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PTSD by Mind Map: PTSD

1. What is it?

1.1. A treatable malfunction of certain biological mechanisms that allow us to cope with dangerous experiences.

2. How does it work?

2.1. The brain processes death, domestic violence, injury, illness, abuse, rape, war, accidents, natural disasters and more. These events can bring on feelings of danger and helplessness, which activate the fight-flight-freeze response.

2.2. When fight or flight is triggered, the hypothalamic, pituitary, and adrenal systems work together to send signals to the autonomic nervous system.

2.3. These signals start a chemical reaction that floods the body with many different stress hormones, causing physiological changes that prepare the body to defend itself. Heart rates speed up, breathing quickens, and muscles tense.

2.4. Even after a traumatic event is over, escalated levels of stress hormones last for several days after. Contributing to jittery feelings, nightmares, etc.

2.5. For most people, these levels of stress go down after a few weeks, however there is a small percentage of people who have persistent problems after going through trauma. Some people have this stress vanish temporarily, only to resurface months later.

3. Theory

3.1. There is a certain theory for why trauma lingers and is triggered even though a lot of time has passed since the time of the event; the theory states that the stress hormone known as cortisol continuously activates the fight-flight-freeze response while reducing overall brain activity, leading to intrusive thoughts, fear, anger, guilt, irritability, difficulty sleeping, wishing others.

4. Diagnosis

4.1. PTSD is often diagnosed when problems and symptoms after trauma last more than a month.

5. Cause

5.1. To this day, the underlying cause for PTSD is still a medical mystery. However, PTSD relies on genetics, ongoing overwhelming stress, preexisting mental illnesses, lack of emotional support—all of these likely play a role in people who experience PTSD.

6. Triggers

6.1. Physical and emotional stimuli that the brain associate with the original trauma can work as triggers.

6.2. Sensitivity to triggers is a challenge for PTSD victims. Trying to avoid triggers can sometimes lead to isolation.

7. How to help PTSD victims?

7.1. Evaluation with a mental health professional, psychotherapy, certain medication, and self-care practices are all activities PTSD victims can try in order to help with their disorder.

7.2. People that know PTSD victims can provide social support, acceptance, and empathy in order to help with their recovery.