Can Damaging Relationships Cause Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?

Can Damaging Relationships Cause Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?
by Dr. Tayaba | October 1, 2013

So many times in our lives we are confronted with serious and life threatening conditions that shake us to our very core. These events make us feel extremely vulnerable and upset and it takes us significant time to return to our regular routine and play.

Yet not everyone returns to a fully normal state. Post traumatic stress disorder is the continuous living of a traumatic or abusive event in the life of a person. The person dreams, relives, experiences flashbacks and even recalls all the events in vivid details. In the past it was thought that only soldiers who went to wars or people who experienced life threatening conditions such as earthquakes were afflicted with this condition. New researches however suggest that there are many other forms of abuse and trauma that can cause the same thing. These can include a motor vehicle accident, natural disaster or rape. Domestic violence has begun to come in this picture as well, so now mental, emotional and physical abuse, domestic violence, childhood trauma and sexual harassments are also considered as causes of PTSD.

This particular domestic type of PTSD or complex PTSD is called so because here the victim is not a victim of chance. Rather he or she is stuck in his situation and cannot escape from it. This kind of PTSD is due to social or interpersonal trauma. It is a series of repetitive events that break in to a person making him feel worthless with each passing event.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms

The impact is devastating. The person starts to have difficulties in regulating his emotions and may experience depression, suicidal thoughts and problems in anger management. On a conscious level the person may simply choose to forget the event without addressing it properly, experience flashbacks or dissociation i.e. a feeling of detachment from surroundings.

If you have been a victim of a traumatic event beware of any changes you feel towards yourself. These can include feelings of helplessness, guilt or shame, detachment from people or difficulty in getting attached to people. You may start blaming yourself for all problems that took place in the relationship. This directly can influence future relationships as the trust level is missing.

One clear indication to check is someone around you is suffering from PTSD is the way he or she handles the emotional abuse or trauma around him or her. C-PTSD people can stuff or keep their emotions bottled up by looking at individual events as they happen and not the big picture of the abuse. The person may also see no resolution to the matter thereby giving power to the abuser. When the victim of abuse cannot bear the trauma anymore, he or she starts to show signs of emotional breakdown, or breaking down. This chronic and continuous cycle builds up on the victim’s psyche until he or she becomes unable to handle further stress.

The many features a PTSD patient may show include avoidance in relationships and becoming defensive in nature. The person may not know how to handle situations and become a blamer. He or she may think that a catastrophe has fallen or is about to befall in every situation. The person may even go into denial of the traumatic event. Depression and lost self esteem is a very common feature particularly in women. There is fear of abandonment and the person may start thinking fantasies, become extremely guarded and vigilant of people around him, and loath himself.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Treatment Options

Post traumatic stress disorder treatment options depend in large part on identifying post traumatic stress disorder symptoms. 

With domestic abuse and violence on streets rising, there is higher risk to develop PTSD disorder among people. Recognizing these disorders within self or within others is important. The person should be given full support and should be directed to psychotherapist for full recovery. There are many online resources available to gather information form and quizzes to get a small perspective that you may be suffering from such a problem. PTSD if identified soon can be cured successfully. 

About the Author - Dr. Tayaba

Dr Tayaba Khan is a dental surgeon and medical and academic writer with over eight years of experience. Her international writing experience has helped her in attaining an in-depth understanding of the global healthcare systems and the challenges of patient care therein. She is currently doing her MBA in health and hospital management to gain understanding of the economic and financial aspects of healthcare. Apart from writing, she is currently engaged in health care marketing and branding projects for local and international clients.

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