BrainLine Military

A Service of brainline.org


Turn off text only


Page Utilities

 

What Is Hypervigilance and How Does It Relate to PTSD?

What Is Hypervigilance and How Does It Relate to PTSD?

Comments [1]

 

What is hypervigilance and how does it relate to PTSD?

 
Click on any phrase to play the video at that point.
[Lt. Col. Philip Holcombe] So another symptom of post-traumatic stress disorder is hypervigilance. Hypervigilance has to do with this feeling aroused and keyed and on edge, but at a deeper level, it has to do with having that world view of safety and how the world ought to be, shaken. And so because that's shaken, a person with post-traumatic stress disorder feels like they have to be alert all the time. As a matter of fact, in the military, we train it. There's a saying, "Stay alert, stay alive." "Stay alert, stay alive." So when you come back and you start to experience these keyed-up feelings because it's loud, it's noisy, it's like the marketplace, there's trash bags all over the place, and trash bags in theaters of war blow up. You can become overly vigilant, and as a result, that impacts your ability to function. You go into a restaurant, and you feel like you can't have your back to the door, and you're on guard, and you're watching. You can't enjoy your meal, you can't enjoy the people that you're there with because you're waiting for the bad person or persons to come through the door. You go shopping, you can't remember what it is that you're supposed to be getting because what you're thinking about is, "Is that person a danger? How about that person over there? What if this person over here did this? What should I do? Where are the exits?" So hypervigilance is a very real phenomenon, and it really can impact a person's ability to enjoy life. So how do we get to the point where we help somebody with hypervigilance? This is where we go back to the exposure treatments, the exposure treatments that say, "It's time for you to take your fear by the horns, and take it on, and start to let go of avoidance so you can live life again.

show transcriptShow transcript | Print transcript

Click here to see other video Q&As with Lt. Col. Holcombe.

Click here to return to our BrainLine Military Ask the Expert feature.

 

Produced by Victoria Tilney McDonough and Erica Queen, BrainLine.


Lt. Col. Philip Holcombe, PhDLt. Col. Philip Holcombe, PhD, Lt. Col. Philip Holcombe is an Army psychologist who serves as the chief of Clinical Recommendations at the Deployment Health Clinical Center at the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury.


The contents of BrainLine Military (the “Web Site”), such as text, graphics, images, information obtained from the Web Site’s licensors and/or consultants, and other material contained on the Web Site (collectively, the “Content”) are for informational purposes only. The Content is not intended to be a substitute for medical, legal, or other professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

Specifically, with regards to medical issues, always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on the Web Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. The Web Site does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned on the Web Site. Reliance on any information provided by the Web Site or by employees, volunteers or contractors or others associated with the Web Site and/or other visitors to the Web Site is solely at your own risk.

Comments [1]

If the DOD and VA won't diagnose you, you go on suffering with aggravated ptsd and tbi.

Dec 20th, 2013 3:39am

 


BrainLine Footer

Javascript is disabled. Please be aware that some parts of the site may not function as expected!