PTSD and anxiety disorders are commonly found to co-occur. There are quite a few possible reasons why individuals suffering from PTSD are likelier to suffer from anxiety fears. A number of studies have revealed that around 17% individuals who have suffered from PTSD at some time or other in life also had Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) at some point. The rate is quite higher than can be found in 4 – 6% of the general population that suffers from GAD. Many individuals having a history of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder are six times likelier to have a history of GAD or a tendency to suffer from the condition than people not having PTSD. Knowing how PTSD affects anxiety and vice versa is important to choose the best treatment.
Why Are SAD and PTSD Related?
Various theories have been proposed for explaining the relationship between Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) and PTSD. Firstly, patients with PTSD symptoms can feel slightly different, as if they are unable to connect to or relate to others. Those having PTSD can have problems in interacting or communicating with others, as they fear being exposed to triggers of trauma again. These can feed SAD development.
Many individuals with PTSD also feel a lot of guilt, self-blame, and shame. These feelings can result in Social Anxiety Disorder. Evidence points out that Social Anxiety Disorder in PTSD sufferers arises from depression.
Those suffering from PTSD often suffer from depression, which can result in a lack of motivation, social withdrawal and isolation, which can result in SAD development.
In fact, PTSD happens to one of the various types of anxiety disorders. In case you suffer from PTSD, you can be at higher risk of developing various types of anxiety disorders, which can consist of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), social anxiety disorder or panic disorder.
Why Might GAD and PTSD Co-Exist?
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) and PTSD are often experienced together and are co-linked. GAD can manifest in the form of too much worry or anxiety, even in those situations that involve minimum risk. These worries can include concerns about the health of self, health of loved ones or job responsibilities. For people with GAD, daily life circumstances can cause a lot of worries. For GAD sufferers, you can suffer from symptoms like impaired concentration, fatigue, restlessness or edginess. Some other signs can include:
- Problems in sleeping
- Muscular pain
Various studies have revealed that around 17% individuals suffering from or having a history of PTSD also suffer from GAD. Different theories can explain why GAD is closely associated to PTSD. In case you have PTSD, you are likelier to worry – which is a primary aspect of Generalized Anxiety Disorder.
More research has to be conducted for understanding the relationship between GAD and PTSD in a better manner. However, some theories explain why there is a co-occurrence of these two disorders. Firstly, when compared to individuals not having PTSD, those being diagnosed with PTSD are likelier to worry – which is the prominent and most defining feature of GAD. Worry is seen to arouse the body, and PTSD sufferers who experience acute hyper-arousal symptoms are especially likely to depend on various coping techniques that can lower those arousal symptoms.
Those who tend to worry often report that their concerns can distract them from things that are more depressing in nature. Due to this reason, PTSD sufferers often use their worries as a manner of going some distance from negative feelings and thoughts – even if it is short-term.
The relation between GAD and PTSD is also explained by the fact that the two conditions arise from similar beginnings. Just like the experience of traumatic events raises PTSD risks, GAD risks are also increased. Those with GAD are likelier to have experienced a traumatic event in the past, as compared to individuals not suffering from GAD.
Lastly, it is also very essential to consider that both disorders can have a shared biological cause. Some individuals are also generally vulnerable for developing GAD, as well as PTSD, after suffering from a traumatic experience.
How to Start Overcoming PTSD Anxiety and Symptoms?
Forgive yourself and be kind to your suffering. You should use the right resources to get over your PTSD and anxiety symptoms. It is great to consider professional therapy. You can also get some amazing self-help options to save money on medical assistance and enjoy the convenience of your own time and place.