In many other newsletters, I have written extensively about Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and recovery. Much of learning to heal from, or live with, PTSD has to do with learning to live a gentle life that is less stressful. You can read about PTSD and the “Living the Gentle Life” series of articles in past newsletters and on our website.
However, PTSD as a stress disorder is an indicator of extreme stress. If you have it, that means you have suffered an emotional, physical, spiritual, sexual, and/or psychological trauma that was severe enough, or long enough in duration, to significantly impact your health.
Having a stress disorder means two things:
- You were significantly stressed or traumatized.
- The stress and/or trauma has affected your functioning level.
PTSD can be short-term and resolved with treatment within a few months, or it can be chronic and life-long, often reactivated by MORE stress or MORE traumatic events. In my case, I have chronic PTSD that is reactivated when I am worn down, too stressed, not living a gentle life, or when other challenging life events reactivate it. A few years ago I lost my mother, my foster son, my mother in-law and my sister, all in a very short timeframe. Losses that are coupled close together can have a similar effect.
With PTSD, whether it’s short- or long-term, you are likely to have a reduced level of productivity. You can have impaired concentration or sleep disruptions, become hyper-vigilant and have an exaggerated startle reflex. You can have anxiety mixed with depression, intrusive thoughts, emotional numbing, flashbacks and panic.
None of this lends itself to being able to work well in a consistent or productive way. Even if you are unemployed, the quality of your daily life is disrupted and your life productivity in your day-to-day living is reduced. This is why people often need treatment for PTSD, which could be short- or long-term treatment in the form of weekly counseling, group counseling, inpatient treatment, or any combination of these.
PTSD as a stress disorder has its long-term outcomes in medical conditions as do many other stress disorders. Unresolved stress and trauma (whether it’s PTSD or everyday stress) can, and most often does, manifest into medical conditions. Part of seeking rehabilitative alimony in court with a PTSD diagnosis is because of the loss of productivity and because of the long-term effects on your health. Now more than twenty-five years after the murder of my father, I am continuing to see the medical outcome of chronic PTSD in my health.
Often in court, women are unaware they can have their attorneys argue for rehabilitation alimony or medical coverage for treatment FOR THE FUTURE. So many don’t realize how their health could be impacted now and for years to come. Stress and PTSD have many long-term medical possibilities, including:
Autoimmune disorders: fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, Epstein-Barr, lupus, multiple sclerosis
- Various forms of arthritis
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Migraines and TMJ
- Female reproductive problems
- Ongoing anxiety and depression
- Thyroid and adrenal fatigue
- Sleep disorders
- And, most commonly, a combination of these
Settling your divorce or court case with the pathological and NOT considering the future medical outcome of the stress he produced in YOUR BODY is unwise. We do know that many of these stress disorders and/or PTSD will continue on long after he is gone and in the end, affect your health in some way because, at the heart of the medical conditions that develop, is adrenal fatigue.
Adrenal fatigue is the culprit most likely associated with medical disorders that go on to develop. Treating and managing adrenal fatigue could actually prevent many of the disorders that will later develop because of untreated and unmanaged fatigue of the adrenals. Here is a link on the topic and the book from which we took the adrenal fatigue quiz: www.adrenalfatigue.org/
Chronic stress wears out the adrenal glands that support other healthy functioning in your body. When stress, poor diet, lack of sleep and unresolved problems wear out the adrenal glands, your body is in a downward spiral and cannot heal from stress or PTSD. To find out if you have adrenal fatigue, here take the quiz at www.adrenalfatigue.org/take-the-adrenal-fatigue-quiz.
If you do have adrenal fatigue, this is a stepping-stone to other medical conditions if not treated immediately. More importantly, your body has started down that path. If you are in a court case, please advise your attorney of this disorder as you may be able to argue for your need for continued medical coverage and care regarding stress disorders.
(**If we can support you in your recovery process, please let us know. The Institute is the largest provider of recovery-based services for survivors of pathological love relationships. Information about pathological love relationships is in our award-winning book, Women Who Love Psychopaths, and is also available in our retreats, 1:1s, or phone sessions. See the website for more information).