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Is it Anxiety or PTSD?

Left untreated, trauma can manifest as other mental health issues, including PTSD and anxiety. This is because untreated trauma can lead to changes in the brain and change your behavior. While trauma often mimics anxiety, it can actually develop into an anxiety disorder if left unaddressed. It is important to learn how to recognize the signs of untreated trauma and explore options for treatment.

How Untreated Trauma Changes the Brain

When you experience trauma, your brain goes into “survival mode.” This means that the brain’s primary focus is on keeping you alive, which can come at the expense of other functions. For example, the part of the brain responsible for processing emotions and memories may be suppressed to allow you to cope with the immediate threat. Over time, this can also lead to long-term changes in the brain. 

Left untreated, trauma can cause memory, concentration, and mood regulation problems. It can also lead to more serious mental health conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Therefore, seeking trauma treatment as soon as possible is essential to minimize the risk of long-term damage.

Signs of Untreated Trauma

Untreated trauma can significantly impact your physical and mental health. Some of the signs of untreated trauma include:

  • Flashbacks: A flashback is an involuntary, re-experiencing of a past traumatic event. Flashbacks can be triggered by anything associated with the original trauma, such as a sound, smell, or sight. They can also be triggered by stress or fatigue. 
  • Nightmares and difficulty sleeping: When your brain goes into survival mode, you can experience a number of changes in the brain, including increased levels of cortisol and norepinephrine. These changes can cause disruptions in sleep. 
  • Social withdrawal: When you experience trauma, you may feel disconnected from your world and retreat into yourself. This can manifest as a lack of interest in hobbies or activities you used to enjoy, withdrawing from social interactions, or avoiding people and places that remind you of the traumatic event.
  • Depression: After a traumatic event, you may go through a period of intense grief and sadness. If the suffering is not adequately resolved, it can lead to depression. Untreated trauma can also cause problems with concentration and energy levels. It can lead to feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, and helplessness. 
  • Self-destructive behaviors: This can take many forms, from self-harm and substance abuse to risky behaviors like driving too fast or having unsafe sex. You may engage in these behaviors as a way of numbing the pain of your trauma, or do so in an attempt to take control of your life. Either way, self-destructive behavior is a sign that you are not coping with your trauma in a healthy way. If left untreated, it can lead to further damage and even suicide

If you or someone you know is exhibiting the signs listed above, it is important to seek professional help. Untreated trauma can have a profound and lasting impact on mental and emotional health. 

If you are unsure where to turn for help, many resources are available, such as hotlines and online support groups. Do not suffer in silence – reach out for help today. With proper treatment, it is possible to heal the wounds of the past and move forward in life.

Anxiety vs. Trauma

Anxiety and trauma are two very different things, though untreated trauma can lead to anxiety. Anxiety is the body’s response to stress, typically in the form of fear or worry. It is what you might feel before a big exam or a first date. 

Trauma, on the other hand, is an emotional response to a deeply distressing or disturbing event. It can be something that happened to you directly or something you witnessed. If you experience trauma, you may often struggle to process your emotions and may feel disconnected from your world. In addition, trauma can lead to anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues if left untreated.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and anxiety symptoms can be challenging to differentiate. PTSD includes a response in which you have intense feelings or reactions after experiencing an event with harm (such as abuse). 

It is essential to seek help if you are struggling to cope with a traumatic event. With the proper support, you can begin to heal the wounds of trauma and live a healthy, happy life.

Why It Matters

It is important to correctly diagnose anxiety or untreated trauma before beginning any treatment plan. Anxiety and untreated trauma can share many symptoms, so it is crucial to seek professional help to identify the root cause of the issue correctly. 

Once a proper diagnosis has been made, different treatments are available for each condition. For example, anxiety can be treated with therapy, medication, and lifestyle changes, while untreated trauma often requires more intensive treatment, such as EMDR or prolonged exposure therapy. It is essential to seek professional help to find the best treatment plan for your individual needs.

Mental Help Treatment With the Phoenix

Anxiety and trauma are often spoken about in the same breath, but it’s important to understand the difference between the two. Anxiety is a response to a perceived threat. It’s the body’s way of preparing to fight or flee. This means that people with anxiety may experience symptoms like a racing heart, sweating, and feeling tense. Untreated trauma, on the other hand, is the result of actual danger. It can happen after a car accident, for example, or during a natural disaster. People who have experienced trauma may have flashbacks, nightmares, and difficulty sleeping. They may also feel numb or disconnected from the world around them. If you’re experiencing symptoms of anxiety or trauma, it’s important to seek professional help.

[mk_blockquote style=”line-style” font_family=”none”]A therapist can help you understand your symptoms and develop coping strategies. For more information, call The Phoenix Recovery Center today at (801) 438-3185.[/mk_blockquote]

The Phoenix Recovery Center
489 W. South Jordan Pkwy
Suite 400
South Jordan, UT