Male Counselor with pen and pad, facing a stressed young man on a couch.

The First Signs You Might Be Suffering From PTSD

By | Anxiety, Biltmore, Blog, Coping, Counseling, Depression, Mental Health, PTSD, Resolution, Sleep Deprivation, Stress, Suicide | No Comments

What are some of the signs you might be suffering with, or that you might be seeing someone close to you suffer with that could be an early indication of PTSD?

According to American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-V2, in order to be diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder you must exhibit a few different groups of behaviors. Those are intrusion symptoms, avoidance, negative alterations in cognitions and mood, and alterations in arousal and reactivity. And these groups of symptoms are diagnosed by a Psychologist or a Psychiatrist.

Before this diagnosis happens, one might start having difficulty immediately after a particularly traumatic event. These early signs of stress after trauma can be a wide range of behaviors and emotions. The thoughts and emotions can lead to reactionary behaviors that could be considered warning signs that PTSD might be on the horizon. When trying to heal from a traumatic event, understanding how the event has changed your thought process, your emotions and your entire life early following the event is the key to help from developing PTSD. It is important to get help soon after, or get your loved one help soon after the event and if they start to exhibit emotions or behaviors that are not consistent with how they were before the event.

Some signs to look out for:

1- Sleeping Difficulties

2- Anger

3-Numbness and Disconnection

4-Depression

5-Chronic Anxiety

6-Reliving the Trauma

7-Feeling Unsafe

8-Suicidal Thoughts

9-Relationships Changes (person might become more irritable, angry, and have more conflicts in their relationships)

10-Loss of Self Esteem

11-Work Performance Declines

12-Lifestyle Changes (person might stop going to their gym classes, or stop engaging in other hobbies they used to love)

13-New Use (or increased use) of Drugs and Alchohl

Experiencing a traumatic event affects the person it happened to, as well as everyone surrounding this person. It is important to be supportive and loving, and to recognize when someone might not be coping with the event in a healthy manner. It is also important to recognize as a loved one, when you yourself might not be coping with the change in the loved one. Keeping communication open, getting the help that is needed on all accounts, are great first steps before a diagnosis of full fledged Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is considered. To read more about the early signs of PTSD, check out this article at Psychology Today by Jennifer Sweeton PsyD.

 

Stack of colorful books

Book Recommendation: Quiet Your Mind and Get To Sleep

By | Anxiety, Biltmore, Blog, Book Recommendation, Depression, Health, Sleep Deprivation | No Comments

Feeling so sick and tired of not getting enough sleep? Are you waking up exhausted, feeling depressed or anxious throughout your day? We suggest getting your hands on, Quiet Your Mind and Get To Sleep by  Richard Bootzin PhD, Colleen E. Carney PhD, and Rachel Manber PhD.

The book is actually a work book designed to help you get to the root of your insomnia and sleep issues. It will help you stop worrying, and improve your health issues related to loss of sleep. The workbook is based on cognitive behavioral therapy that helps you develop healthy patterns, and useful tools to a better nights rest.

 

#psychlopedia – Sleep Deprivation

By | #psychlopedia, Biltmore, Blog, Health, Mental Health, Sleep Deprivation, Stress | No Comments

Happy Monday! Or depending on how you slept last night, perhaps it is a not so happy Monday. If you aren’t the type of person who keeps the same sleep schedule through out your weekend, or you suffer from sleep problems, Monday mornings can be rough. If you are chronically suffering from lack of sleep, you might be experiencing affects of Sleep Deprivation.

Sleep Deprivation:

-is the condition of not getting or having enough sleep. This can be a long term condition, or a short term condition. It is something that affects your emotional, physical, and cognitive processes. And the longer it occurs, the worse the symptoms and affects have on your body and brain.

-it can also cause weight gain, or weight loss. It can lead to mind cloudiness, clumsiness, inability to concentrate and excessive sleepiness.

 

So if you’re reaching for that extra cup of coffee this Monday morning, ask yourself if your sleeping habits are healthy? What could you be doing to improve them, and thus improving your overall health?

Word cloud with different adjectives that describe what happens when we're sleep deprived

What happens when we don’t get enough sleep?

By | Anxiety, Biltmore, Blog, Health, Mental Health, Sleep Deprivation, Stress | No Comments

Sleep deprivation. We’ve all been there. During the week it seems like we are a zombie, slowly going through the motions until the weekend where we hope to catch up on sleep. It seems like in our society today, we are constantly on the go and don’t put sleep as a priority in our lives. Or simply cannot put it as a priority. We might have insomnia, or sleep apnea, or just plain lack of time to get the necessary amount of sleep in.

Sleep is a biological necessity. We need sleep to repair tissues, strengthen muscles, and synthesize hormones. There are a vast array of studies that differ in exactly how much sleep we need to function at our best. But most can agree on adults needing 7-9 hours of good, quality, uninterrupted sleep. So what happens when we sleep less than that, on a recurring basis?

At first the signs of sleep deprivation might not seem so extreme. We may experience fatigue, moodiness, and loss of ability to concentrate.  As if that isn’t bad enough, the more sleep we lose the worse our symptoms become. Our body temperatures decrease, and we have an increase in our appetite often causing us to choose foods that aren’t the healthiest. We might experience poor judgement, and our vision or language might start to be impaired. In the worst signs of sleep deprivation, we can experience hallucinations, severe lethargy, and be at risk for many health conditions like heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, and diabetes.

Specifically psychologically speaking, sleep can wreak havoc on our emotions. We can experience cognitive lapses, and our ability to process information is significantly slowed. We feel cloudy, and angry, and are more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety.

If you are hoping to catch up on sleep during the weekends, studies show that it isn’t enough to combat the loss of sleep during the week. In short, you cannot just “make up” sleep that you’ve already lost. The best way we can function as humans, is to get consistent sleep every single night. We will talk about the best ways to ensure we are getting enough sleep on a later blog post, but for now, what kinds of things do you experience with lack of sleep? Not convinced? Take a look at Sherie Bourg Carters article on Psychology Today about 10 Frightening Costs of Sleep Loss.