A sense of impending doom is associated with heightened states of anxiety. Feeling anxious and on edge can seem confusing, especially when no real danger exists.
In this article, we’ll explore the concept of anticipatory anxiety, which may trigger such gut feelings. We will investigate why you might have nightmares or always feel on guard, leading to constant worry and panic attacks. Heart palpitations are not uncommon when one experiences this kind of anxiety.
The discussion will also cover Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), a medical term that describes the difficulty of continuing to feel disturbed by what has happened to you. Understanding its causes can help you manage feelings better and stop worrying unnecessarily about bad things happening.
If you’ve felt something negative is on the horizon, don’t miss out as we try to decode what is happening.
Why Do I Have Nightmares?
Nightmares can be distressing and leave us feeling anxious or upset long after waking up. They are often linked to past traumatic experiences and can feel very real.
If you’ve experienced frightening events such as violence, abuse or accidents, your brain may replay these scenarios during sleep in the form of nightmares. This is your mind’s way of trying to process what happened.
It’s important to remember that having nightmares does not mean you’re weak or abnormal. It’s a natural response to trauma and there are effective treatments available like Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR).
Why Do Traumatic Events Lead to Nightmares?
Experiencing terrifying incidents can lead to recurring nightmares. Your brain is trying to process what happened and may replay the event during sleep. It’s a typical answer to shock that can be upsetting, yet it occurs.
Can Vigilance Cause Nightmares?
Being overly alert for danger due to past traumas might result in bad dreams. Your brain is trying to process the trauma and may replay the event during sleep. It’s a typical answer to shock that can be upsetting, yet it occurs.
If you’re struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, including persistent nightmares, organisations like Openforwards in Birmingham offer support. With professional help, it is possible to reduce the frequency and intensity of these disturbing dreams over time.
Why do I feel on guard all the time?
Having experienced violence or intimidation can make you feel on edge, making it difficult to relax and trust. This state of watchfulness is your body’s way of attempting to shield itself from potential risks. It can be exhausting and isolating, making everyday tasks seem daunting.
You may find yourself constantly scanning your surroundings for danger, even in safe environments. You might also experience physical symptoms such as increased heart rate, sweating or trembling when there is no apparent threat present.
This hyper-awareness isn’t something that you choose; it’s a response triggered by past experiences. The American Psychological Association explains this as one of the key features of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
It’s important to remember that feeling on guard all the time doesn’t mean you’re weak or abnormal – it means your brain is doing its best to keep you safe based on what it has learned from past experiences.
The good news? There are effective therapies available that can help manage these feelings and responses – like Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR). EMDR is a psychotherapy treatment that helps people heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences. It’s been shown to be particularly effective in treating PTSD.
Why am I afraid to go out alone?
Feeling vulnerable in public places is a common experience, especially for those who have been victims of violence or intimidation. This fear can stem from the natural instinct to protect oneself and stay safe.
The globe may feel hazardous, especially for those who have had encounters that have caused them to be suspicious of others. You may feel powerless to protect yourself or constantly be looking over your shoulder. This heightened sense of alertness and anxiety is often linked with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Overcoming your fears
- Recognise your fears: Acknowledge and understand the root cause of your fear.
- Talk about it: Sharing your feelings with someone trustworthy can provide emotional relief and practical advice.
- Get professional help: If these feelings persist, consider seeking professional help such as EMDR therapy, an effective treatment for PTSD.
EMDR works by helping individuals process traumatic memories in a healthier way, reducing their impact on daily life. Remember, you’re not alone in feeling this way, and there are resources available to help manage these feelings so they don’t control your life.
Understanding Post Traumatic Stress (PTSD)
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a natural psychological response to experiencing or witnessing terrifying events. It’s not a medical condition, but it can significantly impact daily life.
What are the symptoms of PTSD?
PTSD symptoms can include recurring nightmares, feeling constantly on guard, and avoiding situations that remind you of the trauma.
It’s important to remember that these reactions are normal responses to abnormal circumstances. The NHS provides comprehensive information on understanding PTSD without pathologising it.
Blaming victims for their trauma is not helpful
Jessica Taylor’s work at Victim Focus emphasises the importance of not blaming victims for their trauma. The Threat-Trauma Framework also supports this perspective by focusing on external causes rather than internal vulnerabilities.
It’s crucial to provide support and understanding to those experiencing PTSD, rather than judgement or blame.
What causes PTSD?
PTSD is not an indication of frailty or something exclusive to particular individuals; it can come about as a natural reaction to facing overwhelming events beyond our capacity. Rather, it can occur as a natural response to experiencing traumatic events beyond our control.
In the Threat-Trauma Framework, trauma is seen as an external event that poses significant threat and disrupts one’s sense of safety and stability. This could be anything from witnessing violence, being in a car accident, suffering abuse or losing someone close unexpectedly.
The work by Jessica Taylor at Victim Focus further emphasizes this perspective on trauma. She highlights how victim blaming perpetuates harmful myths about who ‘deserves’ to experience trauma and underlines the importance of acknowledging that victims never choose their traumas.
Note: The biological accounts often used to explain PTSD are insufficient for capturing its complexity; they tend to pathologise what is essentially a human reaction to extraordinary circumstances.
If you’re struggling with symptoms associated with PTSD, remember: you’re not alone – help is available through therapies like EMDR, which we’ll explore next…
How to Overcome PTSD?
For those who are having difficulty managing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), there are several successful treatments available. One such treatment is Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR). This therapy has been proven particularly effective for those suffering from PTSD.
EMDR involves recalling the traumatic event while receiving specific eye movements or bilateral stimulation like hand taps or sounds. The goal is to change how the memory is stored in your brain, reducing and eliminating distressing symptoms.
Benefits of EMDR Therapy
- Reduction in re-experiencing trauma: EMDR helps decrease flashbacks and nightmares associated with the traumatic event.
- Increase in positive cognition: It aids in replacing negative beliefs about oneself related to the trauma with more positive ones.
- Better emotional regulation: EMDR can help improve skills for managing anxiety and maintaining emotional balance.
Treatment does not require discussing the distressing issue or completing homework between sessions. EMDR therapy, however, should always be delivered by a professionally trained practitioner who will ensure your safety during this process. If you’re looking for an accredited EMDR therapist near the Birmingham area, check out this directory.
FAQs – Why Do I Feel Like Something Bad is Going to Happen?
What does it mean when you have a feeling that something bad is going to happen?
This often refers to a sense of impending doom, which can be linked with anxiety disorders, including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
What is it when you feel like something is going to happen?
If this feeling persists without any clear reason, it could indicate an underlying mental health issue like anxiety disorder, particularly PTSD.
What is the intuition of something bad happening?
This usually relates to our brain’s natural response system to potential threats. However, in cases like PTSD, this system may become overly active.
Help is at hand
Feeling like something bad is going to happen? It could be PTSD.
Nightmares, constant fear, and anxiety are all signs of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which can develop after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event. Seeking help from mental health professionals and understanding the causes of PTSD can aid in recovery.