Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, is a mental health diagnosis that is developed as a result of exposure to traumatic events and situations. The effects of PTSD can be debilitating and negatively impact a person’s life in many ways. Since June is PTSD Awareness Month, it’s important to identify the effects that PTSD can have on a person’s life. And, identify what a person living with PTSD can do to manage the negative effects of trauma. One of the most debilitating effects of PTSD is how it can negatively impair relationships.
The symptoms of PTSD affect everyday life. They can make things that you once loved less enjoyable. They can make you not want to leave the house – affecting your social life and how close you are to your friends and family. It’s as if the feelings you have from living through trauma are relived every day and are impossible to run away from.
Many people can identify what triggers their PTSD symptoms, but some people don’t even know what triggers them – making it even more difficult to steer clear from debilitating symptoms. The effects of trauma can be different for each person diagnosed with this condition. But, it can affect people from all walks of life, regardless of age, gender, sexuality, religion, etc. In no way does it mean that a person is weak or fragile. It just means that a person has had a biological and psychological reaction to trauma that stays longer than is necessary to prevent a person from danger.
PTSD can develop as a reaction to traumatic events including war and combat, abuse, childhood neglect, surviving a traumatic event, and being diagnosed with a life-changing illness or injury. According to PTSD research, 4 of every 100 men and 8 of every 100 women who experience a traumatic event will develop PTSD.
The effects of PTSD can impact nearly every aspect of life. But, they can especially be a negative and challenging factor for relationships. Some of the ways PTSD can impact relationships include:
Blame: PTSD effects can often trigger emotional outbursts of anger and irritability. This can negatively impact loved ones and lead the person dealing with PTSD to blame loved ones for these reactions to underlying trauma.
Avoidance: Those living with the symptoms of PTSD may portray avoidance behaviors. This can mean missing out on family events, friend celebrations, and more. Thus, putting distance between the person living with PTSD and their loved ones.
Increased Alertness: This common symptom of PTSD is also known as hypervigilance. It’s a state of constantly being aware and alert as one seeks potential threats and dangers. This can eventually lead to exhaustion and other physical ailments as a result of not getting enough sleep and high levels of stress. Thus, putting strain on relationships.
Negative Thoughts and Emotions: Undoubtedly, negativity is not good for relationships. Commonly, people living with PTSD will be so impacted by trauma that they may have an adjusted and pessimistic worldview. Plus, negative thoughts like suicidal ideation and a depleting sense of self-worth. Finally, negative emotions and mood swings of anger and irritability can also become a pattern. All of which can negatively impact relationships of all types.
While the effects of PTSD are challenging to live with and manage, people living with PTSD can find help and support through treatment. There are a number of therapeutic and treatment approaches that are successful in helping people with PTSD to learn how to cope with the negative effects of trauma, including how it negatively impacts relationships.
Psychiatrist Boca Raton provides outpatient treatment and therapeutic services for people living with a number of mental health issues, including PTSD. Find out how we can help by visiting our website.