WHAT IS PTSD?
PTSD is an injury that can be treated.
In psychology, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is defined as a response to experiencing traumatic or stressful events that create feelings of horror or helplessness. A neuroscience-informed view suggests that what has been called PTSD is in fact a biological injury that can be seen through brain scans.
Though PTSD is a common term mental healthcare professionals use, Stella and others have suggested a new term – Post Traumatic Stress Injury (PSTI) – instead of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. By talking about Post-Traumatic Stress as an injury, we can reduce stigmas around healing.
At Stella, we have a range of proven treatments for the symptoms and conditions associated with trauma exposure. While many mental healthcare resources highlight the 17 most common PTSD symptoms, there are actually more.
What Happens When PTSD IS Triggered
Trauma lives in our mind and body
PTSD can be triggered by anything that reminds people of their past trauma or adverse experiences, including sights, sounds, and sensations. Individuals may experience:
- Excessive fear: The amygdala controls emotions such as fear. When encountering a trigger, the amygdala may overreact and cause intense fear, even when there is no actual threat.
- Vivid memories: The hippocampus is responsible for forming new memories and linking them to old ones, and it can cause one to experience traumatic events over and over again through memories, nightmares, and intrusive thoughts.
- An increased stress response: The body's fight-or-flight response intensifies when triggered, leading to physical symptoms such as sweating, lightheadedness, a racing heart, nausea, and more.