Ptsd Causes Stress Anxiety

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an emotional illness caused by a traumatic or life-threatening event, such as:

  • Abuse
  • Civil conflict
  • Combat
  • Kidnapping or torture
  • Natural disasters
  • Rape, robbery or mugging
  • Receiving a serious medical diagnosis
  • Severe physical injury or accident
  • Terrorist attacks
  • Witnessing a severe physical injury or accident.

Stress and Anxiety

Although causes of PTSD can vary dramatically, the one factor that links them is extreme stress during and after a traumatic incident.

Nearly everyone experiences stress, but not everyone is susceptible to PTSD. People who are more likely to develop PTSD include those who have an existing emotional condition, have little social support or have experienced previous traumatic events.

Anxiety and PTSD are also interrelated—PTSD is actually a type of anxiety disorder. Stressful life events can sometimes result in anxiety, panic attacks or other debilitating issues, including post-traumatic stress syndrome.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms

While PTSD varies in each individual, here are some common post-traumatic stress symptoms:

  • Difficulty with relationships
  • Feelings of detachment
  • Flashbacks to the traumatic event
  • Impaired functioning
  • Memory issues
  • Nightmares/sleep disturbances
  • Trouble getting or keeping a job.

Onset of PTSD symptoms can vary as widely as the experiences that lead to the disorder. While some people may develop PTSD immediately after a traumatic experience, months or sometimes years can go by before others show symptoms. Once PTSD does arise, the patient, as well as his family and friends, can suffer tremendously if the condition is left untreated.

Ways to Reduce Stress

Everyone experiences stress; this is unavoidable. Learning how to reduce and manage stress, however, can help you avoid health problems and lead a happier life.

Doctors often encourage PTSD patients to learn to relieve their stress or trauma as part of treatment. The following stress-relieving techniques may help PTSD sufferers manage stress and reduce anxiety:

  • Autogenics
  • Biofeedback
  • Guided imagery
  • Meditation
  • Progressive muscle relaxation
  • Tai chi
  • Yoga.

People who react negatively to stress may benefit from some more significant lifestyle changes, including:

  • Developing a strong support network
  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Exercising
  • Getting adequate rest
  • Getting counseling or talking to your doctor
  • Practicing time management skills
  • Reducing caffeine or nicotine intake.

All of these changes can have a large impact on your response to stress. With a healthy body and mind, you’re likely to bounce back from stressful situations with greater ease.

Resources

Dryden-Edwards, R. (2010). Post-traumatic stress disorder PDSD. Retrieved June 25, 2010, from: http://www.medicinenet.com/posttraumatic_stress_disorder/article.htm.

Stopple, M. C. (n.d.). Stress management. Retrieved July 3, 2010, from: http://www.medicinenet.com/stress_management_techniques/article.htm.