Let Down Effect vs. Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

Have you ever successfully fought your way through a stressful situation only to become sick afterwards? Have you ever gotten ill while on vacation?Let Down Effect is a post stress illness – not to be confused with Post-traumatic Stress Disorder.

Post-traumatic Stress vs. Let Down

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is considered an anxiety disorder. It can occur after experiencing a traumatic event that produces an intense emotional response. This psychological trauma may or may not include physical injuries. Even the most minor of injuries or events can lead to PTSD, especially if the individual experiences feelings of physical vulnerability.

People suffering from PTSD often experience repeated flashbacks to the traumatizing event. They may avoid anything that reminds them and they may shy away from the world in general – physically and emotionally.

PTSD may cause chronic problems, such as headaches, sweating, palpitations, muscle spasms, gastrointestinal disturbances, insomnia and fatigue. These individuals may be easily startled, constantly anxious or depressed. They may suffer from unpredictable bouts of aggressive or explosive behavior, have difficulty with concentration or task completion, exhibit impaired memory and experience occasional blackouts.

Symptoms tend to recur or intensify in situations, which trigger memories of the original stress event. The duration of this disorder varies and relapses sometimes occur. Early recognition and treatment can facilitate recovery.

Let Down Syndrome, on the other hand, is a post stress illness. Simply put, it is your body’s inability to ward off infections after a stressful event – hence, “let down”.

Stress causes the body to release a number of chemicals, or stress hormones. These chemicals activate your immune system to allow your body to fight illness. When the stress ends, the immune system pulls back.

Elevated levels of these hormones such as cortisol (typically present in stressed individuals), interferes with the immune response, thus opening an avenue for a number of infections, commonly upper respiratory infections, colds and flu.

During stress, the body expends a lot of energy. With no chance to refuel and rebuild, physical symptoms such as fatigue, insomnia, anxiety, tension and even depression commonly set in.

Stress can create or exacerbate health problems. Chemical reservoirs, namely prostaglandins, left over from a stress response, produce inflammation and can trigger pain cycles such as an exacerbation of arthritis or migraines.

Stress can cause behaviors that contribute to the development of disease. Stress behaviors such as change in eating patterns (overeating, under eating and unhealthy eating), smoking, alcohol and drug use, all place further stress on the body.

Combating Let Down

1.Maintain regular eating patterns. Curb emotional or binge eating. Seek healthy alternatives for comfort foods. Make sure you eat at least three well-balanced meals per day. A consistent healthy diet is essential for overall health.

2.Boost up activity. To activate immune system and prevent slowing or stalling of this protective mechanism, try short bursts of activity. March in place for five minutes or talk a short walk.

3.Unwind. Learn relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing or meditation – it can decrease the increased heart rates and respiratory rates of the stress response.

4.Use your brain. Pick up a crossword puzzle or try a brain-teaser. Sometimes concentrating on something else for a while will help you see things more clearly and promote increased relaxation.

5.Get a massage. Massage can reduce cortisol levels while decreasing perceived stress and anxiety – not to mention relax tension and muscle spasms.

6.Take a mental vacation. Visualize a peaceful place that brings you happiness. This will allow you to suppress the “fight or flight” instinct common with stress events.

7.Don’t hesitate to ask for help. The first step to overcoming stress is to recognize it. Counseling or medications, such as antidepressants, can assist you in combating the unhealthy effects of prolonged or extreme stress.

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