What is the History of PTSD?
PTSD, (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), or PTS (Post-Traumatic Stress), is a response to a severe or recurrent severe episodes that overwhelm your system. It is believed to have been around since the evolution of mankind, but first diagnosed as “Soldier’s Heart” after the Civil War. The term was coined to describe what soldiers experienced in battle: increased pulse rate and blood pressure, breathlessness, palpitations, dizziness, and fatigue. In WWI, it was called “Shell Shock”; in WWII, “Battle Fatigue”. Whatever this compendium of symptoms is called, it is life changing.
PTSD is experienced by many people other than war veterans.
In 1980, in the DSM III (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual), a manual used by the psychiatric, psychological and counseling professions to provide a diagnosis for clients, the term PTSD appeared and was generalized to other traumas. This legitimized the condition and allowed for insurance reimbursement for treatment.
What are the Causes of PTSD?
The possible causes of PTSD are many and varied. Obviously, war is one such source. Others include:
- Physical abuse
- Emotional abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Witnessing an horrific situation
- Experiencing a natural disaster, such as a flood
These episodes can occur only once or repeatedly. You may think you are going crazy. You are not! Your system is overwhelmed and doing its best to handle an awful situation. The good news is, you can get your life back!
What are the Symptoms of PTSD?
Typical symptoms of PTSD include:
- Recurrent, intrusive thoughts
- Recurring bad dreams of the event
- Avoiding places and/or activities that remind you of the event
- Feeling detached from others; sometimes an emotional and/or physical numbness
- Irritability and/or angry outbursts
- Hypervigilance (constantly scanning your environment for threats)
- Problems concentrating
- Exaggerated startle response
- Not enjoying things you previously enjoyed
- Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
Why Do Some People Develop PTSD Symptoms and Others Do Not?
This is a good question. Genetics may play a part in resilience. Risk factors such as exposure to other traumatic events, chronic use of drugs or alcohol, and life stressors can impact your resilience. Another factor in resilience is how much control you had in that situation. If you could easily remove yourself from the situation, you might not develop PTSD symptoms. If you had little to no control (physically or psychologically), the chances are pretty high that you would develop PTSD.
How Can I Feel Better?
Now that you have a better understanding of PTSD, I’m sure you want to know how you can feel better. Knowing that PTSD is classified as an anxiety disorder may help. Things you can do to feel better when you’re anxious can help some of the PTSD symptoms:
- Healthy eating
- Emotional support
- Good sleep hygiene (no screen time [computer, television, etc] 2 hours prior to bed; no stimulants [e.g. caffeine] in the evening, and associate your bed with sleep)
When this isn’t enough, get professional help.
How Can Sharon Kocina Change Your Life?
I can help you work through your PTSD symptoms and have your life back. Through behavioral and cognitive therapies, we can work through some of your symptoms.
Through Brainspotting, a non-verbal therapy, you can reprocess the events that have been holding you back:
- A Safe Space – We create a safe container for you to be able to access resources and distressing events or emotions.
- Bilateral Processing – By activation alternating hemispheres of the the brain, many people enhance the process of reprocessing.
- A Brainspot – Through use of where you look, we access the location in the brain where the trauma is stored.
- Enabling Self Healing – Your Mind/Body knows what it needs to heal. In Brainspotting, we enable this innate process.
You can live a full and active life. Call me at (303) 444-2003 to make an appointment.