1️⃣ What is hyperarousal?
Hyperarousal is created when your brain releases a flood of stress hormones when something makes you think about your unhealed emotional wounds or trauma. Its bizarre but you my not even be in danger but your body acts as if it.
When you are on guard for hidden dangers 24/7, previously innocent:
You think you are in danger, which results in more Trauma. Until it gets to the point that even the teensiest little thing that reminds you of the ground zero event causes you to feel distress of:
▶️ increased levels of alertness and anxiety
▶️ elevated heart rate and respiration.
1️⃣.1️⃣ Hyperarousal Info-graphic
2️⃣ Hyperarousal creates feelings of:
3️⃣ What are the symptoms of hyperarousal?
▶️ sleeping problems
▶️ difficulties concentrating
▶️ anger and angry outbursts
▶️ constant anxiety
▶️ easily scared or startled
▶️ self-destructive behavior (such as fast driving or drinking too much)
▶️ a heavy sense of guilt or shame.
Even though the threat may no longer be present, your body will respond to things that remind you of the event eg.
▶️movements, ▶️ words or music
4️⃣ The hyperarousal stress response doesn’t understand past, present, future time.
And thinks you are under threat right now.
The pressure generated from always being a split second away from another ‘catastrophic yet imaginary’ threat. Causes your stress response switch to be stuck in the ‘on’ position. Which causes you to be jittery.
And in any healthcare situation, you respond to threatening situations in a:
▶️ irritable or
▶️ angry way.
This leads to another communication breakdown. Invariably, you are discharged or are to scared to return to the unit. So treatment is withheld. Cue another complaint. Cue more stress.
You may start to:
▶️ shut yourself in to avoid an “attack,”
▶️ sit near an exit so that you can escape quickly,
▶️ sit with your back to the wall so that no one can sneak up on you.
▶️ avoid public places where “escape” might be difficult.
It’s a survival mechanism as it is the body’s way of protecting you from threatening situations.
But living in survival mode is exhausting and undermines your day to day life and your relationships with others.
➡️ unexpected event
4️⃣.3️⃣ stress hormone physiological symptoms:
➡️ dilated pupils,
➡️ an increased heart rate,
➡️ Dry mouth
➡️ and higher blood pressure.
➡️ sweating and/or trembling
This is oftern refered to as fight-or-flight.
4️⃣.4️⃣ Normally, your response is to avoid the threatening place or person.
But as healthcare treatment is essential to survival or the quality of life. Removing or avoidance of this situation, is not practical. Then hypervilgillance becomes problematic as the traumaticsed person has to willingly enter a psychological ‘war zone’.
until it spirals out of control and you begin the obsessive avoidance of perceived threats, such as avoiding everyday situations where dangers may lurk, including:
▶️ public gatherings and
▶️ public spaces
▶️ Being in a new or uncomfortable environment might increase your feelings of being in danger and lead to an increase of hyperarousal behaviours.