4 Ways PTSD Affects Daily Life
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a psychiatric condition that affects approximately 3.5% of adults in the United States. Though commonly linked to combat veterans, this disorder can affect anyone who has survived or witnessed a traumatic event.
In general, PTSD causes people to have intense thoughts and feelings related to a traumatic event long after the event ends. These thoughts and feelings can manifest as many different symptoms, which vary from person to person. Though each person with PTSD is unique, there is one common thread that unites all cases: the disorder severely impacts daily life.
Even for people living with the condition, it can be difficult to see the many ways in which PTSD changes daily life. However, identifying these effects can be the first step toward repairing the damage and healing.
1. PTSD Alters Your Relationships
Due to the nature and intensity of PTSD symptoms, everyone who is close to someone with PTSD is likely to notice the changes in that person. The symptoms of the disorder can cause serious problems within a relationship of any kind, including a marriage.
The person without PTSD may struggle with secondary trauma and burnout from caring for the person with PTSD. On the other hand, the person with PTSD may feel misunderstood, isolated, or as though they are a burden. In truth, it is the disorder and not the people who are causing these problems.
2. PTSD Changes the Way You Work
PTSD can cause symptoms such as difficulty concentrating, sleep problems, and trouble with organizing thoughts. All of these issues and more can make it difficult for a person with PTSD to work effectively or even make it to work. For people with avoidant PTSD, it may be hard to drive or take public transportation to get to work.
Further issues arise if the person’s workplace is somehow connected to the original trauma. For example, combat veterans may fundamentally change their military careers due to PTSD. This may include not returning to the military out of avoidance, or staying in because they feel isolated outside of the military. Someone who was assaulted at work may similarly need to change career paths in order to avoid triggers.
3. PTSD Affects How and Where You Live
Unfortunately, people with untreated PTSD experience higher-than-average rates of homelessness. Without steady work and relationships for support, people with PTSD can find themselves without money for rent or anyplace else to go. However, even those who do not experience homelessness can have fundamental shifts in their lifestyles due to PTSD.
Left untreated, PTSD can cause people to depend on drugs and alcohol, isolate themselves from others, and avoid things that once made them happy. It affects every facet of life, from where someone buys a cup of coffee in the morning to how they sleep at night.
4. PTSD Can Change Your Outlook on the World
People who live with PTSD often experience negative thoughts about themselves and the world in general. Even people who were once optimists may start believing that the glass is half-empty. In severe cases, people with PTSD may believe that life is not worth living. It’s important for anyone with suicidal thoughts to seek immediate medical attention.
How Teletherapy Can Help
First and foremost, teletherapy allows people with PTSD to access the benefits of talk therapy without leaving their homes. This makes it much easier for patients to access care since just leaving the home can expose them to triggers.
Teletherapy can help people with PTSD:
- Identify the ways PTSD is affecting your life more specifically
- Understand that the disorder is to blame
- Find ways to heal and move forward
Teletherapy can serve as its own treatment for milder cases of PTSD, or it can be part of a broader treatment plan.