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Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Physical Health: The Link Between Trauma and Chronic Illness

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that occurs in some people after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event.

It can result in symptoms such as flashbacks, nightmares, and hyperarousal.

While PTSD is primarily considered a mental health condition, a growing body of evidence links it to physical health problems. Studies have shown that PTSD can lead to chronic illness, and the effects can be long-lasting.

This article explores the link between PTSD and physical health and provides tips on managing PTSD symptoms using the best mental health apps.

PTSD can increase the risk of developing chronic health conditions. Research has found that people with PTSD are more likely to have chronic illnesses like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and autoimmune disorders.

For example, according to a journal published in the National Library of Medicine, people with PTSD are two to three times more likely to develop heart disease than those without PTSD.

Similarly, research has found that people with PTSD are at a higher risk of developing diabetes and autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis.

The link between PTSD and chronic illness is not entirely understood, but several potential explanations exist.

One is that the stress response triggered by PTSD can lead to inflammation in the body, contributing to chronic health conditions.

Another is that PTSD can lead to unhealthy behaviors such as smoking, overeating, and sedentary lifestyles, which can contribute to developing chronic health conditions.

Managing PTSD Symptoms daily

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can significantly impact an individual’s daily life. A mental health condition develops in some people after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event.

Symptoms can include flashbacks, nightmares, and hyperarousal. While PTSD is primarily considered a mental health condition, it can also lead to physical health problems.

Fortunately, there are several evidence-based tips for managing PTSD symptoms daily.

Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness involves paying attention to the present moment and accepting it without judgment. It is effective in managing PTSD symptoms.

A study published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology found that mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) significantly reduced PTSD symptoms in veterans.

Another study published in the Journal of Traumatic Stress found that mindfulness meditation reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression in individuals with PTSD.

Get Enough Sleep

Sleep disturbances are a common symptom of PTSD. However, getting enough sleep is critical for managing PTSD symptoms.

A study published in the Journal of Traumatic Stress found that poor sleep quality was associated with more severe PTSD symptoms.

Another study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine found that cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) improved sleep and reduced PTSD symptoms in veterans.

To improve your sleep, try creating a bedtime routine, avoiding caffeine and alcohol before bed, and using relaxation techniques such as deep breathing.

Exercise Regularly

Exercise is effective in reducing PTSD symptoms.

A study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry found that exercise reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety in individuals with PTSD.

To get started with exercise, go for a walk or jog, take a fitness class, or try yoga.

Connect with Others

Social support is essential for managing PTSD symptoms.

A study published in the Journal of Traumatic Stress found that social support was associated with lower PTSD symptoms.

You can join a support group, volunteer, or contact friends and family to connect with others.

Challenge Negative Thoughts

Negative thoughts are a common symptom of PTSD. However, challenging negative thoughts can be an effective way to manage PTSD symptoms.

A study published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology found that cognitive processing therapy (CPT) reduced PTSD symptoms in veterans.

CPT involves challenging negative thoughts and beliefs related to the traumatic event.

You can write down your thoughts and then challenge them with evidence-based statements to challenge negative thoughts.

Conclusion

Managing PTSD symptoms daily can be challenging, but several evidence-based tips can help.

Practicing mindfulness, getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, connecting with others, challenging negative thoughts, and trying progressive muscle relaxation are all effective ways to manage PTSD symptoms.

By incorporating these tips into your daily routine, you can reduce the impact of PTSD on your everyday life.

Image by mohamed_hassan from Pexels


The editorial staff of Medical News Bulletin had no role in the preparation of this post. The views and opinions expressed in this sponsored post are those of the advertiser and do not reflect those of the Medical News Bulletin. Any Web sites linked from Medical News Bulletin site are created by organizations outside of Medical News Bulletin and are the sole responsibility of those organizations. These links are strictly provided by Medical News Bulletin as a convenience to you for additional information only. Medical News Bulletin does not approve or endorse the content on any third-party Web sites and is not responsible for the content of linked third-party sites or third-party advertisements, as well as does not make any representations regarding their content or accuracy. Your use of third-party web sites is at your own risk and subject to the terms and conditions of use as per such sites policies. Medical News Bulletin does not provide specific medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and hereby disclaims any assumption of any of the obligations, claims or liabilities..

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