Stress affects everyone in different ways but it is always triggered by an event or a culmination of events/happenings of some kind.
I describe stress in myself as follows:
Try to think that everybody has a ‘Stress -tank’ for use of a better word.
“Normal people (I use that not to offend anyone) work all day and their body absorbs stress like a sponge squeezing it out at regular intervals into their ‘stress-tank’.
At the end of the day, they go home to their partners or family and start to relax. Perhaps they will play some sport or go to the pub and laugh about their ‘bad’ day. This has the effect of empting their stress tank and with a good nights sleep they are refreshed and ready for another day (no matter what is thrown their way).
Now due to PTSD, I do not have that ability to relax and empty my ‘stress-tank’.
This is due to the fact that I:
- This stops me socialising with my work colleagues.
- do not have the ‘will power’ or ‘courage’ to go to a gym (or pub) and get fit (or make friends)..
- do not have any friends to play sport with.
- feel lonely and isolated.
- do not sleep very well and have flash backs or bad dreams.
This means that my ‘stress-tank’ can not be emptied so it continues to fill until it is at the over flowing point. At this point it takes only the slightest little problem or event to trigger me off. Now I can have one of many extreme problems, ranging from:
- Anxiety or Panic Attacks.
- Lose my temper and start to shout at people.
- Start uncontrollably shaking.
- Sweating (sometimes soaking my cloths).
- Have irrational thought processes.
- Become very irritable.
- Act in an uncharacteristic manner towards people.
All of these and more are common problems that I experience and I am sure that you can relate to some, if not all of these and even some of your own not highlighted above?”
It is difficult sometimes to pin-point the triggering event or events. These could be as already mentioned a culmination of things not just one specific event.
It is however useful if you can, to try and think of what caused you to become stressed and log this so that you can find a pattern which can be broken at a later stage.
You will tend to find that it is your partner or work mates who will spot the signs before you do. There are traits which become apparent to others but you can neither see them for yourself and in most cases you will deny that you are acting or behaving differently from normal.
I have put together a list of warning signs which might help you identify when you are becoming stressed but do not realise it. These are:
- Increased irritability.
- Loss of appetite or overeating.
- Become markedly more:
- Loss in interest in sex (or recourse to casual sex).
- Loss of sleep.
- Unsociable behaviour.
- Drinking or smoking more.
- Inability to concentrate.
- Worrying about all sorts of things, feeling tense.
- a culmination of bodily symptoms such as:
- Odd aches and pains
Just for a laugh you could try the
“TEN COMMANDMENTS FOR REDUCING STRESS”
- Thou shalt NOT be perfect, nor even try to be.
- Thou shalt NOT try to be all things to all people.
- Thou shalt leave things undone that ought to be done.
- Thou shalt NOT spread thyself too thinly.
- Thou shalt learn to say “NO“.
- Thou shalt schedule time for thyself, and thy supportive network.
- Thou shalt switch off and do nothing regularly.
- Thou shalt be boring, untidy, inelegant and unattractive at times.
- Thou shalt NOT even feel guilty.
- Especially, thou shalt NOT be thine own worst enemy, but be thy best friend.