What is Emotional PTSD?

Emotional PTSD is a mental health disorder that can develop following a traumatic event. It is characterized by persistent and reoccurring memories, intrusive thoughts, nightmares, flashbacks, avoidance of certain places or activities that remind the person of the trauma, difficulty managing emotions, and hypervigilance in order to remain aware of danger. Symptoms can also include guilt, anger, depression and other negative responses which can disrupt daily life. Treatment typically includes talk therapy such as cognitive-behavioral therapy or psychodynamic psychotherapy along with medications like antidepressants to help reduce symptoms.

Understanding Emotional PTSD

Emotional PTSD is an incredibly complex and multifaceted condition, particularly when looking at what drives it. To fully comprehend how this affliction works, it is important to understand the underlying emotions associated with it. Common feelings that are linked to the disorder include fear, guilt, shame and difficulty trusting others. These potent emotions often prevent sufferers from feeling safe enough in their environment to open up or express themselves authentically.

Studies have also found a direct correlation between emotional trauma and certain physiological responses such as hypervigilance; an exaggerated state of alertness brought about by a constant feeling of fear of threat. In extreme cases, this can manifest as paranoia due to misattributing unrelated stimuli as dangerous. This response can be amplified if the person’s environment mirrors elements experienced during the traumatic event they’ve endured – ie; loud sounds may trigger flashbacks in someone who was exposed to gunfire during combat service.

Given these complexities and challenges associated with emotional trauma-related PTSD, treatment plans should focus on educating the patient on how to recognize triggers before they become overwhelming; through targeted mindfulness activities or even talking therapy methods such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). This means that over time patients can learn how to identify their particular stressors so they don’t spiral into prolonged episodes of physical tension or anxiety attacks before being able tackle them head-on using therapeutic techniques like relaxation exercises combined with cognitive reframing which help redirect negative thought patterns towards more helpful ways of thinking.

4 Common Symptoms of Emotional PTSD

Emotional PTSD is a debilitating condition that can severely affect quality of life. Those struggling with this disorder experience significant difficulty managing intense and disruptive emotions that arise from past traumatic experiences, even when the event itself has already passed. The following are four common symptoms of emotional PTSD:

Intrusive Thoughts: Intrusive thoughts can be defined as an individual’s continuous struggle with distressing memories or worries related to a traumatic event that seem uncontrollable and pervasive. These unwanted memories often cause distress in regards to being reminded of the trauma associated with it, which may lead one to avoid thinking or talking about them altogether.

Hyperarousal: Hyperarousal is characterized by increased irritability or agitation levels – typically due to heightened sensitivity, causing individuals to react more intensely in various situations than what would normally be expected given the context at hand. It manifests in behavioral changes such as verbal outbursts, avoidance behaviors, exaggerated startle responses and sleep disturbances.

Emotional Numbness: Despite its name, emotional numbness does not refer to absence of emotion but rather numbing any connection individuals have toward certain aspects of their lives; for instance relationships or activities they once enjoyed no longer elicit any interest or joy. Instead of allowing themselves room for self-reflection and growth from how they feel emotionally from recent events, there is a disconnect between body and mind through utilization of defense mechanisms like denial or dissociation instead.

Impaired Cognition: Impairment in cognition could manifest through difficulty focusing on tasks at hand due to mental exhaustion resulting from constant worry about one’s safety; decreased problem solving abilities; impaired memory recall; detachment from present reality due to daydreaming – usually fantasizing other possible scenarios where the individual was not vulnerable during trauma; as well as heightened sense anxiety over making mistakes.

Causes and Risk Factors of Emotional PTSD

Emotional PTSD is an extreme form of psychological trauma that may result from devastating events or prolonged distressful situations. In order to understand the causes and risk factors associated with it, one must first look into the concept of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in general.

PTSD can occur when a person experiences overwhelming traumatic situations such as being a witness to violence, natural disasters, serious accidents, or life-threatening events. It is typically triggered by these experiences leading to the individual feeling powerless against them. Symptoms of PTSD include intrusive memories and flashbacks, difficulty sleeping, nightmares and difficulty concentrating on tasks.

The main cause behind emotional PTSD is unresolved trauma caused by past events that can lead to high levels of vulnerability for further traumatization in future emotionally upsetting scenarios. This kind of vulnerability comes from certain underlying risk factors like genetics, childhood neglect or abuse, pre-existing anxiety and depression disorders or any other history of psychiatric illnesses like schizophrenia etc. Additionally, coping strategies also play a role in triggering Emotional PTSD as someone who has inadequate support systems as well as poor management skills are more likely to succumb to this condition than those with sufficient sources of help and well developed problem solving skills. While there are several different triggers that might cause emotional PTSD, knowing what they are and being aware of warning signs can help individuals take steps towards prevention and early intervention which will greatly reduce its long term effects on their mental health and wellbeing.

How to Cope with Emotional PTSD Triggers

When individuals struggle with emotional PTSD, they often have a hard time managing the stress of life. Triggers can cause them to feel overwhelmed and unable to think clearly or stay in control. It is essential for those dealing with emotional PTSD to learn how to cope with their triggers and manage difficult emotions.

There are several techniques that one can use when confronted with an emotional trigger. Mindfulness meditation encourages an individual to be aware of sensations, feelings, and thoughts without judgment. This can help someone recognize their own internal warning signs and gain better perspective on the situation at hand. It also allows them to practice self-regulation so they don’t fall into a panic or state of disassociation from reality. Relaxation exercises such as progressive muscle relaxation or deep breathing can help reduce anxiety levels in a trigger moment. Distraction techniques offer short-term relief from uncomfortable emotions that may come up during triggering moments by getting lost in activities like reading or engaging in physical activity such as jogging or yoga.

It is important for individuals who experience emotional triggers associated with PTSD to have support networks in place throughout their journey of healing and recovery. By practicing healthy coping mechanisms and having people available who understand what you’re going through, it is possible to move forward despite these challenging experiences in life.

Emotional PTSD vs. Traditional PTSD: What’s the Difference?

When discussing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), it is important to understand the differences between emotional PTSD and traditional PTSD. Traditional PTSD is characterized by symptoms such as reliving traumatic events, nightmares or flashbacks, difficulty sleeping and feeling isolated or detached from friends or loved ones. Emotional PTSD on the other hand is caused by a person’s inability to process certain emotions related to trauma due to past experiences. It can cause feelings of intense fear, guilt and shame, depression, anxiety and panic attacks.

What makes emotional PTSD so unique from traditional PTSD is that it goes beyond simply dealing with the aftermath of a traumatic experience; rather, it affects how a person perceives life in general. Those struggling with emotional PTSD may feel overwhelmed by their own emotions and unable to cope with everyday activities without external support. This can manifest itself in physical exhaustion and difficulty concentrating as well as difficulties maintaining interpersonal relationships. Symptoms also include an increased risk of substance abuse as well as self-destructive behaviors such as cutting oneself off from family and friends altogether.

To manage emotional PTSd effectively, it is essential to seek professional help such as psychotherapy or cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Treatment typically involves addressing underlying issues that have lead up to one’s current state of mental health, learning positive coping skills for managing emotions more appropriately or understanding ways to create healthier responses towards triggers connected with prior traumas which are contributing factors towards emotional distress. Through appropriate treatment individuals often find relief in being able to express themselves through spoken language using empathy from counselors who understand just how deeply embedded pain can be tied into emotions attached trauma memories which subsequently helps them begin a journey of healing their inner wounds for good.

Debunking Myths about Emotional PTSD

Despite being one of the most prevalent forms of trauma, there are still many misconceptions and untruths surrounding emotional PTSD. Contrary to popular belief, it isn’t necessary to be exposed to a catastrophic event in order for someone to experience the condition. It’s also not exclusive to military personnel or survivors of physical abuse – many everyday experiences can trigger emotional PTSD as well.

Though it is commonly assumed that only people with an extremely negative outlook on life suffer from this disorder, the truth is even those who have a positive disposition can develop these symptoms if they find themselves dealing with a traumatic situation over an extended period of time. Thus, it’s important for everyone to understand that any type of person can be affected by post-traumatic stress related to their emotions and mental state.

People suffering from emotional PTSD may find themselves battling intense feelings such as guilt, shame, anger and hopelessness without understanding why they are feeling so intensely or how to make them go away. The thing about this illness is that sufferers don’t necessarily need professional help in order heal; instead taking measures such as leading a healthy lifestyle involving plenty of exercise and social activities or learning breathing techniques or meditation can do wonders in alleviating some of their symptoms.

Treatment Options for Those with Emotional PTSD

For those looking to manage their emotional PTSD, there are a variety of treatment options available. Psychotherapy is one such option and can be very effective in helping an individual develop the skills necessary to work through their trauma. Through talking therapy and other forms of psychotherapy, individuals can learn how to cope with painful emotions, reduce stress levels, and create more positive thought patterns. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is also beneficial in helping an individual understand how past traumas affect current thinking and behavior, allowing them to make changes that will better serve them in the future.

Another form of treatment that has been found to be helpful for managing emotional PTSD is medication management. For some people, anti-depressants or anti-anxiety medications may be prescribed by a doctor or therapist as part of a comprehensive treatment plan. While medications can help reduce symptoms related to PTSD such as depression or anxiety, it’s important to remember that they should not be used as the sole form of treatment for this condition. Instead, it’s best to combine medication management with other forms of psychological or counseling intervention for maximum effectiveness.

Natural healing techniques like yoga and meditation have also been found to have therapeutic benefits for those suffering from emotional PTSD. These methods provide an opportunity for relaxation and inner exploration which can help an individual gain insight into their thoughts and feelings related to the traumatic event(s). In addition to providing calming effects on both body and mind, these practices may lead to more meaningful self-awareness that ultimately supports one’s efforts at building resilience over time.

About the author.
Jay Roberts is the founder of the Debox Method and after nearly 10 years and hundreds of sessions, an expert in the art of emotional release to remove the negative effects of trauma. Through his book, courses, coaching, and talks Jay’s goal is to teach as many people as he can the power of the Debox Method. 

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