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PTSD: The Hidden Epidemic That Could Wreck Your Health Goals

anxiety disordersPTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder, is a condition that was first discovered back in the First World War. Men in trenches in France and Belgium came back from the battlefield literally “shell-shocked” by their experience, and unable to function in the usual way. Not surprising to say the least.

Later, psychologists and psychiatrists came to characterize the disorder as the result of chronic stress. The brains of people who experienced trauma seemed to change. Things in the environment that appeared normal to everyone else, like a car backfiring, could cause fear and panic among those who had been through terrible events.

What Are The Symptoms Of PTSD?

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Although first recognized among conscripted soldiers. PTSD is now believed to play a role in the mental health of many people who have been through similarly grueling life experience.

Do you think you might be suffering from the condition? Here are some of the common symptoms:

  • A feeling of panic when reminded of the traumatic situation

  • Upsetting and invasive memories of a terrible event

  • Feelings of emotional numbness, especially regarding other people

  • Flashbacks of traumatic events and a fear of them repeating themselves

  • Physical manifestations of fear, like a pounding heart, heavy breathing, or sweating

  • Frequent nightmares based on the triggering events

  • Avoidance of things and places that remind you of the tragedy you endured (such as avoiding a particular street or city)

The symptoms of trauma can be severe and have effects on work and your life. That’s why it can help to talk to an injury lawyer about what happened. Lawyers can provide professional advice, gain compensation, and provide you with the financial resources to deal with your condition if it was caused by somebody else.

How PTSD Can Affect Health

Although PTSD is a psychological phenomenon, it can also lead to a host of related physical conditions.

May Lead to Stress And Anxiety Disorders

People with PTSD are much more likely to suffer from stress and anxiety disorders, according to researchers. PTSD activates stress circuits in the brain which, when overactive, can result in anxiety disorders. The amygdalas (part of the brain) in people who have been through trauma can become overactive, producing a stress response even when the situation does not require it.

May Increase The Risk Of Heart Problems

PTSD raises the level of stress hormones in the body. When these hormones are elevated over a long period, they can cause damage to other parts of the body, including the heart. Stress, in combination with a Western diet, can lead to all kinds of heart-related issues and can damage arterial lining.

May Increase The Risk Of Arthritis

Rather than being the result of wear and tear and old age, arthritis is now being seen increasingly as a disease of inflammation. When the body is stressed, it releases inflammatory molecules into the bloodstream which could adversely affect the joints through prolonged exposure.

It May Increase The Risk Of Diabetes

It’s a similar story for diabetes. PTSD elevates stress levels, causing panic which could inflame cells, making it more difficult for them to take up glucose from the blood.

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