Posts Tagged post traumatic stress disorder

[WEB PAGE] 7 Unexpected Signs You Have High-Functioning PTSD

When most people think of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), they envision debilitating anxiety and depression that seems apparent from the outside. But some people exhibit signs of high-functioning PTSD, and they might not be as obvious as you thought. Some people can experience PTSD and still manage to get through their day-to-day lives, but that doesn’t mean their symptoms don’t deserve to be looked at or that they have to live with those emotional hurdles forever.

“What many don’t realize is that PTSD is not a direct result of trauma,” John Hamilton, LMFT, LADC and Chief Clinical Outreach Officer at Mountainside Treatment Center, tells Bustle. “It’s not just the experience that results in PTSD, but how the person responds to that experience internally. It depends on how the person processes and reacts to the traumatic event. A lot of times, an individual will disconnect from themselves and have a hard time being present as a result. An individual with high-functioning PTSD is someone who struggles with the symptoms of this mental illness, but not to the extent where it interferes with everyday activities and relationships.”

The first step to getting the help you need is recognizing that you might be a high-functioning person living with PTSD. Discussing these symptoms with your therapist can help you get a diagnosis and figure out the best forms of treatment. Here are seven unexpected signs you have high-functioning PTSD, according to experts.

1
You’re Always Busy

Andrew Zaeh for Bustle

People with high-functioning PTSD tend to be workaholics or find some other way to keep their time occupied. “Staying busy all the time allows the individual with high-functioning PTSD to not have to think about the painful memories,” trauma therapist Ginger Poag, MSW, LCSW, CEMDR tells Bustle. “The trauma and memories may be too overwhelming for the person that they rather stay busy to keep their mind off of what happened.” Of course, having a packed schedule doesn’t mean you automatically suffer from PTSD, but if you notice you may be avoiding confronting some traumatic events, it might be time to speak with a therapist.

2
You Have Extreme Emotional Reactions

Andrew Zaeh for Bustle

When you are experiencing PTSD, your fight-or-flight reactions intensify. When your body feels unsafe, you live in a state of hyper-vigilance. “This can lead to having an extreme emotional reaction (tears, feelings of hopelessness, catastrophizing) to stressful or anxious situations, especially if this reaction is much more intense than what you felt before the trauma,” trauma therapist Michele Quintin, LCSW tells Bustle. Once again, the best way to deal with these emotions is to seek the help of a professional.

3
You Cancel Plans

Hannah Burton/Bustle

“It is common for individuals with high-functioning PTSD to cancel plans they had made with friends,” says Poag. “The person wants to go out and have a good time, but when it actually comes down to going, the individual feels too overwhelmed, and does not want to go out and socialize with a lot of people. We may start to see social anxiety develop.”

4
You Have Insomnia

Andrew Zaeh for Bustle

Difficulty getting to sleep at night is another symptom of high-functioning PTSD. “The individual is exhausted from pushing themselves all day both mentally and physically,” says Poag. “It takes a lot of energy to maintain the image of everything is together and fine. When the individual goes to lay down for the night, they often start to ruminate about the days events or what is coming up in the future. Even though the individual is tired, the brain is still active, and they are not able to sleep.” Insomnia can have many causes, but if difficulty falling asleep seems to be the result of anxiety, a therapist can help you.

5
You Have Digestive Issues

Ashley Batz/Bustle

Many people with PTSD experience digestive issues due to the mental stress that they are under. “The brain sends signals to the stomach that the brain is under a great deal of stress, and as a result we start to see digestive issues and stomach pain,” says Poag. Like insomnia, digestive issues can be caused by a variety of factors, so if you’re questioning where these problems may be coming from, a trip to the doctor’s can help clarify.

6
You Are Experiencing Disordered Eating

Ashley Batz/Bustle

“An eating disorder may also be seen in high-functioing PTSD,” says Poag. “The individual may be trying to numb theirselves from the painful memory of the trauma or release the intense emotions they have built up inside.”

If you’ve gone through a traumatic event and are experiencing these symptoms, consult a therapist who can help give you the proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

via 7 Unexpected Signs You Have High-Functioning PTSD

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[Abstract + References] Neurostimulation in Anxiety Disorders, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder – Book chapter

Abstract

Many pharmacological treatments were proved effective in the treatment of panic disorder (PD), generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety disorder (SAD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD); still many patients do not achieve remission with these treatments. Neurostimulation techniques have been studied as promising alternatives or augmentation treatments to pharmacological and psychological therapies. The most studied neurostimulation method for anxiety disorders, PTSD, and OCD was repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS). This neurostimulation technique had the highest level of evidence for GAD. There were also randomized sham-controlled trials indicating that rTMS may be effective in the treatment of PTSD and OCD, but there were conflicting findings regarding these two disorders. There is indication that rTMS may be effective in the treatment of panic disorder, but the level of evidence is low. Deep brain stimulation (DBS) was most studied for treatment of OCD, but the randomized sham-controlled trials had mixed findings. Preliminary findings indicate that DBS could be affective for PTSD. There is weak evidence indicating that electroconvulsive therapy, transcranial direct current stimulation, vagus nerve stimulation, and trigeminal nerve stimulation could be effective in the treatment of anxiety disorders, PTSD, and OCD. Regarding these disorders, there is no support in the current literature for the use of neurostimulation in clinical practice. Large high-quality studies are warranted.

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via Neurostimulation in Anxiety Disorders, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder | SpringerLink

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[BLOG POST] 21 People Explain What Sensory Overload Feels Like – The Mighty

 

Sensory overload happens when too much sensory stimulus is occurring at once — it can be triggered by a crowded room, a TV turned up too loud, strong aromas, fluorescent lighting — or a hundred other things. It’s often associated with certain diagnoses like autism, sensory processing disorderchronic fatigue syndromefibromyalgiapost-traumatic stress disorder and more, although anyone can experience it.

Sensory overload can be overwhelming, scary and exhausting, and may require a person to separate him or herself from a situation, perform a calming ritual or in some cases, melt down. It’s a hard experience to understand unless you’ve felt it. So, we asked our readers who’ve experienced sensory overload to describe what it’s like.

This is what they had to say:

1. “Do you remember the movie ‘Bruce Almighty’? He was receiving prayer requests by hearing them in his head as they occurred, hundreds at a time. They became jumbled, and he became frustrated and couldn’t make sense of any of them. Sensory overload is like that. Everything is coming at me at once, but it seems I’m the only one noticing. I can hear my heartbeat, I can feel the heat of the lamps, I can’t function. I’m frozen, stuck. It usually takes a shock to get me back from this, like a touch if I’m not being touched, or a change of environment or cold water on my skin.” — Meredith Lime

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2. “Sometimes it just feels like you need everything around you to pause… It’s like a bunch of things occurring while a bunch of other things are approaching at the same time — like a spinning room.” — TwoMlln Thghts AndCntg

3. “During an auditory overload, just about every sound can feel like someone took a microphone to it and set it on full blast.” — Chelle Neufeld

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4. “I hear everything when in sensory overload. But it’s not as if I can hear what is being said; rather it is just many, many sounds, unfiltered and loud. It feels like sounds are coming at me from every direction. Lights from all directions also seem to glare in my eyes. Sensory overload is horrible.” — Laura Seil Ruszczyk

5. “It’s like when your computer freezes because there are too many tasks open or a task is stuck. And your brain hits ‘Ctrl-Alt-Del’ automatically. In my case, this means sudden fatigue, balance problems, speaking problems, disorientation.” — Zahra Khan

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6. “Too much, noise, lights, sensation, all bombarding my body. [I] cannot stop feeling all of it and can’t shut it off… Your normal filters cease to work, you can’t stop hearing the sounds, talking, cars, etc., can’t stop seeing the lights, colors, can’t stop feeling it all so intensely.” — Susan Coughlin Broad

7. “I would explain it as walking into an amusement park with eight young kids on a hot summer day. Imagine all the senses you would be feeling at that time — hot, sticky, screaming kids all wanting to do different things, noises coming from all different places, music from all the rides, voices, babies crying, noises from all the rides.” — Frankie Hathaway

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8. “I hear both everything and nothing at the same time. It feels like you are surrounded by a circular wall and all the walls are folding in on themselves at once.” — Jana Young

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9. “Imagine walking into a room filled with 25 72-inch flat-screen TVs that all have super-high definition and surround sound, but they’re all playing different movies. On full blast. At the same time. And the door is locked, so you can’t get out. Feeling anxious? Now imagine getting the same reaction just from being at the grocery store and having to drive home with your infant in the backseat. Yeah, that’s what it’s like.” — Jenalyn Cloward Barton

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10. “It feels like being trapped on a merry-go-round. All the lights and sounds come and go so quickly you can’t make sense of any of it. You’re up and then you’re down. No matter what you can’t get off. You have to wait for the ride to be over.” — Hailey Remigio

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11. “Sensory overload for me is hearing sounds from all directions and wanting to jump out of my skin because of it. My worst experience involved a television show, rain and wind outside, my husband’s laughter and my son telling me he loved me. I was feeling the sounds in every inch of my body, and it physically hurt me. I felt as if I had hot pokers up and down my spine with cactuses being pushed into my palms with a side of sandpaper down my throat. The only relief came when I left the room for a few minutes to escape and decompress.” — Rea Ball

12. “Imagine being tied to the front of a freight train during a hurricane with an iPod on the highest volume of the most annoying song you know.” — Melanie Johanson

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13. “It feels as though I’m trapped and restricted in a glass case that I can’t escape, and the overwhelming fear and anxiety climbs up my body and throat in an almost suffocating way. All I can think to do is escape.” — Laura Spoerl

14. “Sensory overload feels like, for me, everything is crawling. My skin is crawling, noises feel like they are crawling in and out of my ears, blood is skittering out of my heart, air is crawling out of my lungs and racing up and down my throat.” — Janette Luyk Postma

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15. “It feels like my head is like a cup of hot water. My whole body starts to overheat, and every question from a co-worker, student or even the phone ringing is like more water being added to the cup. Obviously the cup starts to overflow, and I can’t take any more. I have to step away, get air, lean against a wall. And I never notice there is a problem brewing until it is too late.” — Virginia Wilson

16. “I tell people that it’s like taking a bite of cake, but, instead of simply enjoying the cake, your brain decides that it needs to identify every single ingredient/texture/flavor of the cake all at exactly the same moment. That’s what sensory overload is like for me — my brain picking apart the general ‘din’ into individual bits of stimuli while trying to process each bit individually all at exactly the same moment.” — Kristy Steele Rose

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17. “Imagine standing in the middle of a large dance floor, music blasting and dozens of people dancing wildly around you. Now imagine that the lights are being turned on and off with no pattern or warning at all. You glance through the crowd to find someone across the room who is waving at you and saying something to you, but you can’t hear them. You can tell from their gestures and their facial expression that what they’re saying is important, but you can’t focus long enough to grasp their words. Every emotion a person can have floods your mind — anger, fear, resentment, sadness, hopelessness. But your feet are glued to the dance floor. There’s no escape, and no one around you sees what you see — chaos and doom.” — Jill Toler

18. “It’s like being underwater at the beach while the waves wash away your thoughts. You’re struggling to catch a breath, but every time you are able to reach the surface, you are struck by another wave and you can’t organize a coherent thought. You can’t get on top of it and you start to panic.” — Sam Gee

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19. “Imagine opening a door, and through it you think will be a peaceful valley with rolling hills, trees, birds and not a soul around, but when you take that first step you are then falling down from an airplane with no parachute.” — Genevieve Geehan

20. “[It’s] like being inside a pinball machine.” — Ali Canellas Carlton

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21. “Every sense you have is already naturally exaggerated, and an overload is having every sense explode beyond anything tolerable. Every sound is a deafening explosion, every light like a flash of a bomb, every sense at the extreme. As a result your brain starts to panic, and all it acknowledges is the senses and how strong they are… It’s an incredibly painful experience and its something I have come to fear.” — Hallie Ervin

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via People Explain What Sensory Overload Feels Like | The Mighty

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[TED-Ed] The psychology of post-traumatic stress disorder

Many of us will experience some kind of trauma during our lifetime. Sometimes, we escape with no long-term effects. But for millions of people, those experiences linger, causing symptoms like flashbacks, nightmares, and negative thoughts that interfere with everyday life. Joelle Rabow Maletis details the science behind post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.

via The psychology of post-traumatic stress disorder – Joelle | TED-Ed

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[BLOG POST] Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder – Managing Mental Health in Stressful Times – Collection Spotlight from the NARIC

Posted on June 10, 2020 by naricspotlight

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that some people develop after experiencing or witnessing a life-threatening event, such as combat, an accident, a disaster, or an assault. PTSD can be a disabling mental health condition for these individuals. Research has shown it can make it difficult to find and maintain a job, interact with family and friends, and participate in the community. PTSD is often associated with military veterans, but anyone who experiences a traumatic event could be at risk of developing the condition. For example, people with acquired disabilities such as spinal cord injury or burn injuries may experience PTSD in connection with their injuries. Some researchers are concerned that the current coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) may lead to an increase in PTSD among both frontline healthcare workers and those who survive the virus.

Resources are available from the NIDILRR grantee community and from national and local agencies and organizations to help people with PTSD find treatment and support.

PTSD and Traumatic Injuries

People with traumatic injuries such as spinal cord injury (SCI), traumatic brain injury (TBI), and burn injury can experience PTSD as a result of their injuries. Learn more about:

Tech Solutions for PTSD

Three apps supported by the App Factory at the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center for Community Living, Health, and Function (LiveWell RERC) may offer help in managing PTSD symptoms:

  • BreatheWell Wear app for Android Wear smartwatches is designed to assist people with mild TBI and PTSD in managing stress through diaphragmatic breathing.  
  • SwapMyMood is a mobile app developed for the iOS operating system. It is designed to assist people with brain injury to engage in problem solving and emotion regulation.
  • SmartHome Stress Assist (under development) is a system that leverages the Amazon Echo and commodity smart home technologies to assist military service members with traumatic brain injury and PTSD in managing the onset of post-traumatic stress episodes.

The National PTSD Center at the Department of Veterans Affairs has many apps and tools that provide self-help, education, and support following treatment.

  • Mobile apps for self-help, treatment companions, and related issues such as parenting and smoking cessation.
  • Treatment Decision Aid that can be used by anyone to learn about PTSD, compare effective treatment options, and take action to start treatment. Resources specific to military personnel are clearly indicated. 

PTSD and COVID-19

As noted above, some researchers are concerned about the impact of ongoing stress on healthcare workers on the frontline of the pandemic, as well as the mental health of those who survive the virus. The National Center for PTSD has a collection of information and resources to support self-care, the work of providers, and community efforts. Resources for Everyone includes the COVID Coach mobile app, designed to help build resilience, manage stress, and increase well-being with tools to stay connected, work from home, navigate parenting or caregiving, and stay healthy. The collection has a long list of Resources for Healthcare Workers and Responders and for Employers and Community Leaders.

These are just a few examples of resources available to help people with PTSD manage stress, find support, and find treatment during this very difficult time. Learn more about resources, tools, and research on managing stress, staying productive, and staying healthy in our collection of COVID-19 Resources from the NIDILRR Grantee Community.

Explore More Research

NARIC’s REHABDATA database lists more than 1,300 publications on PTSD, including peer reviewed articles, books, and consumer materials. Try one of these targeted searches:

If you need assistance in finding treatment and support in your community, contact your community Information and Referral center or the National Helpline from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

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[Infographic] DO I HAVE PTSD?

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[WEB SITE] Coping with Post-TBI Anxiety & Stress – BrainLine

Brain Injury Anxiety and Stress“Social engagements became opportunities for embarrassment and ridicule, causing Melissa terrible personal conflicts. She wanted to be out among the crowds, but simultaneously felt vulnerable and frightened by them. Melissa sank into long sulks and quiet withdrawals. The invitations stopped coming and the phone rarely rang,” writes author and TBI case manager Michael Paul Mason about Melissa Felteau who sustained a brain injury in a car crash.

Anxiety can come in many colors and textures following a brain injury. It can bubble up in crowded, noisy places. It can surface when there is too much quiet — when worries seem to snowball and there is no place to hide.

What exactly are anxiety and stress?

Following a life-changing event like a brain injury, it’s normal to feel intense stress. But sometimes stress can build up and lead to anxiety. The main symptoms of anxiety are fear and worry. In turn, anxiety can cause or go hand-in-hand with other problems including:

People can express anxiety in both emotional and physical ways — from being inordinately irritable to experiencing shortness of breath or feelings of panic. Anxiety becomes a significant concern when these feelings intensify to a point where they interfere with the tasks of life. Anxiety can also be a symptom or effect of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Treatment

Like depression, chronic anxiety can cause low self-esteem and poor quality of life, and without treatment, symptoms can last longer or return. Anxiety is usually treated with medication and/or psychotherapy (counseling) by a trained professional. Treatment is usually quite successful, so there is little reason to delay seeking help. Here are a few strategies that people with anxiety after TBI have suggested:

  • Share things that worry you with others.
  • Set up a routine for your day and try to stick with it.
  • Stay involved in life. Find activities that give you pleasure — ones you used to enjoy, or new ones.
  • Be open to the support of others. Healthy relationships with family and friends are healing.
  • Acknowledge your feelings, and then find ways to accept them. There is no shame in feeling anxious or depressed after a life-changing event like brain injury.

Learning from anxiety

Sometimes facing your darkest emotions, like anxiety and depression, can help you better understand yourself. Melissa Felteau started meditating to help combat her own anxiety and depression; she found a new clarity. “That was my biggest problem,” she says. “I realized that I was always comparing myself to my pre-injury self. I was trapped in a vicious cycle of rumination and depression.”

Six years after her injury, through meditation and mindfulness, Melissa was able to shed her anxiety and use what she had learned to help herself — and others.

via Coping with Post-TBI Anxiety & Stress | BrainLine

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[Study] Transcranial Electrical Stimulation for mTBI (TES for mTBI)

Recruitment Status  : Recruiting

Study Description

Brief Summary:

Mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) is a leading cause of sustained physical, cognitive, emotional, and behavioral deficits in OEF/OIF/OND Veterans and the general public. However, the underlying pathophysiology is not completely understood, and there are few effective treatments for post-concussive symptoms (PCS). In addition, there are substantial overlaps between PCS and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms in mTBI. IASIS is among a class of passive neurofeedback treatments that combine low-intensity pulses for transcranial electrical stimulation (LIP-tES) with electroencephalography (EEG) monitoring. LIP-tES techniques have shown promising results in alleviating PCS individuals with TBI. However, the neural mechanisms underlying the effects of LIP-tES treatment in TBI are unknown, owing to the dearth of neuroimaging investigations of this therapeutic intervention. Conventional neuroimaging techniques such as MRI and CT have limited sensitivity in detecting physiological abnormalities caused by mTBI, or in assessing the efficacy of mTBI treatments. In acute and chronic phases, CT and MRI are typically negative even in mTBI patients with persistent PCS. In contrast, evidence is mounting in support of resting-state magnetoencephalography (rs-MEG) slow-wave source imaging (delta-band, 1-4 Hz) as a marker for neuronal abnormalities in mTBI. The primary goal of the present application is to use rs-MEG to identify the neural underpinnings of behavioral changes associated with IASIS treatment in Veterans with mTBI. Using a double-blind placebo controlled design, the investigators will study changes in abnormal MEG slow-waves before and after IASIS treatment (relative to a ‘sham’ treatment group) in Veterans with mTBI. In addition, the investigators will examine treatment-related changes in PCS, PTSD symptoms, neuropsychological test performances, and their association with changes in MEG slow-waves. The investigators for the first time will address a fundamental question about the mechanism of slow-waves in brain injury, namely whether slow-wave generation in wakefulness is merely a negative consequence of neuronal injury or if it is a signature of ongoing neuronal rearrangement and healing that occurs at the site of the injury. Specific Aim 1 will detect the loci of injury in Veterans with mTBI and assess the mechanisms underlying functional neuroimaging changes related to IASIS treatment using rs-MEG slow-wave source imaging. The investigators hypothesize that MEG slow-wave source imaging will show significantly higher sensitivity than conventional MRI in identifying the loci of injury on a single-subject basis. The investigators also hypothesize that in wakefulness, slow-wave generation is a signature of ongoing neural rearrangement / healing, rather than a negative consequence of neuronal injury. Furthermore, the investigators hypothesize IASIS will ultimately reduce abnormal MEG slow-wave generation in mTBI by the end of the treatment course, owing to the accomplishment of neural rearrangement / healing. Specific Aim 2 will examine treatment-related changes in PCS and PTSD symptoms in Veterans with mTBI. The investigators hypothesize that compared with the sham group, mTBI Veterans in the IASIS treatment group will show significantly greater decreases in PCS and PTSD symptoms between baseline and post-treatment assessments. Specific Aim 3 will study the relationship among IASIS treatment-related changes in rs-MEG slow-wave imaging, PCS, and neuropsychological measures in Veterans with mTBI. The investigators hypothesize that Reduced MEG slow-wave generation will correlate with reduced total PCS score, individual PCS scores (e.g., sleep disturbance, post-traumatic headache, photophobia, and memory problem symptoms), and improved neuropsychological exam scores between post-IASIS and baseline exams. The success of the proposed research will for the first time confirm that facilitation of slow-wave generation in wakefulness leads to significant therapeutic benefits in mTBI, including an ultimate reduction of abnormal slow-waves accompanied by an improvement in PCS and cognitive functioning.

MORE —>  Transcranial Electrical Stimulation for mTBI – No Study Results Posted – ClinicalTrials.gov

 

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[BLOG POST] Recognizing the Signs of PTSD After Stroke

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a condition that runs its victims down emotionally and physically. Though most frequently linked to combat veterans and sexual-assault survivors, PTSD can present itself following any traumatic experience, and that includes medical emergencies. Following a stroke and its resulting medical treatment, it is common for patients to feel overwhelmed.

 

According to a study published in the journal PLoS ONE in June of 2013, almost one quarter of patients who survive a stroke will suffer from PTSD. Unfortunately, it is common for the symptoms of PTSD following a stroke to go unnoticed; due to the intense nature of physical recovery, the psychological hardship associated with it can lead to increased risk for heart disease or another stroke.

 

What is PTSD?

After experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event, such as a medical emergency, natural disaster, or an assault, it is difficult to adjust to everyday life again. Some people may struggle with relaxing or sleeping, have flashbacks or unsettling memories, or feel constant anxiety.

This psychological reaction is common and very frustrating. The good news is that it typically diminishes, and life returns to normal over the course of weeks or months, depending on the severity of the event. If a patient is experiencing these mental health symptoms for longer than a few weeks or months, whether constant or in waves, it is possible that they may have PTSD.

 

Symptoms of PTSD After Stroke

It is important to know the signs and symptoms of PTSD so that you can recognize them in a patient or loved one you are caring for after a stroke. Common symptoms of PTSD include experiencing a traumatic event over and over again, having nightmares, or being unable to stop thinking about it. To add to these extremely uncomfortable experiences, victims can also feel  general, unyielding anxiety and try to avoid reminders of the event that started their suffering. They can also be tortured with feelings of self-doubt or misplaced guilt after a stroke or other traumatic event, a state of hyperarousal, or feeling overly alert.

If you are worried that a patient or family member is suffering from PTSD, ask them questions such as:

  • Are you having nightmares?
  • How are you coping?
  • How does this make you feel?

These questions can help the patient discuss their symptoms and improve the likelihood of psychological recovery.

 

TIA and PTSD

Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA), also known as a mini stroke, can increase the likelihood of developing PTSD because the fear of having a stroke may become overwhelming. According to a study published in the American Heart Association journal Stroke, about one third of TIA patients develop signs of PTSD. Approximately 14 percent of TIA patients also experience a drop in physical quality of life, with 6.5 percent of patients experiencing a drop in mental quality of life.

 

Treating PTSD

There are ways to relieve the strain of PTSD. Treatment for PTSD may include medication, psychotherapy, or both. Patients experiencing signs of PTSD should see a trained and qualified mental health professional as treatments may vary from patient to patient.

Medications

A mental health provider or psychiatrist may prescribe antidepressants to patients struggling with PTSD. Antidepressants have been shown to relieve the symptoms of anger, sadness, and overwhelming worry better than other available medications.

Psychotherapy

Sometimes referred to as “talk therapy,” psychotherapy can take place in a one-on-one capacity or in a group setting. Talk therapy is the process of speaking with a mental health professional and can encompass the discussion of PTSD symptoms alone or the effect such symptoms may be having on a patient’s life.

PTSD can sometimes wreak havoc on a person’s social, family, or professional life. To help heal the damage, a mental health professional may combine multiple forms of psychotherapy to address any and all issues a patient may be having with the aftermath of a stroke or TIA. Most often, psychotherapy lasts six to twelve weeks, but it is not unusual for it to take longer to address each patient’s symptoms and struggles. Patients are encouraged to involve family and friends in their recovery because having the extra support can improve the speed and efficiency of mental recovery from a stroke.

 

Finding Relief

PTSD can plague individuals who experience or witness a traumatic event. Medical emergencies are often traumatic, so it is common for survivors of stroke to suffer from PTSD; survivors of TIA can develop PTSD because they may be scared of suffering another mini stroke or of having a full-fledged stroke.

Symptoms can be very taxing on survivors and heartbreaking for their families to see. Fortunately, there are effective treatments for PTSD, including antidepressants and talk therapy with a mental health professional. If you are experiencing PTSD, it is important that you communicate how you feel with your doctor, family, and friends, as a strong support system can help you find the relief from psychological pain that you deserve.

Source: Recognizing the Signs of PTSD After Stroke | Saebo

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[WEB SITE] Emotional Problems After Traumatic Brain Injury

Brain injury and emotions

A brain injury can change the way people feel or express emotions. An individual with TBI can have several types of emotional problems.

Difficulty controlling emotions or “mood swings”

Some people may experience emotions very quickly and intensely but with very little lasting effect. For example, they may get angry easily but get over it quickly. Or they may seem to be “on an emotional roller coaster” in which they are happy one moment, sad the next and then angry. This is called emotional lability.

What causes this problem?

  • Mood swings and emotional lability are often caused by damage to the part of the brain that controls emotions and behavior.
  • Often there is no specific event that triggers a sudden emotional response. This may be confusing for family members who may think they accidently did something that upset the injured person.
  • In some cases the brain injury can cause sudden episodes of crying or laughing. These emotional expressions or outbursts may not have any relationship to the way the persons feels (in other words, they may cry without feeling sad or laugh without feeling happy). In some cases the emotional expression may not match the situation (such as laughing at a sad story). Usually the person cannot control these expressions of emotion.

What can be done about it?

  • Fortunately, this situation often improves in the first few months after injury, and people often return to a more normal emotional balance and expression.
  • If you are having problems controlling your emotions, it is important to talk to a physician or psychologist to find out the cause and get help with treatment.
  • Counseling for the family can be reassuring and allow them to cope better on a daily basis.
  • Several medications may help improve or stabilize mood. You should consult a physician familiar with the emotional problems caused by brain injury.

What family members and others can do:

  • Remain calm if an emotional outburst occurs, and avoid reacting emotionally yourself.
  • Take the person to a quiet area to help him or her calm down and regain control.
  • Acknowledge feelings and give the person a chance to talk about feelings.
  • Provide feedback gently and supportively after the person gains control.
  • Gently redirect attention to a different topic or activity.

more –> Emotional Problems After Traumatic Brain Injury.

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