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Things To Know About PTSD In Military Veterans
Many military veterans who are returning from service have to deal with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Many returning soldiers have a difficult time readjusting to normal life outside the military. PTSD is associated with feelings of being on edge, disconnected and emotionally down. People with PTSD feel like life is empty, and if the condition is untreated, it can lead to suicide. The post-traumatic stress disorder, which is sometimes referred to as combat stress or shell shock occurs when people experience a life-threatening event or severe trauma. Following such experience, the body and mind will naturally go to shock. If the nervous system gets stuck with the shock and it goes on for long, PTSD is the result.
The nervous system has two main reflexive ways of reacting to such stressful events. The first one is the mobilization (fight or flight) which occurs if you need to defend yourself to survive the danger of the combat situation. The heart will beat faster, the blood pressure will rise, and your muscles will tighten. This will increase your reaction speed and strength. Once the danger is gone, the nervous system naturally calms the body, and this lowers the heart rate and blood pressure bringing these vitals back to the normal balance.
Immobilization can occur when you have experienced too much stress in a particular situation, and even though there is no longer danger, you still feel stuck and under shock. The nervous system can fail to return to the normal state of balance, and from a biological standpoint, you have not moved on from the event. If you are to recover from the PTSD, it is essential that you transition from the mental and emotional war state to the present and this way, you can bring your nervous system back to balance.
The PTSD in veterans can develop in hours or days after a traumatic event, but for some soldiers and veterans, the symptoms come up months or years later after return from deployment. PTSD symptoms can vary from soldier to soldier, but there are common symptoms such as the recurrent and intrusive reminders of the traumatic event. This includes distressing thoughts, flashbacks and nightmares where you relive the experiences in your mind. Some veterans experience extreme physical and emotional reactions to things that remind them of the trauma. The reactions of these reminders could be panic attacks, uncontrollable shaking and heart palpitations.
Some veterans who have PTSD will exhibit extreme avoidance of things that remind them of the traumatic event such as places, people, thoughts and situations. Such veterans will withdraw from friends and family and might lose interest in everyday activities. There are also negative changes in the thoughts and mood of veterans with PTSD. For instance, some veterans will exhibit exaggerated negative beliefs and feelings about themselves and the world around them.
These feelings include extreme fear, shame and guilt and such veterans will find it hard to experience positive emotions. If you are feeling alert all the time and waking up aggressively from your sleep, you should seek professional PTSD support as soon as possible.