Blog - Beach House Rehab Center
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December 20, 2021

PTSD Physical Symptoms

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a mental health condition caused by a terrifying or intensely stressful event, causing intrusive thoughts and feelings of being constantly on edge. In extreme cases, even the smallest sound or movement can be triggering, leaving you wondering if you will ever regain a sense of normalcy. While you may primarily associate PTSD with mental and emotional symptoms such as flashbacks, nightmares and chronic stress, this disorder can also bring physical effects. 

Do You Have PTSD?

When you have PTSD, the world no longer feels safe. You may have trouble doing typical everyday activities, or lose interest in things you used to enjoy. While PTSD is common among combat veterans, it can also happen to people after experiences such as home break-ins, car accidents, natural disasters, sexual assault or a loved one’s death. 

While PTSD symptoms can come and go, some sufferers may find the mental and physical effects worsening over time. A mental health professional can diagnose you with PTSD if ongoing issues like these are severe enough to interfere with your quality of life.

  • Insomnia or nightmares
  • Avoidance of people, places and things that may trigger flashbacks
  • Reliving the traumatic event again and again
  • Unwillingness to talk about what happened or explore how it made you feel
  • Feelings of guilt, anger, shame and negativity
  • Inability to experience joy, happiness and satisfaction
  • Irritability and mood swings
  • Hyperarousal, or startling easily
  • Reckless, careless or self-destructive behavior
  • Increased suspicion and watchfulness
  • Problems concentrating on tasks
  • Excessive worry, anxiety or distress about the world around you

Health Effects of Chronic Stress

In addition to psychological symptoms, PTSD can also cause physiological issues such as rapid heartbeat, fatigue, muscle tension, nausea, headaches and body aches. The constant tension associated with a heightened stress response affects nearly every system in your body, including the endocrine, musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, respiratory, gastrointestinal and nervous systems.

People with co-occurring mental health conditions, like depression or anxiety, are more likely to experience PTSD physical symptoms. PTSD sufferers are also at a higher risk of developing health issues such as hypertension, stroke, diabetes and substance use disorders

Recovering From PTSD

Fortunately, your brain is resilient enough to eventually recover from PTSD if you’re patient and willing to take things one day at a time. Integrated trauma treatment is an essential component of healing your mental and physical PTSD symptoms and getting your life back on a positive track. 

A therapist who specializes in evidence-based methods like motivational interviewing, cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy and trauma resolution can be your best asset as you begin your healing process. If you have a co-occurring substance use disorder, simultaneously treating both issues is essential for addressing their root causes and equipping you with healthy coping skills you can use to move forward.  

An Environment That Encourages Your Goals

People struggling with mental health challenges like PTSD often self-medicate with alcohol and drugs, but this maladaptive coping strategy can lead to the development of a dual diagnosis. At Beach House, we provide a safe haven where people living with PTSD and co-occurring substance abuse can recover. We offer a full continuum of care, a commitment to clinical excellence, evidence-based treatment modalities and an industry-leading client-to-therapist ratio. 

Are you ready to find freedom from a dual diagnosis? To learn more about our innovative Florida rehab, our multiple accreditations and the treatment philosophy that has earned us distinction as one of the nation’s best addiction treatment centers, please call our admissions counselors today. We are standing by to talk with you 24/7.