🎭 PTSD-Bipolar Connection: How Trauma Can Trigger Mental Illness 🎭

Triggers of PTSD and Bipolar
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In this day and age, mental health is failing; more and more each day. Life is tough and so is PTSD and Bipolar. The depression can cause intense behavior quickly. Leaving effects hard to manage. Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, causes dramatic shifts in mood and energy levels that can greatly affect your relationships and how you think about yourself and the world around you. A person with bipolar disorder may experience mania, hypomania or depression, in which case he or she may develop PTSD and other mental illnesses from the stress of constantly shifting moods, thinking patterns and behaviors. If you have PTSD and bipolar disorder or another mental illness, it’s important to understand the relationship between these conditions so you can find effective ways to manage your symptoms.

What is PTSD?

✔ According to the American Psychiatric Association, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that develops after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event. The natural response to an event like this would be feelings of anxiety, anger, and sadness. However, if these emotions last for weeks or months and interfere with your everyday life, you may have PTSD.

What is Bipolar Disorder?

✔ Bipolar disorder is a mental illness characterized by mood swings. Moods in bipolar disorder can alternate between very high, or manic, and low, or depressed. Some people also experience a type of mood called mixed, which features symptoms of both mania and depression. People with bipolar disorder may also have a recurring depressive state known as major depression. About 5% of the population suffers from this condition at some point in their life.

What Is the Link Between Bipolar Disorder and PTSD?

People with bipolar disorder may experience mood swings that trigger periods of intense depression and mania, or manic behavior. They might also exhibit symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), including flashbacks and nightmares. These mental health disorders share certain genetic factors, but it is unclear how trauma causes one condition to develop into the other. Many people in the United States have experienced trauma, whether through violence in their communities or natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina or 9/11. This is not limited to trauma comes in different forms. One may experience several symptoms related to different mental illnesses.

Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder

A person with bipolar disorder cycles between two extremes of mood. This is called an episode. When the person has high mood, this is called a manic episode. When the person has low mood, this is called a depressive episode. One in every five people with bipolar disorder will have a history of drug or alcohol abuse and it’s been linked to difficulty managing life stressors as well as genetics. Additionally, relationships are one of the most common triggers for episodes in people who suffer from bipolar disorder and one third of people with bipolar disorder report that traumatic events in their past caused their mental illness.

Symptoms of PTSD

✔ PTSD is characterized by three broad clusters of symptoms, as defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) by the American Psychiatric Association. The first cluster involves persistent re-experiencing of traumatic events through flashbacks or recurrent thoughts, which will usually take the form of flashbacks or unwanted, intrusive thoughts about the event.

Triggers For Depression

✔Depression is often the result of some other underlying mental or physical health issue, but it can also come about in those who have never experienced anything in their lives to be clinically considered traumatic. The feelings of hopelessness and general unhappiness that accompany depression are caused by a number of things including brain chemistry, genetics, and outside factors such as childhood trauma. It is also highly dependent on what an individual has been exposed to on a day-to-day basis – we’ve all had bad days, weeks, months.

Triggers For Mania/Hypomania

✔Mania, hypomania, and other mood episodes are often triggered by extreme emotion. It’s most common for these highs to occur in response to an intense positive event or a sudden decrease in stress. That’s why it’s important to keep a bipolar episode from getting worse by avoiding any activity that triggers mania like excessive spending or sexual activity

When Life Feels Like a Distant Memory

You may be experiencing the symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder if you can’t stop replaying the traumatic event(s) in your mind and have nightmares about it. It is normal to feel grief or anxiety for a few months after the incident, but these feelings should get better over time. If they are getting worse or you are finding that your life seems like a distant memory, then professional help is recommended. Talk to your mental health care provider to find out more. They will also provide information on how best to live with bipolar disorder while minimizing triggers. Learn how to manage intense emotions before they become manic episodes by being aware of your mood and taking proactive steps. Create a supportive network who understand what you’re going through so that you don’t end up pushing them away with anger, frustration, or negativity.

When Anger Gets Out of Control

✔There is a significant link between bipolar disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. Studies have shown that up to half of people with bipolar disorder also have PTSD, with 40% reporting moderate to severe symptoms. The connection between the two disorders has been attributed to the ways in which trauma affects us in ways we might not realize. A person who suffers from PTSD may experience major depression or mania when confronted with an event that triggers a traumatic memory. A person who suffers from bipolar disorder may go into depression when they are unable to process their emotions because they were blocked out during the trauma. People who suffer from both disorders report extreme mood swings and nightmares triggered by memories of past events.

Coping with PTSD and bipolar

✔It’s true that bipolar disorder can have a traumatic effect on individuals who are struggling with it. By its very nature, manic episodes can be stressful and upsetting because they disrupt day-to-day routines, often cause a person to behave in uncharacteristic ways, and (when occurring over a prolonged period) may result in changes to one’s relationships with family members, friends, and co-workers. A person living with bipolar disorder may also feel increased shame or fear as symptoms of the condition worsen. On the other hand, people with PTSD sometimes experience an episode of mania as part of their post-traumatic stress disorder. If this is your situation, you might find it helpful to discuss your options for treatment – including possible medications – with your doctor or mental health professional.

Until our beautiful minds meet again.  Be safe out there.  Many blessings and much love.  Remember Everyday Minds Matter – Della 💞🦋