PTSD in veterans: Stressors

Our topic today is PTSD in Veterans: Stressors. Here’s a few statistics you may not have known. The total number individuals serving in the United States Armed Services is more than 3.6 million. Active Duty members make up 39.4% of that. Ready Reserve Duty represents 29.2%. DOD Civilian personnel is 24.9%. In 2010 approximately 40% of veterans were 65 years old or older. There are many reasons for people to join. Some people join the Armed Services to travel. Others join because it is a family tradition. Patriotism is also… Read More »PTSD in veterans: Stressors

PTSD in veterans: Military Culture

Our next topic is PTSD in veterans: Military Culture. Why is it important to be culturally competent? Increasing numbers of health care professionals with no prior military service history or experience working with military Service Members, Veterans, or their families are being called upon to deliver patient care to these rapidly growing populations. For current and former military Service members, the explicit organizational structures and implicit ideals and values comprising military culture play a significant and lifelong role in injury, illness, and recovery. In all fields of health care, but… Read More »PTSD in veterans: Military Culture

PTSD Avoidance and Safety Behaviors

Avoidance behaviors Many who suffer from PTSD exhibit PTSD Avoidance and Safety Behaviors. When an activity, place, thing, or situation makes you uncomfortable, a natural impulse is to avoid it altogether or escape from it as quickly as possible. When you have PTSD, behavior often changes as you try to avoid the triggers in your environment. Common examples of avoidance behaviors for veterans with PTSD include: Staying away from malls, movie theaters, sports arenas, restaurants, and other crowded public spaces. Refusing to ride in the passenger seat. Shopping late at… Read More »PTSD Avoidance and Safety Behaviors

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder Triggers

What do you know about Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Triggers? Let’s start with what a trigger is. A trigger is an event, object, or cue that elicits feelings of anxiety, fear, anger, or other types of distress. Triggers are often harmless, but have become associated with the original trauma. For most people with PTSD, triggers are not inherently dangerous, but remind them of their traumatic experiences. The amygdala (old brain) recognizes the similarity and not realizing that the danger is over produces a surge of anxiety which activates the fight or… Read More »Post-traumatic Stress Disorder Triggers

PTSD and the Brain

To understand what causes PTSD we need to understand PTSD and the Brain. As humans, we are born with built-in alarms systems to alert us to danger so we can either “fight or flee.” That alarm system, which is commonly called the “limbic system” or the “arousal system”, is vital to our survival. When activated by stress, the alarm system prepares you to fight off an attack or to flee (escape), which means your heart rate and breathing rate increase, muscles tense, adrenaline rushes, etc. Our alarm system does not… Read More »PTSD and the Brain

What are the Reactions to Trauma?

Common Reactions to Trauma You may be wondering what are the reactions to trauma? A traumatic experience produces emotional shock and may cause many emotional problems. This blog post describes some of the common reactions people have after a trauma. Because everyone responds differently to traumatic events, you may have some of these reactions to a greater degree than others, and some you may not have at all. Remember, many changes after a trauma are normal. Many people who directly experience a major trauma have severe problems in the immediate… Read More »What are the Reactions to Trauma?

Four Categories of PTSD Symptoms

There are four categories of PTSD symptoms. Did you even know there were categories? Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that can result from exposure to trauma. PTSD involves four main types of symptoms: Hyper-Arousal Intrusive Recollection Avoidance Numbing PTSD is diagnosed when these symptoms last longer than a month and cause significant distress or impairment in functioning. Hyper-Arousal Hyper-arousal is an unpleasant sensation where the person feels hyper-aware of every stimuli. They are aware of every tiny sound. The person is hyper-vigilant, startles easily, and often feels… Read More »Four Categories of PTSD Symptoms

Trauma 101

It’s time for a quick trauma 101. Let’s look at some of the most frequent questions. What is trauma? What are the risk factors? What are the symptoms? How do we treat trauma? What is trauma? Trauma is a powerful emotional response to a distressing event, such as war, an accident, the unexpected loss of a loved one, or abuse. Trauma can continue to cause both emotional and physical symptoms for many years after the event has concluded. Trauma is complicated. It can be obvious, with a clear cause, and… Read More »Trauma 101

What Causes PTSD?

Now that we know how to define PTSD and the symptoms, let’s talk about what causes PTSD. We’re going to get technical for a minute, so hang on with me. As humans, we are born with built-in alarms systems to alert us to danger so we can either “fight or flee.” That alarm system, which is commonly called the “limbic system” or the “arousal system”, is vital to our survival. When activated by stress, the alarm system prepares you to fight off an attack or to flee (escape), which means… Read More »What Causes PTSD?

How do I know if I have PTSD?

How do I know if I have PTSD? What are the things I should be looking for? Are there things my loved ones can watch out for? The APA PTSD clinical symptoms include symptoms of arousal and activity. What does that mean? You are irritable, angry, and aggressive. You are reckless. You take chances. You are always on guard, easily startled, and have difficulty concentrating when you may have been very good at concentrating before the trauma. Suddenly, you cannot focus on one thing at a time. And of course,… Read More »How do I know if I have PTSD?