Non-Military Causes of PTSD

Non-Military Causes of PTSD

Domestic violence often results in PTSD

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a potentially debilitating physiological and psychological disorder caused by exposure to traumatic events. While the most commonly understood examples of PTSD are usually soldiers experiencing extreme violence, danger, or death in the field of battle, there are actually many different ways that a person can be traumatized. Millions of people battle ongoing PTSD symptoms without knowing that they even have the disorder. Recognizing the symptoms of this disease can lead to effective treatment and significant relief.

How PTSD Works

PTSD is generally believed to be the result of a shutdown of certain emotional functions during trauma. In this way the brain functions somewhat like a fuse box or circuit breaker. When too much information is coming in for proper rational and emotional functioning to take place, the brain simply stops functioning in an emotional way. It is possible that this happens in order to protect the individual from a complete nervous breakdown.

The psychological ramifications of this process are that while the individual moves on, the emotions that could help him or her understand the situation remain blocked or pent-up in the brain. Until and unless the traumatized individual can be helped to process those emotions in a healthy way he or she may experience any of the following PTSD symptoms:

  • Rage or other emotional outbursts
  • Emotional numbness
  • Panic attacks
  • Nightmares
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Unsafe thrill seeking
  • Substance abuse
  • Depression

These symptoms can last months, years, or even a lifetime if they are not processed and worked through in a healthy and safe way.

Common Non-Military Causes of PTSD

While military violence may be the most common cause of PTSD, the following experiences can be extremely traumatic as well:

  • Being the victim of a crime (sexual assault, robbery, etc.)
  • The sudden loss of a loved one
  • Surviving a natural disaster such as a hurricane, earthquake, tsunami, fire, or tornado
  • Long-term physical or emotional abuse (spousal abuse, bullying, etc.)
  • Long-term financial distress or hardship
  • Constant exposure to life-threatening surroundings
  • Experiencing a car crash
  • Proximity to an explosion

Any negative, emotionally intense experience can be traumatizing.

Effectively Treating PTSD and Addiction

PTSD can be very challenging to treat, but help is available. The underlying goal of PTSD treatment is to help the traumatized individual understand what she is feeling and to allow the appropriate emotion to flow. The effect is somewhat like re-setting an emotional circuit. In situations where PTSD has caused other problems to emerge, such as substance abuse, addiction, self-harm or other destructive coping mechanisms, this treatment must be thorough, layered, patient, and holistic. The following techniques are often used to this end:

  • Individual counseling of various types
  • Support group gatherings
  • Medical treatment

If you or a loved one have experienced a trauma and are interested in finding effective treatment, please call our toll-free helpline right now. Our admissions coordinators are available 24 hours a day to answer your questions about PTSD, substance abuse, and recovery. The call is free and there are no strings attached. One of the most common feelings associated with PTSD is hopelessness. We can help you find hope again for a bright, peaceful and happy feature. Call now.