Can You Get PTSD Without Trauma?

PTSD — or post-traumatic stress disorder — is typically associated with traumatic life-events. So, does that mean you need to experience trauma to develop PTSD?

PTSD impairs the ability to function normally in day-to-day life. It triggers panic attacks, nightmares, and flashbacks to the terrifying events that spark the disorder in the first place. Around 8% of adults in the United States will experience the effects of PTSD during their life. Though the most common cause of PTSD is experiencing trauma, others also face the impact without a traumatic, standalone event.

For this reason, it cannot be said that you must face extreme trauma to have PTSD. Many of those who exhibit symptoms may do so as a reaction to high-anxiety or stress.

What is Trauma?

Generally, trauma is classified as an emotional and psychological response to an extremely frightening and distressing event. If something or someone threatens your life, the life of a loved one, it is an extremely traumatic experience.

Also, if someone threatens your physical integrity or that of someone you know, that would be considered traumatic. That said, there are many different opinions on what is classified as trauma. If you look at the above definition, though, it becomes pretty apparent that you don’t need to go through something as extreme to experience PTSD.

Non-Traumatic Events That Cause PTSD

Extreme trauma is not the only factor that can lead to PTSD. As part of the diagnosis for PTSD, there must be a specific event that triggered it. Many non-traumatic events can cause lasting mental and psychological damage. Here are just a few of the many experiences that may lead to PTSD without severe trauma.

  1. Divorce

Divorce is one of the most common non-traumatic events you can experience that leads to PTSD. You may go through a divorce yourself or have witnessed the divorce of your parents or loved ones. There is no threat to life, no abuse, and no loss of physical integrity, yet the psychological impacts can still be severe.

  1. Problems at Work

Issues in your job can also lead to PTSD. If you feel consistently undervalued or struggle in your workplace, you may develop symptoms associated with PTSD. If you experience prolonged feelings of unworthiness or have a bad relationship with your colleagues, it can have long-term psychological effects. You might feel stressed out or anxious whenever you go to your workplace, and that takes its toll when you’re in that situation every day.

  1. Loss of a Close Friendship

The end of a meaningful, close friendship can sometimes cause as much grief as a death. While you can heal from grief over time, it sometimes can develop into more severe and long-lasting issues. You may begin to feel anxiety in all your friendships and start self-sabotaging in other relationships in your life. Though losing a friend may not seem traditionally traumatic, it can still cause very real symptoms of PTSD.

Other non-traumatic events may trigger PTSD, such as sickness in a loved one or imprisonment. It’s important to realize the symptoms of PTSD so you can identify them when they begin to present themselves, even if you haven’t experienced a traumatic event.

Treating PTSD

Regardless of how you developed PTSD, there are treatment options. Therapy is most likely the first that comes to mind, and there are medication options as well. Both have varying degrees of effectiveness. But there is a treatment option that has a pretty high success rate and can relieve symptoms for a long period of time: the stellate ganglion block (SGB) injection for PTSD treatment.

The SGB treatment for PTSD consists of an injection of local anesthesia administered on the stellate ganglion, a cluster of nerves on the neck. This cluster is part of the body’s sympathetic nervous system and triggers the “fight or flight” instinct in the brain. People who suffer from PTSD have an overactive stellate ganglion that constantly sends “fight or flight” signals to the brain, overwhelming it.

The SGB for PTSD injection treatment helps quiet the stellate ganglion. To accomplish this, the SGB doctor performs the procedure while guided by X-ray, ensuring that the anesthetic is placed on the proper spot. Results are usually quick; the neck injection for PTSD often relieves PTSD symptoms in as little as 30 minutes.

The results of the PTSD treatment injection can last for years. Once its effects subside, it can be re-applied by a PTSD doctor near you. The SGB injection to treat PTSD has a high success rate, meaning that the reapplication has a very high chance of working as well as before.

Whether your PTSD is the result of trauma or not, you do have treatment options. To find out what is the best treatment option, seek out a clinic that offers an SGB injection for PTSD near you.

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