How to Tell if You Have PTSD

According to Rachel Yehuda, PhD (Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, is the Director of the Center for Psychedelic Psychotherapy and Trauma Research), two thirds of people will experience something that could give them PTSD. Not only that, but trauma travels through generations and changes your genes.

She has studied the epigenetic changes in children of holocaust survivors. She noticed that they have the same hormonal stress response as their parents. This is very interesting information.


What’s Ahead:

  • How PTSD affects your weight
  • What PTSD is and What are some of the causes
  • Who is most susceptible
  • What Symptoms to look out for
  • What you can do about it

Think about it, this child of the holocaust survivor has never experienced that trauma, but they react to the stress in their lives, with the same fear, as their parents during the holocaust.

In terms of weight loss and better health, insulin is a hormone. The way your body releases and digests insulin can determine, many things, including how you store fat and whether or not you will develop diabetes. And the way you produce and use insulin can be a by product of your mother’s or father’s choices. Pregnant women who experienced famine or have a baby of very low birth weight, or who smoked have a much higher chance of their child developing diabetes[1].

If you are

Yo-yo dieting, weight loss resistance, and obesity can all be linked to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. When you have PTSD your body is experiencing a constant low level and sometimes extreme level of stress, not to mention guilt, shame, blame and negative self talk. When you add all of these things up it is easy to see how one would use food to feel grounded. On top of that, your hormones may be telling your body to store more fat, slow your metabolism, and eat more food even if you are full[3].

Many people say, oh well, my childhood was fine. I don’t know why I would be experiencing these negative effects of trauma. Trauma can be anything to anyone. Emotional abuse like bullying or neglect can change you on a deep level. It eats away at your self esteem and sense of self, leaving you with a distorted view of yourself and the world around you.

Even antibiotics can be a trauma that could leave you more likely to store fat or develope diabetes [2]. When you continue to wipe out your gut bacteria with antibiotics it sends shock waves through your whole body. Your intestine (where most of the bacteria from antibiotics is killed) potent effects on glucose-mediated insulin secretion and body weight neuroendocrine controls. Meaning, the way you metabolize sugar and store fat.

I am writing all of this to highlight the fact that sustaining weight loss and better health has a lot to do with how we handle stress, our personal history, our emotions, and even our ancestors.

I tried all the diets, I did all the fasts, I did eating disorder therapy, Overeaters anonymous, I rode my bicycle across the country, I tried running 6-8 miles a day, I did meditation… all of this helped me learn more about myself and how to manipulate my body, but I would still binge eat and throw it all up and do it over and over again. I was still filled with shame, guilt, sadness and so much anger.

It was learning to let go of that guilt, shame, anger and sadness that has benefitted me the most in my life. It is what ended my bulimia for good, it is the reason I got into this work. I saw the magic in the invisible and I needed to share it with others.

What is PTSD?

PTSD is an anxiety disorder and it is normally brought on by a shocking, traumatic, scary or dangerous event.

Some causes of PTSD:

  • Low estrogen
  • Low testosterone
  • Insomnia
  • Low levels of serotonin
  • Low levels of cortisol
  • Imbalance nervous system
  • Childhood trauma (especially sexual abuse)
  • Genetic predisposition

Who is most susceptible?

Women are twice as likely to develop PTSD than men. Specifically women who have experienced sexual assault. It’s a real shame, and it is changing, but many scientific trials have excluded women because their monthly hormonal fluctuation adds another layer to an already complicated process.

So What are the Symptoms to Look for?

Everyone can have a stress response to a traumatic event. The difference between a normal stress response (Acute stress disorder) and PTSD is the longevity and the severity of the stress symptoms.

  • Re-experiencing (or re-living) symptoms more than a month after the event. This includes flashbacks, nightmares, or scary thoughts.
  • Avoiding places, events, objects, thoughts, or feelings related to the event.
  • Arousal and reactivity, like being jumpy, feeling tense, having insomnia and having emotional outbursts
  • Cognition and mood symptoms, like amnesia, brain fog, guilt, blame, loss of interest, detachment from friends and family, negative self talk, and distorted lens for viewing the world.

These symptoms can begin during, immediately after or years after the event. If the traumatic event is something that is on-going, like an abusive relationship, symptoms will likely begin during the event and get worse the further you get from the event.

What to do About it?

  • Find a mental health practitioner that you trust for diagnosis and treatment. Mental health practitioners commonly use cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), exposure therapy, and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) to treat PTSD.
  • Because people with PTSD tend to be deficient in serotonin, the most widely prescribed and most effective pharmacological treatment is SSRIs. They inhibit the uptake of serotonin so that the body increases serotonin levels.
  • Eat an anti inflammatory diet. Inflammation of the body can cause you to be even more stressed than normal. Eliminating foods that cause you stress will help with your resilience and energy to handle life.
  • Get rid of things that add more stress to your life.
  • Take time to be present and notice what triggers you. Just notice it. And know that you don’t have to react to the trigger. You can simple observe.
  • Forgiveness. Practice forgiveness. Start with the small things. How did it make you feel? sit in that feeling for a while. Then, look for the gift, how did that event shape you, what did you learn, who have you become because of it? Then forgive through love. Don’t forget to forgive yourself. Eventually, you will be able to forgive the big things, you will be filled with compassion for all beings. This is a journey. Take it slow and learn to trust yourself again.

Example: I was cut off in traffic, I feel angry! Who does he think he is? where is he going that is so important? How inconsiderate of human life… The gift is, I love life, I am able to not react to getting cut off. I have confidence that everything will be ok. And then I forgive the man through love and sit in that feeling for a while. Feeling love and forgiveness.

Most importantly, be kind to yourself, remind yourself that you will always be there for yourself. You are not alone, this is a very common thing for men and women to go through and you can get through this too.

If you are reading this article, you are already way ahead of the game. Reading helpful information is proof that you love yourself and that you are on the right path.

If you liked this,

Feel free to like it and share it with someone that would benefit from it.

Transformational Trauma Technique

The Transformational Trauma Technique is a guided meditation that I walk my clients through, it is about forgiveness and resetting the nervous system. My clients and I have benefited from this process immensely and I highly recommend it to anyone who is ready to live a life of true freedom.

If you are interested, check out my services on my 1-on-1 page. Email me for any special requests and we will get something set up.

I am honored that you have given me your attention and I hope I have brought value into your life.

I wish you love and healing,

Jessica Ray


References:

  1. https://academic.oup.com/jcem/article/99/6/2233/2537976?searchresult=1
  2. https://academic.oup.com/jcem/article/101/5/L62/2804725?searchresult=1
  3. https://academic.oup.com/jcem/article/85/7/2499/2852559?searchresult=1

Published by Jessica CTNC

I am a Certified Transformational Nutrition Coach (CTNC). I guide women through the wonderful world of transformational science, psychology and spirituality. I remind them of how to love their bodies and love their food so that they can stop yo-yo dieting, live life on purpose, have more energy and inspire those around them to do the same.

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