A natural response to an unnatural event is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)Traumatic events include combat, catastrophic accidents, natural disasters, or sexual assault that leave victims with overpowering sensations of dread, helplessness, or horror. The majority of people who experience trauma do not go on to develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and those who do may experience symptoms right away, months after the event, or years later. Traumas can be caused by direct or indirect experience with life-threatening situations, serious injuries, or sexual violence (such as rape or combat). We are aware of the damaging effects trauma can have on a person's sense of personal safety and ability to trust others. As a result, individuals may refrain from acting or going in situations where they are unable to manage their environment. They occasionally have a dread of losing control of their body or of being overtaken by unwelcome thoughts and feelings. The four "clusters" of symptoms associated with PTSD include arousal, intrusion, avoidance, and negative thoughts and moods. Yoga can be a very effective treatment for PTSD since it helps the body and mind in addition to creating a sense of safe community where patients can find comfort and support. Therapy can be an important component of a person's medical care, alongside medication and psychotherapy, as well as a self-care skill they can use at any time. Yoga therapists are able to gently and safely help PTSD patients toward recovery by integrating yogic approaches with a thorough understanding of the neurology, psychology, and physiology of trauma. Furthermore, they can assist people in truly committing to counseling or therapy by working within the parameters of a larger treatment plan.
PTSD signs and symptoms include:
- Re-experiencing the traumatic event through flashbacks, nightmares and physical sensations.
- Avoidance of anything that reminds the sufferer of the event. They will also push away feelings and memories, and can experience emotional numbness and dissociation.
- Hyperarousal and constantly feeling “on edge”, often associated with hypervigilance, irritability and insomnia.
- Co-occuring issues such as anxiety, depression, alcohol/substance misuse and relationship breakdown.
- A variant form of PTSD can also appear when people have lived through ongoing stress or fear, which is defined as complex post-traumatic stress disorder (or c-PTSD). People are more likely to develop c-PTSD if they endured trauma at an early age, have experienced multiple traumas or if their trauma lasted a long time, such as in cases of childhood abuse.