Saturday, Dec 04, 2021 20:45 [IST]

Last Update: Saturday, Dec 04, 2021 15:12 [IST]

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

BHAWANA LAMICHANEY

Stress is nature’s response to danger and is genetically wired into the human body
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that's triggered by a terrifying event either experiencing it or witnessing it. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event.
Stress is a feeling of emotional or physical tension. It can come from any event or thought that makes you feel frustrated, angry, or nervous. Stress is your body's reaction to a challenge or demand. In short bursts, stress can be positive, such as when it helps you avoid danger or meet a deadline. But when stress lasts for a long time, it may harm your health.
Everyone undergoes stress - at the workplace, at home, while travelling, before a presentation, in fact, almost anything we experience can induce stress. But those of us who suffer from mental illness tend to be more deeply impacted than others. The reason being that we tend to hold on to stress, we do not have the ability to let go.
The Long-term stress increases the risk of mental health problems such as anxiety and depression, substance use, lack of sleep and muscle tension. It can contribute to both physical and mental illness. It can affect the heart, immune and metabolic functions and hormones. It increases the risk of developing depression and anxiety. Recent studies have shown that long-term stress can change the structure of the brain, especially in areas supporting learning and memory. It can affect both nerve cells (grey matter) and the connections between them (white matter). It can cause the immune system to work overtime and in turn, this could negatively affect the brain.
Finding effective ways to deal with stress is crucial to living well.
Everyone has responsibility to take appropriate measures. You must know how to manage with stress. People need to learn to keep a balance with our body and our mind. Meanwhile, people must learn ways of modify behaviour when faced with pressure.
Recognize your triggers and see how you can neutralize them. For example, if you get stressed when you have to take a flight. So, before you board one, make sure your phone has plenty of offline card games, word games and crosswords. Buy a romantic novel at the airport. These measures help to divert your mind and reduce stress. Or if your trigger is tight deadlines, wake up two hours earlier and complete the task that is bothering you the most, well before your work day starts. Waiting till the last minute will definitely make things worse.
Or, if storms are what triggers you, shut out the sounds of the wind and thunder by closing all doors and windows. Draw the curtains and watch a light TV serial or movie. Once you cannot hear or see the storm, it may not bother you. When stormy weather bothers me, I get into bed with a mug of hot chocolate and a book. You could identify your own safe space.
Practice relaxation: Pranayama, meditation, chanting and methodical muscle relaxation can help you become calm. You can take several short breaks between works and practice these. Once your mind calms down, it remains in that state for some time. Someone I know meditates for an hour every morning and that keeps him calm through the day.
Exercise daily: Exercise produces happy hormones and relieves stress. Opt for something fun, like Bollywood dancing, Salsa, zumba dancing and biking.
Take time to relax. Make time for things that take your mind away from your stressors. If reading is something you enjoy, make time for it. Play with a pet, listen to music, watch a comedy or get an aromatic massage. This way, you avoid chronic stress.
Eat well. Eating unprocessed foods, like whole grains, vegetables, and fresh fruit is the foundation for a healthy body and mind. Eating well can also help stabilize your mood.
Get enough sleep. Try to have a regular sleep schedule – sleep and wake up at the same time daily.
Avoid alcohol and drugs. They don't actually reduce stress: in fact, they often worsen it. Talk to someone. Whether to friends, family or a counsellor, airing out your feelings can help. Consider joining a support group.
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) have intense, disturbing thoughts and feelings related to the particular  traumatic stress or past experience which can make you feel alone, sad, fear or anger and  may feel detached or estranged from other people.  So it’s really important to recognize signs and symptoms to help yourself to overcome the distress. Many research have suggested that self-help is best help and it is completely available to anyone who would like to reduce his or her traumatic distress. Because you can understand yourself; you can form intentions and carry them out; you can learn from experience; you can grow and heal naturally. If incase all these techniques aren’t working, it may be time to consult your mental health professional. He or she can help you pinpoint specific events that trigger you, and create an action plan to change them.
Help yourself to invent yourself, forget the past and flip the anxiety switch off.  Help yourself to come with attributes, capacities and proclivities. So kind to yourself and seek help.
(For more information follow @let’s talk mental health on Instagram and Facebook. (Email:bhawanalamichaney2510@gmail.com)


Sikkim at a Glance

  • Area: 7096 Sq Kms
  • Capital: Gangtok
  • Altitude: 5,840 ft
  • Population: 6.10 Lakhs
  • Topography: Hilly terrain elevation from 600 to over 28,509 ft above sea level
  • Climate:
  • Summer: Min- 13°C - Max 21°C
  • Winter: Min- 0.48°C - Max 13°C
  • Rainfall: 325 cms per annum
  • Language Spoken: Nepali, Bhutia, Lepcha, Tibetan, English, Hindi