PTSD and Bipolar Disorder can be partners and look a lot like each other
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
is NOT a genetic disorder like bipolar disorder.
It comes into our lives based on
HOW WE RESPOND to a traumatic event.
When PTSD partners with bipolar disorder, it can cause mania and depression without any specific triggers in your life.
PTSD itself is a trigger.
PTSD is a response to an event that causes intense fear, horror or helplessness in which there is an actual or perceived threat to our lives or serious injury of self or others.
Symptoms of PTSD
RECOLLECTIONS: images, thoughts, and perceptions that are recurrent and intrustive or distressing
DREAMS of the event
ACTING or FEELING as if the event were reoccurring…RELIVING the experience (this can look like mania)
ILLUSIONS or HALLUCINATIONS seeing and sensing things that are not really there or happening
FLASHBACKS feeling as though you are re-living an earlier time.
INTENSE RESPONSE to CUES that resemble traumatic events….THIS WILL CAUSE MANIA AND DEPRESSION.
How PTSD Looks in Real Life
PERSISTENT AVOIDANCE – avoid thoughts and feelings, conversations, activities and places associated with the trauma
NUMBING of RESPONSIVENESS – shutting down or not responding to any triggers of fear.
INABILITY TO RECALL important aspects of the trauma
FEELING DETACHED or ESTRANGED from others (causes isolation and the loss of relationships)
RESTRICTED AFFECT – inability or difficulty to feel and/or express emotion (this looks like depression)
EXPECTATION TO NOT LIVE A NORMAL LIFE. (This can look like suicidality, mania or depression)
PTSD causes INCREASED AROUSAL
SLEEP DIFFICULTY -Difficulty falling and staying asleep (big problem with bipolar disorder)
IRRITABILITY-outbursts of anger (may look like mania)
DIFFICULTY CONCENTRATING (can look like mania, depression, or ADHD)
HYPERVIGILENCE – obsession (this can look like mania)
EXAGGERATED STARTLE RESPONSE – responding to a small fear trigger as though it is incredibly scary to you.
WHEN PTSD IS DIAGNOSED:
PTSD is diagnosed when these symptoms begin within 4 weeks of experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event AND if the symptoms persist BEYOND 4 WEEKS.
PTSD is an ANXIETY DISORDER that has depressive and manic symptoms.
There are many people who have PTSD and are misdiagnosed with Bipolar Disorder.
There are also many people who have BOTH bipolar disorder and PTSD.