Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, P.T.S.D, and Trauma has been most commonly diagnosed among members of the armed forces returning from war zones. However, members of the blue light professions, also have increased exposure to traumatic or life threatening events. One in five police officers and staff in the UK have symptoms consistent with either PTSD or Complex PTSD.** In those cases PTSD symptoms “harden” through repeated trauma exposure into a chronic condition of emotional numbness and disconnection.
Event that breaks the camel’s back
Any person exposed to a life threatening event, for example a serious car accident, witnessing or suffering a violent attack can develop P.T.S.D and Trauma. It is even possible through repeated exposure to traumatic events to develop the condition. The ‘trigger’ event does not have to be ‘extra traumatic’, but it is the event that breaks the camel’s back. It is the accumulative stress, anxiety, fear that has not been discharged after the events that are the problem. A person could be initially protected from an emotional reaction, or have no clear memory or sense that it has happened. However, if our minds are not given ‘down time’ to process that event through, they become problematic.
It is these unprocessed images that become the templates of danger to the mind. Any future event that matches all or part of that ‘template’ triggers our fight or flight response. That means we have to get away from the threat or fight it. Our bodies respond by increasing our heart rate and breathing, pumping adrenalin into our bodies. It also results in our higher reasoning ability being switched off as we don’t need it to run fast. If this extra energy is not completely discharged in dealing with the event, it becomes trapped in our bodies. The result is increased stress and anxiety washing around in the system, impacting upon our physical and mental health. The resulting symptoms can manifest as anxiety, depression and psychosomatic and behavioural problems.
The first step in dealing with this is acknowledging its presence. Therefore your thought ‘I can cope’, is not going to reduce its detrimental impact upon your health or help relationships with others.
Take a positive step
Take the positive step to improve your wellbeing. Call me today on 07544 838238 for more information, or send me an enquiry. I also offer a pre-arranged 20 minute free of charge on line consultation where we can discuss your case and answer your questions.
** Survey Research undertaken by Dr Jess Miller, Cambridge Department of Sociology. 15th October – 16th December 2018.
Should you be seeking more information then the NHS website conditions PTSD is a good place to start. i.e. http://www.nhs/conditions