"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Overly vigilant? Hypervigilance and your health

Your brain is designed to sense potential dangers in your environment. This is how early humans survived. Detecting the presence of predators or other threats helped them stay protected. But our brains shouldn't be on this agitated state of hypersensitivity on a regular basis. This is named hypervigilance.

Although hypervigilance shouldn't be a diagnosis, it's a symptom that may occur as a part of quite a lot of other mental illnesses. Hypervigilance is expounded to fear. If you are feeling particularly on guard, nervous, or nervous a couple of situation or event, you might experience an increased level of alertness or arousal.

Hypervigilance – the heightened state of always assessing potential threats around you – is usually the results of trauma. People who've been in combat, survived abuse, or suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may exhibit hypervigilance.

PTSD might be brought on by quite a lot of incidents. These traumatic events include:

  • Experiencing a dangerous event
  • Suffering a serious or frightening injury
  • Seeing one other person get seriously injured or die
  • Feeling terror or extreme fear
  • Experiencing trauma of any kind and receiving no support afterward
  • Experiencing multiple losses or traumas in a row

Sometimes hypervigilance is a symptom of a mental illness, including anxiety or schizophrenia. If you might be coping with situations that involve symptoms of tension, avoidance, or extreme stress reactions, you might experience irrational or exaggerated fear of a situation or event. This fear may cause your nervous system to be overly vigilant, in search of threats to your safety.

Hypervigilance is a symptom of a psychological or psychological illness, but it will possibly even have physical symptoms. These changes may cause real discomfort and disruption in your life.

Research has shown that probably the most common symptoms of hypervigilance include:

  • Fixation on potential threats (dangerous people, animals, or situations)
  • An increased startle reflex (more prone to jump or be shocked by sudden noises)
  • Dilated pupils
  • Higher heart rate
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Behavioral (compulsive) avoidance of certain situations
  • Overestimation of threats or dangers

Children who've experienced traumatic events resembling child abuse, neglect, natural disasters, or war may exhibit signs of hypervigilance. Their developing brains are still learning the right way to assess situations and form appropriate relationships. Severe trauma can disrupt this process.

Hypervigilance can have serious effects in your behavior and quality of life. You may find it difficult to sleep or chill out, which may make your anxiety worse. You may feel “nervous” or have indignant outbursts.

If you experience a sense of hypervigilance, you might change your behavior based in your feelings. It could also be difficult to pay attention or check with others and you might need to avoid large, loud events.

Hypervigilance may also cause you to turn out to be suspicious of the people in your life. It may even reach a state of paranoia. Excessive vigilance can lead you to catastrophe or consider the worst is about to occur.

This heightened awareness, triggered by anxiety or fear, can strain your relationships and affect your ability to go to work or school. However, there are methods to administer this symptom.

One of the primary treatments for individuals with hyperarousal – a condition that may include hypervigilance because of PTSD – is therapy.

PTSD affects one and all in another way. While some people find therapy helpful in managing hypervigilance, others may find medication or a mix of medication and therapy most helpful. A psychologist can assist you to resolve which treatments or resources is likely to be most helpful.

There are alternative ways to take care of extreme anxiety or hypervigilance in on a regular basis life and on a regular basis life. Experts recommend:

  • Take a break – try yoga or gentle stretching, take heed to upbeat music, or meditate.
  • Take a deep breath – inhale slowly, hold your breath for a moment, after which exhale.
  • Count – count to 10 (or 20) very slowly while respiration deeply.
  • Exercise – Exercise promotes your physical and mental health.
  • When you check with someone, tell a trusted friend or member of the family how you're feeling.

If you might be battling hypervigilance or other mental health symptoms that you just are having difficulty coping with, it's best to seek the advice of a mental health skilled. These highly qualified individuals have a wealth of experience and might assist you to meet the unique challenges of your situation.