Post-traumatic Stress Disorder and Trauma

Trauma disorders were first widely recognized following major wars when soldiers were coming home and struggling to return to their normal lives due to the trauma they experienced, witnessed, or heard about during their time serving. However, trauma doesn’t just affect those who experienced war-time trauma. In fact, 3-5% of people are diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder each year, with approximately 11% of the population receiving this diagnosis each year. Experiencing, witnessing, or even hearing about any traumatic event can lead to trauma disorders such as PTSD.

%

of adults in the U.S. will have PTSD at some point in their lives

million Americans had PTSD in 2020

What is PTSD?

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a complex condition that is brought on by trauma. It is normal – and often expected – to react to a traumatic event, experience, or story. This is your body’s parasympathetic nervous system (fight or flight instinct) doing it’s job. However, sometimes these reactions return. Even when the trauma is over and in the past, your mind and body may not be able to let go of it. Sometimes there are triggers that bring back a memory or feeling of the trauma, and other times these memories come out of seemingly nowhere. Those who continue to experience those symptoms of trauma may have PTSD.

Symptoms

PTSD symptoms can be broken down into four different groups:

Re-experiencing Symptoms

N

Experiencing flashbacks

N

Recurrent memories or dreams related to the trauma

N

Distressing thoughts

N

Physical signs of stress (such as tension or elevated blood pressure)

Avoidance Symptoms

N

Avoiding places, events, or objects that are reminders of the trauma

N

Avoiding thoughts or feelings related to the trauma

Arousal & Reactivity Symptoms

N

Easily startled

N

Tension, always on high alert or on edge

N

Difficulty concentrating

N

Insomnia

N

Irritability

N

Aggressive outbursts

N

Risky, reckless, or destructive behaviors

Cognition & Mood Symptoms

N

Difficulty remembering key features of the traumatic event

N

Negative thoughts about oneself or the world

N

Extreme feelings of blame (on self or others)

N

Consistent negative emotions (ie: fear, anger, guilt, or shame)

N

Loss of interest in activities previously enjoyed

N

Feeling socially isolated

N

Finds it difficult to let positive emotions in (ie: happiness or satisfaction)

Minorities & PTSD

It cannot go without saying that certain minorities and marginalized groups are at a higher risk of developing PTSD. For instance, women are twice as likely as men to develop PTSD. Additionally, Latin American, African American, and Native American peoples are disproportionately affected by this disorder.

Other Trauma Disorders

While PTSD is the most widely recognized trauma disorder, it is not the only one. Other trauma disorders include:

  • Acute stress disorder (ASD)
  • Secondhand Trauma
  • Adjustment disorders
  • Reactive attachment disorder (RAD)
  • Disinhibited Social Engagement
  • Disorder (DSED)
  • Other and Unspecified Trauma- and Stressor-Related Disorders

Living with Trauma

Trauma is rarely something that just goes away on its own. Many people actually find that trying to “sweep their trauma under the rug,” so to speak, can actually prevent them from truly moving on. If the symptoms of a trauma are not going away on their own, then getting help sooner then later is going to be paramount for recovery. Untreated trauma can be a danger to the individual struggling, as well as those around them. With the right approach, trauma is something that can be overcome.

Overcoming Trauma at Onyx

At Onyx Behavioral Health, we are here to support you through the process of healing from trauma. Our experienced team understands what it takes to take back control over your life. Contact us today at 888-242-5716 to learn more about our behavioral health treatment residence and why it just might be the right choice for you.

Discover Healing with Onyx Behavioral Health

At Onyx Behavioral Health, we work to empower our residents to become productive citizens and stable individuals in their respective environments. We hope to guide and ground you in repairing your mind, body, and soul.
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