfort and which might be a problem for them. However, this avoidance can escalate to extreme levels. Some PTSD sufferers start avoiding social all social interactions and even leaving their homes. This can further exacerbate the condition, as well as cause more psychological or even physical conditions.
Psychological Effects of PTSD
One of the most damaging effects that PTSD can have on its sufferer is certainly the psychological trauma that it leaves. Having recurring flashbacks to the traumatizing event and re-experiencing said trauma over and over often leads to more complex psychological problems.
Feelings of fear and helplessness can trigger many other psychological conditions such as depression and anxiety if left untreated. Feeling that one has no control over their own life is too much for anyone to handle, which is why experts recommend managing PTSD as soon as the sufferer become aware of the condition.
Emotional state of people with PTSD can become fundamentally impacted by this condition. In fact, the structure and chemistry of the brain of PTSD sufferers tends to change and that directly impacts mood and emotions.
As mentioned before, sleep deprivation can lead to mood swings and violent outbursts, but the impact of PTSD on emotions can go much deeper. With increased levels of cortisol and norepinephrine brought on by that condition, the personality of the person can be changed significantly.
Some people experience apathy and depression caused by this change of brain chemistry, but there are more extreme situations, where people completely change and start having negative thoughts and feelings towards themselves, others and the world at large.
Seeking help for this condition is absolutely paramount if the person wants to return to normal life. With the help of medical and behavioral professionals, this condition can be managed, and even eliminated from everyday life. Things like therapy, support animals, and even medication have progressed a lot in recent years, so this terrible condition is much more manageable now than ever before.