What Does Post Traumatic Stress Feel Like?

 (click on the photo for the video)

 

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) may result in anxiety, panic attacks, fear, withdrawal, isolation, depression, and anger, but why? And why would a person have trauma-related symptoms when the crisis / abuse / war is over?

 

Because with PTSD, the brain (hippocampus) stores memories of past traumas, but during a crisis the memories may not be stored correctly in regard to place and time. When a person's threat system (amygdala) is triggered by a real or remembered crisis, their "fight-or-flight" response kicks in AND their traumatic memories are relived as if they are happening all over again.

 

When a person has been diagnosed with PTSD, they have actually experienced real trauma in their lives unlike those who simply fear the imagined or unknown. So when traumatic memories are recalled or triggered by stress, fear, or similar sounds, images, places, or events it is likely that PTSD symptoms will result.

 

PTSD is treated in a variety of ways including individual and group therapy, which is described a bit in the video clip.

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© 2017-2020 by Natalie D'Annibale, PsyD, LMFT