Most people figure PTSD i.e. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder as something in which, there are debilitating anxiety and depression that can be seen from outside. However, some people have high-functioning PTSD and their symptoms might not be obvious. Also, many people are able to get a control over their PTSD and carry out all their day-to-day activities, but that does not mean they do not require treatment. They too need to get their emotions checked.
What most people do not realize that PTSD does not stem from direct exposure to a traumatic experience. It depends on how a person processes and responds to that stressful condition internally. Many times, a person feels disconnected from himself and has a hard time being in his present state. A person with high-functioning PTSD struggles with his symptoms on an everyday basis but does not allow it to hamper his everyday activities and relationships.
The first step towards recovery involves identifying the symptoms and understanding that these might be a symptom of high functioning PTSD.
Here are some of the signs that point towards high-functioning PTSD as suggested by experts:
1. Being Always Busy
People, who deal with PTSD, often make them workaholics or find some other ways to keep themselves busy throughout the day. This does not give enough time to them to think about painful memories that might be overwhelming for them.
These people choose to stay busy so that they do not have time to feel their emotions. However, simply having a packed schedule does not mean that the person has PTSD. But, if a person avoids talking about traumatic event, it might indicate that he is having PTSD.
2. Having Extreme Emotional Reactions
The fight or flight reactions of body intensifies when a person experiences high functioning PTSD. The patient lives in a state of high vigilance when he feels threatened. This feeling can lead him to have extreme emotional responses of fear, excessive crying, hopelessness and catastrophizing.
These reactions are much more intense than those observed before the challenging event. The best way to deal with these emotions is to seek help of a professional.
3. Always Canceling Plans
It is a common practice for people having PTSD to cancel plans they make with their friends and family. The person actually wants to go out and spend time with his close ones, but when the time actually comes, they get cold feet and all their desires of going out flushes down the sink. This is where the symptoms of social anxiety start to creep in.
4. Having Insomnia
Facing difficulty while trying to sleep is another classical symptom of high functioning PTSD. The individual feels tired from pushing himself all day long, both physically as well as mentally. It is an energy intensive procedure to try and maintain a near normal image of themselves.
When they lie down at night, they often start recounting the day’s events or worry about the future. Even though the individual feels drained, the brain is still active, which prevents them from falling asleep.
5. Suffering From Digestive Issues
Many people, who suffer from PTSD, experience digestive issues as a result of the mental stress that they are put into. When a person experiences an extremely stressful situation, the body’s fight or flight response is activated, which releases a substance, known to increase the mucus and water secretion in the colon. This disrupts colon motility and causes a number of digestive issues like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
6. Experiencing Eating Disorders
Eating disorder like anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa might also point towards high functioning PTSD because the individual might be trying to numb his feelings arising out of painful memories or they might exude extreme emotions that might have built inside them.
Every person, who is going through an emotionally challenge, should try to get professional help with respect to diagnosis and treatment. People fighting with PTSD have to remember that they will survive this hard time only when the zeal inside them is brighter than the fire around them. Like everything else, this too shall pass away.