A traumatic situation like sexual abuse, childhood neglect, military service or home break-in can be intensely frightening during and after the event. Though some people can get over the initial acute stress, many get stuck in a cycle of fear and negativity.
If you find yourself reliving unpleasant memories, experiencing vivid nightmares, and avoiding reminders of your trauma long after it happens, you may have post-traumatic stress disorder. This widespread condition affects millions of people, upending their lives and shattering their sense of safety and well-being.
What Is PTSD?
Humans have an instinctive fight-or-flight response that helps us prevent danger. PTSD is a mental health condition that causes a permanently elevated fight-or-flight reaction, even when no threat is present. Not everyone with PTSD has survived personal peril. Sometimes, seeing someone else’s trauma or learning about it secondhand can cause PTSD.
Brain scans of people with PTSD show differences in the areas that govern learning, memory, problem-solving, and logical thinking. When something reminds you of your trauma, you automatically respond the same way you did as when you experienced it for the first time. Your heart starts racing, your breathing becomes shallow, and your muscles tense up and start trembling.
When your body’s nervous system is constantly in overdrive, you are less resilient when faced with a stressful situation. Compared to a person without a history of trauma, you will appear to overreact to most circumstances because you are always on edge.
Symptoms of PTSD
PTSD can make you deeply mistrustful of others. You might rearrange your life to avoid any triggers or reminders of what you went through.
Since PTSD changes your brain function and causes high levels of stress hormones to circulate through your body, you may experience several physical and emotional symptoms. Some of these include:
- Guilt and shame
- Anxiety or depression
- Intrusive thoughts
- Panic attacks
- Self-harm, suicidal thoughts, or substance abuse
- Trouble remembering things or making good decisions
- A lack of motivation or interest in previously enjoyable hobbies
- Communication problems and strained relationships
Recovering From PTSD
PTSD rarely resolves on its own. You’ll need plenty of help and support to recover and regain a sense of normalcy and control. Fortunately, your brain is resilient enough to reorganize itself after the effects of trauma.
While effective PTSD treatment looks different for everyone, many people respond well to a combination of talk therapy, specific medications, and lifestyle changes like exercise and meditation.
PTSD Retreat in Austin
At Amend Wellness, we understand how disruptive and destructive PTSD can be. We have created a nonjudgmental, welcoming environment that provides an ideal setting for healing. During emotional stabilization, our clinicians will work with you to address the underlying causes of PTSD and prepare for a restorative stay in our retreat.
The therapeutic practices we use derive from decades of peer-reviewed research. Cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, trauma-informed therapy, and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing have all proven successful at treating PTSD and giving people a new outlook on life. To learn how you can find relief and holistic wellness, get in touch with us today.