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7 Facts About PTSD You Might Not Know


May be due to news

Scientists still don't know exactly why, other things being equal, some people get PTSD and others don't. But, as always, the influence of the sum of factors is assumed. These include, the severity and number of traumas a person has experienced in a lifetime, a family history of mental health problems (mainly anxiety and depression), personality traits (what we call temperament), and how the brain regulates chemicals and hormones that the body produces in response to stress.

As for the reasons, as already mentioned, they can be very different. And news counts too. Only in the world of pink ponies and magical unicorns is the news agenda overwhelmingly positive. And nevertheless news to news strife. The constant stream of bad news not only spoils the mood, but can cause very real post-traumatic stress disorder. Depending on the person who is affected, they may need professional help or some time for PTSD to “go away” on its own.

People who develop PTSD after the news may be prone to compulsive consumption, such as watching a scary video over and over, reading a scary text, or looking at a scary picture. In more serious cases, they isolate themselves from society, completely change their usual way of life, make decisions based on fear, quit their jobs, and urgently move.

According to experts, in this case it is very important to limit the consumption of news, but not to exclude completely. Living in an information vacuum can be even more difficult, so a complete ban, even if it were possible in today's world, could hurt even more.

It is not only simple, but also complex

Of course, even ordinary PTSD is not easy at all. But complex PTSD is a special group of conditions that are more devastating to a person and, as a rule, require longer treatment. Studies show that between 40 and 55% of sex workers, women survivors of domestic violence, and people who experienced childhood abuse suffer from complex post-traumatic stress disorder. And these figures are not exactly higher, but quite comparable with the level of PTSD among former military men.

Complex PTSD refers to a reaction to extreme, prolonged, or recurring events that are difficult or impossible to escape from. In addition to the main symptoms, people with complex PTSD often have trouble regulating their emotions, feel worthless, experience deep feelings of shame or guilt, difficulty maintaining relationships, and a fear of intimacy.

Complex PTSD is very often associated with early trauma such as childhood physical and sexual abuse. Given that girls are two to three times more likely to be sexually assaulted than boys. This may partly explain why by adolescence they are three-and a-half times more likely than boys to be diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.


Increases the risk of dementia

Today, dementia is one of the global health problems. As the world's population continues to live longer and age, it is estimated that by 2050 the number of people diagnosed will reach 130 million. There is no cure for dementia, so scientists are scrambling to discover new reversible risk factors. And PTSD seems to be one of them.

One study analyzed the results of 13 other studies linking dementia and post-traumatic stress disorder. All but one of these studies showed that, compared with those without the condition, PTSD was associated with an increased risk of developing dementia over the next 17 years. Such a connection has been found not only in veterans and refugees, but also in many other people whose traumatic experience is not related to military operations.

After a global analysis, the frequency of diagnosing dementia in people with post-traumatic stress disorder was 1.61-almost twice as high as in people without PTSD.

Symptoms get better and worse during menstruation

It has been shown that in trauma survivors, PTSD symptoms can vary throughout the menstrual cycle, with more symptoms during the first few days of the cycle when estradiol levels are lower, and fewer symptoms closer to ovulation when estradiol is high. Estradiol, recall, is a form of estrogen that regulates the reproductive cycle.


Can lead to frequent colds (and not only)

And the presence of post-traumatic stress disorder in a person can significantly reduce the body's resistance to viruses. This is evidenced by a Boston University School of Public Health study that found that people with PTSD were 1.8 times more likely to be infected overall than people without PTSD. More specifically, scientists have found that post-traumatic stress disorder has a greater effect on women's immune systems, especially when it comes to urinary tract infections. For both men and women, PTSD increased the risk of skin infections, influenza, and viral hepatitis (by an impressive 2.7 times).

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The easiest way to notice by over vigilance

Post-traumatic stress disorder has many symptoms , each of which suggests that the person's brain is constantly in "survival mode". People with PTSD are very anxious, always on edge, looking for danger everywhere, and easily scared of things that don't scare others. They may also have nightmares and have intrusive traumatic memories that make it seem like the event just happened, even if many years have passed.

But one of the main symptoms of PTSD is hypervigilance, a constant search for hidden dangers that undermines the quality of life. There are four signs of hypervigilance that should not be ignored:


For example, the need to sit only near the exit in order to be able to escape from the room, or the need to always sit with your back to the wall so that no one can sneak up from behind.


Do not walk down the street in the evening, do not go near garages, always let the person walking behind you go ahead


When a person jumps and even screams at any sudden noise, say, with a strong slam of a door, which he hears like a shot.


Dilated pupils, palpitations and high blood pressure.

If you notice one or more signs of hypervigilance in yourself or a loved one, this is a reason to visit a psychotherapist. Treatment for PTSD exists and usually includes cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), drugs, and certain self-help methods.

You can help yourself

We note right away that we are talking about self-help in combination with CBT or medications. But a person with PTSD can really alleviate their condition. To do this, you need to take care of yourself as much as possible: eat right, exercise that is enjoyable and not overwhelming, get enough rest, and consume less caffeine and nicotine (they can increase anxiety).

You should not turn to alcohol or drugs. At the moment it may seem that all this helps, but in reality the situation is only getting worse. Plus, such “attempts to relax” in the vast majority of cases interfere with effective treatment.

And you also need to learn to break the anxious cycles: as soon as you feel the growing tension - go for a short walk, get creative, grab a book or wipe the dust. The main thing is that you can focus on something else at this moment. And the fear will subside.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2022 Hamza Hussaini

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