Stress, did you know that survivors of child abuse can suffer from PTSD symptoms comparable to soldiers in frontline combat ?
Stress is the body’s reaction to any change that requires an adjustment or response. The body reacts to these changes with physical, mental, and emotional responses. Stress is a normal part of life. You can experience stress from your environment, your body, and your thoughts.
Stress – the good the bad and the ugly. We often hear and use the word stress, normally in a way that indicates that we see it as a bad thing. Stress however is a normal, and often healthy, part of life. Good stress, or eustress is what motivates us to do certain things, such as get out of bed to be at work on time. It’s that nagging little voice that reminds us that we will have to face undesirable consequences if we don’t take certain actions.
Distress is of course the feeling we get when a situation becomes upsetting or painful to us. Post traumatic stress is the term used for a range of symptoms that become evident following one or more traumatic incidents in our lives. This too is very normal and healthy – of course we react to those situations.
It is when that reaction or distress lasts for a longer period and impacts adversely on our day to day lives that we begin to look at it as a disorder, something that we might need help to deal with. Many of us can get through several traumatic events without too much assistance, then find that we suddenly ‘crash’ – this is because the affects of trauma are often cumulative.
Post traumatic stress disorder can actually be prevented in cases where appropriate support and intervention is provided soon after the event. We know however that child abuse is not always something we know about straight away. Keeping communication lines open with our kids and being mindful of behavioural changes can help us provide them with what they need, when they need it but unfortunately there is no magic formula that will suit every situation.
Whether you are suffering from, or supporting someone suffering from, any type of distress or stress disorder, it is vital to remember that the person is not ‘crazy’ or abnormal in any way. It is all simply a normal reaction to an abnormal situation. Help is available too – in many forms such as us here at FACAA, your GP, local mental health services, local community health services, Beyond Blue, The Black Dog Institute, Lifeline and Headspace just to name a few. Please note, we here are volunteers and as such may not always see messages straight away. We are also not mental health professionals. Should you or someone you know be at risk of self harm or suicide, please call 000 immediately (GE)
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