When someone experiences a Post Traumatic Stress Disorder episode there are residual symptoms.
Residual symptoms are different from PTSD symptoms. These begin immediately after the episode subsides. And, these residual effects last for another 24 to 48 hours. The most common issues that occur are physical pain, dissociation, and severe disorientation. Furthermore, PTSD physical pain and residual symptoms are intense. Because your loved one has had PTSD take over, certain things happen to their mind and body. Tune into this awesome PTSD radio show about triggers and coping to learn more.
During a Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) episode the sufferer is involuntarily mentally checked out. It’s like someone took over their body and mind, pushed them deep down inside themselves, and is driving the vehicle. This proves difficult for you because you still see the same person as your mother or husband etc. They are also experiencing involuntary muscle activity throughout their entire body. Due to their brain activity getting “stuck” on over-drive, both their nervous system and body is operating on all cylinders for an elongated period of time.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Dissociation
Although dissociation is a predominant symptom of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, the residual type differs. Residual dissociation is described as less intense. But, just because it’s not as excessive doesn’t mean it’s not agonizing. It’s similar to being in a daydream-like state. And, it’s hard for the PTSD sufferer to communicate during these after-math problems.
First of all, they can’t focus very well or participate as an active listener when talking to you. They will also appear to be drowsy and exhausted. This is easy to sympathize with considering their entire being was stuck on hyper-drive for several hours. Having a Post Traumatic Stress Disorder attack is extremely exhausting for them. This applies both physically and mentally.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Physical Pain
During a PTSD episode your loved one is flexing every muscle in their body. This is due to the fight or flight response that our brains are wired for. Our bodies have a natural danger detector and when activated our bodies respond with survival preparation. Part of this preparation is flexing our muscles. Someone in a state of PTSD is stuck in the fight or flight mode. Again, their muscles are constantly engaged. Imagine standing in the same position with every muscle flexed, continuously, as hard as possible for several hours.
After the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder episode de-escalates one will start to relax their body. After doing so, every muscle in their body hurts extremely badly. If you have ever had an intense workout you might remember your muscles aching the next day. Well, the physical pain caused by PTSD is equivalent to training for a marathon. Expect your loved one’s pain to last for up to two or three days.
Post Traumatic Stress: Pain And Discomfort
In addition to physical pain this person will often undergo a horrific headache, similar to a migraine, which may last up to 24 hours. Consequently, this causes even higher levels of irritability. Then there is also jaw and teeth pain from clenching their teeth for so long. It’s quite disheartening to think about the pain and discomfort your partner goes through. Most of all, very few people are actually aware of the residual symptoms.
At the same time, you notice these issues but haven’t associated them with PTSD. Seeing that there is a connection between their Post Traumatic Stress Disorder episode and the days that follow. Becoming aware of all aspects of a PTSD episode will help you better support your loved one. Provided that you are aware of their needs, you will not take offense to their behavior.
Please keep in mind that your loved one did not choose to behave so erratic. Nor did they choose to have residual symptoms days after their PTSD attack. In general it can be easy to forget our partner suffers from PTSD if they haven’t had an episode. For some, their symptoms may have been in remission for months or even years. Nevertheless, there is no cure for PTSD and it can occur if triggered.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Disorientation
Another problem that presents after a Post Traumatic Stress Disorder episode is disorientation. Disorientation is best described as being in a mental state where one loses their sense of awareness. They are confused and have little bearing on what day it is or where they are. Their memory of anything that took place during a Post Traumatic Stress Disorder episode is nonexistent. In fact, PTSD causes various issues with their memory as it is. Since the brain is affected by PTSD in such a way that it causes these memory problems, it makes life a bit harder.
Many who suffer from a PTSD episode
Will be confused and disoriented for two to three days after a PTSD attack. Essentially, they will experience intervals of awareness. All together there will be moments in time where they will not have a conscious idea of what is going on around them. Occasionally they won’t realize where they are physically. At the same time, they won’t remember the date or time.
Additionally they will not recall engagement of any activities. For example, my husband and I recently drove to a nearby city for his therapy appointment. The drive is approximately one and a half hours long. When we arrived at his therapist’s office he couldn’t remember how we got there or anything about the drive up. And he was clueless as to where we even were.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Residual Symptoms
These secondary issues are both challenging and scary. When someone hears of PTSD they may think someone suffers a short flashback or an elongated panic attack. However, the truth is that there’s so much more to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Episodes are never short, and the effect of an episode has on a person lasts for days afterward. With this in mind, residual symptoms are the after-math manifestations following the full throttle episode. Due to the effects of PTSD episodes, physical, neurological, and emotional duress takes place.
If you know someone suffering from the symptoms of PTSD it is a good thing to remember this key information. You will set yourself up to better understand what is going on during the recovery days. Especially relevant is that you will be able to support your partner in a stronger way. Be prepared to help them relax and ease back into the normalcy of your every-day functioning life. In doing so, you will help them reduce their residual symptoms duration.
In fact, Your partner will recover faster because they feel supported, loved, and comforted by you. Notably so, the way you react has a deep impact on their well-being. Equally, this applies to positive and negative behavior. This article can also be seen on PsychCentral.com They published this post on their site.
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