Can PTSD Cause Brain Fog?
The Effects Of TraumaTrauma Emotional and psychological trauma is the result of extraordinarily stressful events that shatter your sense of security, making you feel helpless in a dangerous world. Psychological trauma can leave you struggling with upsetting emotions, memories, and anxiety that won’t go away. It can also leave you feeling numb, disconnected, and unable to trust other people. Traumatic experiences often involve a threat to life or safety or other emotional shocks, but any situation that leaves you feeling overwhelmed and isolated can result in trauma, even if it doesn’t involve physical harm. It’s not the objective circumstances that determine whether an event is traumatic, but your subjective emotional experience of the event. The more frightened and helpless you feel, the more likely you are to be traumatized. Trauma requires treatment, either through counseling or therapy or through trauma-oriented support programs, such as those offered by SCARS. Can Linger – Brain Fog Is One Of Them
Thank you to PsychCentral for portions of this information.
About Brain Fog – if you sometimes lack mental clarity and feel fatigued, you may be experiencing PTSD-related brain fog. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can arise after you experience a traumatic event.
There are many symptoms, including nightmares, flashbacksFLASHBACKS A flashback is reexperiencing a previous traumatic experience as if it were actually happening in that moment. It includes reactions that often resemble the client’s reactions during the trauma. Flashback experiences are very brief and typically last only a few seconds, but the emotional aftereffects linger for hours or longer. Flashbacks are commonly initiated by a trigger, but not necessarily., and panic attacks, which can occur spontaneously or when something reminds you of the trauma.
Because of its broad effects on the nervous system, PTSD can cause some less well-known symptoms, too, including dissociation, brain fog, and physical pain.
The Link Between Ptsd And Brain Fog
Experiencing trauma can affect your body and mind in various ways. If you’re living with the aftereffects of trauma, you might notice a slow, sluggish mental state known as brain fog getting in the way of your personal or work life.
What Is Brain Fog?
As the name suggests, brain fog is when you’re unable to think clearly. You might experience:
- spacing out or being unable to focus
- feeling disconnected from your surroundings
- difficulty with memory
- trouble keeping up with conversations
- a short attention span
- losing your train of thought
- feeling disoriented
Brain fog isn’t a condition on its own. Instead, it’s a symptom with a range of possible causes, one of which can be PTSD.
Brain fog can make even simple tasks like grocery shopping very difficult: navigating the car park, remembering a list of items to buy, switching attention between products and prices, and reading ingredients can be confusing, overwhelming and exhausting.
How Can Trauma Cause Brain Fog?
PTSD and brain fog have something in common: inflammation. PTSD can lead to inflammation in the brain (neuroinflammation), which can contribute to brain fog.
Inflammation is a known contributing factor to physical health problems like cancer and heart disease — so it’s no surprise that PTSD-related neuroinflammation can lead to brain changes, as reported in a 2020 reviewTrusted Source.
The National Center for PTSD describes the relationship between inflammation and PTSD as bidirectional causal, which means the two cause or contribute to each other. They also identify a link between PTSD and autoimmune disorders, which research shows are also inflammation-driven.
Brain Fog And Nervous System Changes
Your sympathetic nervous system responds to trauma with a fight, flight, freezeFreeze Trauma Freeze Response: While fight-or-flight is the better-known way humans respond to certain stressful stimuli, the additional less known third response "FREEZE", was not as widely studied until this last decade. Freezing as a response to a threat might seem effective, a sort of “playing dead” in the face of danger; however, in humans freezing manifests as an inability to communicate, react, make decisions, or take any action of self-preservation or defense., or fawn response. This response protects you by preparing your body for action against a threat. During this response, your body releases the stress hormone cortisol.
At the right time and in the right amounts, cortisol can be extremely helpful. For example, it can give you the energy to save yourself by accessing fuel (glucose and fatty acids) in your liver.
In excessive amounts though, this stress response can lead to inflammation.
After trauma, your nervous system needs a chance to reset and return to the parasympathetic state known as “rest and digest.” This is because staying in fight-or-flight mode maintains a continuous state of stress that can wear out your body and cause unwanted health effects.
If you live with PTSD, you likely experience repeated stress responses in the form of intrusion symptoms. This means you may live with higher amounts of cortisol.
The elevated inflammation can occur anywhere in your body, including in your brain. This can lead to effects like:
- brain fog
- cognitive difficulties
- memory loss
Trauma-related nervous system effects are amplified in complex post-traumatic stress disorder (CPTSD). CPTSD arises from ongoing trauma, like repeated abuse. It can be current or from your childhood.
If you live with CPTSD, you are more likely to experience a continued stress response with even less recovery time.
The repeated or prolonged stress response from PTSD and CPTSD increases your circulating cortisol, which affects your immune system and causes inflammation.
Symptoms of PTSD
According to the American Psychiatric Association (APA), PTSD symptoms fall into four categories:
- Intrusion: unwanted thoughts, such as memories and distressing dreams.
- Avoidance: refusing to talk about the trauma or avoiding people or situations that remind you of it.
- Alterations in cognition and mood: distorted or harmful thoughts, like believing you’re to blameBlame Blame or Blaming is the act of censuring, holding responsible, making negative statements about an individual or group that their action or actions are socially or morally irresponsible, the opposite of praise. When someone is morally responsible for doing something wrong, their action is blameworthy. By contrast, when someone is morally responsible for doing something right, we may say that his or her action is praiseworthy. Blame imparts responsibility for an action or act, as in that they made a choice to perform that act or action., or that no one is trustworthy.
- Alterations in arousal and reactivity: mood shifts, potentially harmful behaviorBehavior Behavior / Behavioral Actions Otherwise known as habits, behavior or behavioral actions are strategies to help prevent online exploitation that target behavior, such as social engineering of victims. Changing your behavior is the ONLY effective means to reduce or prevent scams., hypervigilanceHypervigilance Hypervigilance is when the nervous system is not correctly filtering sensory information and the individual is in an enhanced state of sensory sensitivity. This appears to be linked to a dysregulated nervous system which can often be caused by traumatic events or PTSD. Normally, the nervous system releases stress signals in certain situations as a defense mechanism to protect people from perceived dangers. In some cases, the nervous system becomes chronically dysregulated, causing a release of stress signals that are inappropriate to the situation and create inappropriate and exaggerated responses. Hypervigilance may bring about a state of increased anxiety which can cause exhaustion. Other symptoms include: abnormally increased arousal, a high responsiveness to stimuli, and a constant scanning of the environment., insomnia, and problems concentrating.
Brain fog is a type of alteration symptom that many people with a history of trauma experience.
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We also offer separate support groupsSupport Groups In a support group, members provide each other with various types of help, usually nonprofessional and nonmaterial, for a particular shared, usually burdensome, characteristic, such as romance scams. Members with the same issues can come together for sharing coping strategies, to feel more empowered and for a sense of community. The help may take the form of providing and evaluating relevant information, relating personal experiences, listening to and accepting others' experiences, providing sympathetic understanding and establishing social networks. A support group may also work to inform the public or engage in advocacy. They can be supervised or not. SCARS support groups are moderated by the SCARS Team and or volunteers. for family & friends too.
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SCARS GREEN BOOK
Self-Help Self-Paced Recovery Program Guide
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This program is designed to help scam victims struggling to recover on their own and for those who want to understand the overall process. You can be using other resources, such as trauma counseling or therapy, qualified support groups, or completely independent – on your own!
The SCARS Steps program is a complete program and is provided for the purpose of helping scam victims to overcome this experience. Throughout this SCARS Steps Program, we speak about issues and challenges that a victim may have and help guide them through their recovery. But each person is different and it is important to understand your own reasons for being vulnerable to being scammed.
After the trauma of being scammed, you need to take steps to recover and move on. This may be an alternative to counseling in the short term, but we still encourage you to seek out professional help & support. Throughout this SCARS Steps Program, we speak about issues, challenges, defects, or problems that a victim may have in a generalized way.
The SCARS GREEN BOOK will help you recover from your scam offline and it will always be there when you need it!
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A Guide For Families & Friends Of Scam Victims
HOW TO HELP ROMANCE SCAM VICTIMS FOR FAMILIES & FRIENDS OF SCAM VICTIMS
This SCARS Publishing book represents a complete guide to help the families and friends understand how these scamsScams A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime - is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. work and how to help the victim.
The SCARS Slate Book should be purchased by family and friends to better understand what happened to the victim and the traumatic impact on them. But it can also be shared by the victim so that they do not have to explain to family and friends about the scam. This publication is to help others to help Scam Victims to make it through this traumatic experience and recover.
Each person is different and it is important to understand how relationship scamsRelationship Scam A Relationship Scam is a one-to-one criminal act that involves a trust relationship and uses deception & manipulation to get a victim to give to the criminal something of value, such as money! Click here to learn more: What Is A Relationship Scam? work and why people are vulnerable; to being scammed, how they were lured in, then groomed and manipulated. This understanding is essential in helping them through the process of ending the scam and then on to recovery. The SCARS Slate Book will provide the information necessary to help support a victim through this process.
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Helps you get and stay organized. This publication is to help Scam Victims organize their crime information. Complete this information before reporting to the police then bring this book with you
Before or after reporting to the police the RED BOOK gives you a dedicated tool to record all the essential facts of this crime. The Victim, the Scammers, the Money, and your Police interactions. Everything that really matters can be easily recorded for your immediate use and for the future!
As we have seen, money recovery/repayment programs can become available years after the scam ends and you need to keep all the details of this crime in case it is needed. We have also seen scammers being extradited to the U.S. and other countries, this will help in the event you testify or give statements, Additionally, this helps you have your information ready to qualify for victims’ benefits, compensation, or aid.
The Official SCARS RED BOOK is your way of recording all the important facts of this crime so that you do not lose essential information, Complete the RED BOOK then put it away with the confidence that you will have it if or when it is needed.
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