Suicide: PTSD and Those Left Behind


Imprinting on the Nervous System:


While many associate PTSD with extreme trauma, often thought to be ensued during combat, it is a complex trauma that can stem from any kind or size of traumatic event. As you experience the world around you, your cells absorb memories about the sensory elements within range. When you experience something traumatic, whether it be physical, verbal, or abuse of some sort, your brain incorporates it into a memory. It is when something reactivates these brain areas that individuals re-experience elements of their trauma, causing personal impairment and distress. This activation essentially sets in motion a host of defense mechanisms in the form of anxiety and fear, leading to over-evaluation of perceived threats. 


Let’s Look at the Numbers:


As reported by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, around 44,000 Americans die by suicide every year, making it the 10th leading cause of death in the nation. For each of these cases, left behind is a ripple effect of deeply affected survivors, many of which experience their own form of PTSD as a result. As with any other trauma, it may result in lasting changes in the brain and interfere with normal functioning, certainly taking time to heal.While you can never replace those that are gone, working towards acceptance and physical healing is necessary to get back to your life. The AFSP is just one organization working to bring more awareness to suicide as well as to break the stigma associated. 


Brain Science Behind PTSD:


Researchers have modeled the brain as having three parts, each responsible for a different aspect off experience. When experiencing a trauma, the innermost part of the brain, tasked with managing the body’s autonomic processes, takes over. This puts the body into survival mode, activating the fight-flight-freeze response, characterized by higher levels of stress hormones and an over-reactive nervous system. Under normal circumstances, once the immediate threat has dissipated, the body begins to get back to normal. For those that developpost-traumatic stress disorder, this transition back to normal is interrupted, keeping the reptilian brain in a constant reactive state. 


Signs and Symptoms:


Hypervigilance, intrusive thoughts, mood swings and extreme avoidance ofrelated sensory experiences are some of the ways PTSD sufferers can be impacted. These symptoms can be upsetting enough on their own, manifesting themselves in many ways, and can lead those afflicted frustrated by their perceived lack of control. It’s important to know the symptoms and signs of suffering both in others and in yourself. Risk factors for suicide can include history or family history of mental illness, substance use, history of abuse or trauma, keeping a gun in the house, along with others. Males and those of advanced ages have been documented as being more likely to take their own lives than females or younger cohorts. 

Getting Help:


PTSD is a complex brain malfunction, with several underlying biological and chemical mechanisms lying at its root. As technology improves and expands into the health sector, online interfaces begin to arise as a valuable option for providing convenient and remote access to personalized professional counseling,BetterHelp, a website the helps connect mental health professionals to those in need, can help you not only to know what methods are most appropriate to restore your brain’s natural processes, but how to successfully implement this treatment strategy to best treat the individual. 


My Bio:


Marie Miguel is an avid internet researcher. She is fueled by her determination to answer the many questions she hasn’t been able to find the answer to anywhere else. When she finds these answers she likes to spread the knowledge to others seeking help. She is always looking for outlets to share her information, therefore she occasionally has her content published on different websites and blogs. Even though she doesn’t run one for herself she loves contributing to others.

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