PTSD and anger.

PTSD and anger – ever wondered how they are connected? PTSD occurs when a person is faced with events of threatening or catastrophic nature. This impact can be either long-term or short-term. This condition develops if the experienced events were dangerous to a patient’s life, a person was seriously injured, or witnessed how this happened to others (for example, saw the dead bodies or injured people).

Nowadays, due to the fact that a lot of people are not just watching images on television, but listen carefully and experience all the extreme events (epidemics, military operations, war) at the TV screens and computers, hear the dramatic stories of the eyewitnesses, then, one way or another, many of them may suffer from PTSD.

What are the symptoms of PTSD?

PTSD is manifested through exaggerated startle reactions, decreased interest in previously valued activities and a sense of detachment from other people. A person becomes unable to feel love, friendship, sympathy and loses a sense of perspective, has no expectations about career, marriage, children or further life. Physical symptoms of PTSD are manifested in sleep problems, increased perceptual awareness, difficulty concentrating, loss of appetite, irritability or outbursts of anger.

Anger is an active “player” in PTSD

Anger, fear and other typical for this condition emotions are associated with the large amounts of adrenaline, released in response to high levels of stress in the body. Adrenaline is a permanent companion of such emotions as fear, anger, severe irritation. When a person experiences a mental overload, this hormone gets into a game.

Due to a powerful adrenaline rush people experience the “energy surge”. Adrenaline stimulates the central nervous system, producing the mental energy and activity. It also causes a psychological mobilization.

Adrenaline can raise the blood glucose level; under its influence the organs and organ systems need more oxygen. The blood pressure rises, the heart beats faster and the digestive organs, on the contrary, slow down their work. After spending a large amount of adrenaline, the cardiovascular system begins to suffer and panic attacks may occur as a result of fear and anger suppression, and so on.

Anger (rage, fury) is one of the major symptoms in PTSD patients in general and in those, who suffer from PTSD in result of military operations and terror in particular. These people often feel uncontrollable fits of anger toward themselves, others and the world. Many of them feel frustrated, abandoned or betrayed.

Everyone express their anger in a different way. Some express it verbally, others become aggressive toward inanimate objects or people, even the loved ones. Very often people, suffering from PTSD, feel that they can not control their anger and they are scared by intensity of this feeling. As a result, after the attacks of anger comes repentance and a sense of guilt.

As the uncontrolled anger is anti-social, people with PTSD often have difficulties at work and in relationships with their friends and family.

The ability of government institutions and the inner circle to consider the complexity of the situation is an important step on the way to recovery of PTSD patients. Acknowledgement softens the anger. It strengthens the ties between a man and his environment, and, therefore one needs a support of the family, friends and society to cope with the trauma.

Image by Isengardt (CC BY 2.0)