Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) being a serious mental health problem needs special treatment, medical supervision and even medication in certain cases.
A problem quiet frequent as there is a large part of the people experiencing a post-traumatic stress and manifested by a stressful crisis, is usually following a sudden and very emotional, shocking and very stressful event.
A fact not known to many people is the positive effect of any kind of exercise on similar anxiety disorders, being therapeutic by reducing the symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Prior to understanding the way of assisting on overcoming Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), it’s necessary to become familiar with the way this stress works and how it is generated.
Anyone at a certain point in its life suffers a traumatic situation that will “mark” the rest of its life.
A large majority of persons will never overcome this trauma over time, remaining as a flashback, a bad memory, or even as a nightmare coming back continuously.
This constant revival of the traumatic event is called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), presenting a direct impact on any person’s quality of life, possibly all along its entire life.
Can we say that this situation may be managed? Yes, but only under professional guidance.
Following the first and most important step on identifying the problem from patient (or its environment), then it should be referred to a specialist (psychologist, psychiatrist).
The person suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) tends to ignore the symptoms experienced not really responding to anything.
This strong denial prevents the patient from dealing with its condition for finding any possible improvement.
As a person of the patient’s close environment, you are responsible to make the patient understand that this situation experienced is not its personal failure and is not responsible for it.
It is important for any patient to understand and accept that this is simply a malfunction, completely treatable with proper medical guidance and support.
It is a malfunction of its biological mechanisms, not being its own responsibility or mismanagement and simply needs a re-adjustment by an expert.
In this way, the person will understand that medical help is required and will be able to receive help.
The trauma – whether it is a violent episode, a sudden loss of a loved person, or even an accident, war, rape or physical disaster – occupies the mind and the person’s psychology with negative emotions.
However, this is not everything. We are not just talking about a bad memory.
In the case of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), the dominant feelings following a traumatic event, are the feelings of helplessness and threat at all times, of fear and panic.
It’s like an “alarm” sounding in the body and activating a number of body functions.
The heartbeat, the breathing, even the digestive system are disturbed.
The muscles come under a stretch and the person enters a state of alert.
This condition not allowing the person to calm down, even after the episode of panic experienced, maintains the hormone levels causing this episode on the “red” for days, provoking other symptoms (nightmares, eating problems, and nervousness, disturbance, high pressure and migraines).
The human brain is a magnificent and a complex organ as well.
An image, a feeling, or an event in person’s daily life suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can bring back to brain the emotional reactions to trauma experienced in the past.
These reactions are usually associated with intense psychological, emotional, and physical reactions.
Therefore, a person who once experienced physical abuse may feel the same threat at a time when someone else is going to make a simple move against it (with no sign of threat).
So the brain almost automatically activates fear and panic feelings, along with the need for survival.
This need for survival usually accompanied by a strong desire to escape, is an instinct of self-protection.
The person suffering from post-traumatic stress experiences the same traumatic event continuously in its life, with the same anxiety, fear and tension.
This is painful and detrimental not only to its mental health but also to its overall physical health.
“Intimidating stimuli” are defined as those stimuli in a person’s daily life suffering from traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) associated with trauma and activating unpleasant memories & reactions.
For each person there is a difference in these stimuli, as the traumatic event also differs from person to person as well.
So, for a person who experienced rape is more intimidating than for a person who survived a fire or an earthquake.
This situation requires medical advice. The person suffering from severe stress is unable to manage such a painful condition on its own, so usually chooses the escape, isolation and antisocialism.
Nevertheless, this is not the solution to the problem it’s just taking a distance from it.
Provision of proper guidance and medication, the doctor can reduce the intensity of symptoms, making them more manageable so may be dealt with in an easier way.
Symptoms can vary from person to person, so it’s their intensity.
However, there is a number of typical physical symptoms and psychological reactions to post-traumatic stress disorder panic episodes.
The most important are listed below
Yes. Physical exercise is used to treat stressful situations in many cases.
It has a regulation role in patient’s daily life, balancing its negative emotions (fear, anxiety, stress, sadness, panic, anger), considered as a low cost therapeutic approach with very positive results.
However, people with anxiety management problems find it difficult to get into physical activity.
As already mentioned, they prefer to opt for isolation and discontinue any activities, which might cause them fear.
The only thing that could help is guidance from a specialist.
The person will gradually recognize the situation experienced (ignored so far) and will receive help to deal with it.
Many practices of body self-help, self-control, regulation & re-mobilization exist, which may offer a positive result on the healing process.
Physical training has a positive effect on both the severity of PTSD symptoms, as well as on the person’s mental well-being, emotional & psychological state, self-confidence, or even physical condition.
Therefore, Physical Training could help to manage and control or eliminate stress from a person’s daily routine.
However, what happens with serious and chronic anxiety disorders?
Stress attacks usually accompanied by symptoms as tachycardia, panic, vertigo, gastrointestinal disturbances, sweating, difficulty breathing and inability to think.
These symptoms are essentially translated into energy pulling the trauma out of your body and turning it into negative reactions and wrong choices.
The person in the phase of such a crisis experiences loss of power, fatigue (physical & psychological), while stress depletes all its energy and reduces its functional capability.
According to statistical studies conducted, people with inactive daily life tend to have significantly higher rates of anxiety disorders or depression.
This is happening due to physical activity’s anxiolytic effect and especially the aerobic exercise (cardio).
Exercise increases the production of beneficial hormones, the “hormones of happiness”, also increasing the person’s energy, improving the heart condition, enhancing good digestive function and improvement of mood and confidence.
Indeed, for several hours after training, the person seems to be overwhelmed by positive emotions, beautiful thoughts, calm and good mood.
The Physical Training also helps to control the aggression usually present in a person with chronic stress, anger and antisocial behavior, also promoting control of heart function, pulse volume, and diastolic & systolic pressure.
Finally, another way that Physical Training and sport activity can have a positive impact on people with anxiety disorders is the distraction provided by this process, as the person concentrates on the physical activity engaged, so avoiding unpleasant and painful thoughts.
This interruption of this traumatic episode return into mind helps the person deal effectively with what is happening, with a clearer mind.
In fact, what the exercise does is to occupy the position of the wound in the patient’s mind.
So replaces the stress caused by the painful trauma with a stress less painful and “playful” in a way, that of self-improvement in a sport, or training, or physical training.
Physical training contributes to reducing clinical stress and its effects on the body largely, with both moderate and high-intensity aerobic exercise having very positive effects physically and psychologically.