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Has Your Divorce Caused PTSD?

Mar 12, 2015

Stress - Image Credit: http://pixabay.com/en/users/johnhain-352999/

PTSD or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is an anxiety disorder that can occur after exposure to a terrifying event in which grave physical harm was threatened or occurred. This could happen after a natural disaster, after an accident, after military combat or even after a violent personal assault.

As the disorder has been studied over the years, it’s started to take on a new definition in which it’s also including exposure to prolonged stressful events that cause emotional distress. Because of this, divorce is now thought to be causing PTSD for men and women, especially when it’s high-conflict. Here is a look at symptoms and how to deal with stress.

Symptoms of PTSD

You may be experiencing PTSD if are experiencing symptoms like avoidance or you are having flashbacks. Reliving the event through flashbacks because of something that triggered a reminder of the event means that you may have PTSD. This could be a location, a language or an anniversary. You may be avoiding people that are attached to the event or may even become detached from love ones and lose interest in previous passions.

Other symptoms could include somatoform illness in which you have painful symptoms but no medical diagnosis or having increased arousal meaning that you are more sensitive to emotions and bodily sensations. Increased arousal may mean you have trouble focusing, insomnia or high anxiety levels. Somatoform illness could include tension headaches from prolonged stress or other chronic pain without a specific medical cause.

Dealing with extreme stress

You can restore emotional well-being and control in your life after a traumatic experience with a few simple steps. Start asking for support from people who care about you and that can empathize with your situation. Always give yourself time to heal and mourn losses you have experienced while being patient with your emotional state.

When you’re ready, communicate your experience with a close loved one or through journaling. Find a local support group or groups with trained professionals to help you relate to others and deal with your emotions. Establish routines, eat well-balanced meals and follow an exercise program. Relaxation techniques can be helpful right now as well as pursuing new hobbies and enjoyable activities. Avoid alcohol and drugs.

You may be suffering from PTSD after your divorce, but recognizing the symptoms and knowing how to deal with the emotions is the first step in moving forward.



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