The Relationship Between Executive Disorder & PTSD

According to recent reports, more than six per cent of people around the world suffer from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) syndrome. Furthermore, it has also been inspected that people suffering from PTSD experience executive disorder or dysfunction. 

So, what is executive dysfunction? In simple words, executive dysfunction is defined by the difficulty that’s faced in using and/or developing any executive function in the human body. Executive functions include:

  • Multitasking.
  • Paying attention.
  • Remembering.
  • Ignoring distractions.
  • Regulating emotions.
  • Adaptability.

Furthermore, executive functions can be segregated into two primary types, namely regulation and organisation. Organisation functions include the skills to pay attention, strategise, plan, solve problems and so on. While regulation functions are used to regulate emotions & behaviour.

The Symptoms Of Executive Dysfunction

  • Misplacing work or essential things often.
  • Finding it difficult to manage time, multitask, make plans or even stick to your schedule.
  • Forgetting tasks or appointments.
  • Finding it difficult to start performing different tasks. 
  • Finding it difficult to deal with setbacks and frustrations.
  • Having difficulty following directions or remembering important things. 
  • Having difficulty n controlling emotions, impulses or any change in behaviour or mood. 
  • Facing a challenge in putting complex thoughts into words for communication.

The Causes Of Executive Dysfunction

According to a reliable disability support service in Melbourne, usually, executive dysfunction happens due to the slow development of the human brain. Moreover, any imbalance in the presence of neurotransmitters such as dopamine, noradrenaline or serotonin also leads to such a condition.

Additionally, it should be realised that a traumatic brain injury can also lead to executive dysfunction, especially brain damage in the frontal lobes. The frontal lobes of your brain are associated with learning & behaviour, which is why any damage will affect organisation & planning.

Besides, there’s also enough evidence that executive dysfunction can also be genetically related. So, if anyone in your family is suffering from such an issue, then you will also have a higher chance of experiencing the same. 

Can PTSD Lead To Executive Dysfunction?

Yes. In multiple cases, PTSD can lead to executive dysfunction. This is because PTSD affects the frontal lobe of the human brain and as we have already discussed that damage to the frontal lobe will lead to executive dysfunction.

As a result, any person who has been functioning properly before the trauma can show executive dysfunction post-trauma. Due to executive dysfunction, the person can face difficulty in completing even the most basic tasks, ultimately affecting his or her daily life. 

The Similarities Between PTSD & Executive Dysfunction

PTSD is a symptom that results due to trauma affecting the human brain, leading to impaired memory, nightmares and flashbacks. On the other hand, executive dysfunction can be a direct symptom of PTSD, which prevents people from carrying out their daily tasks & activities. It affects the human brain as well. 

Hence, both conditions are responsible for impairing any person to perform his or her daily life activities. Both conditions can lead to poor work or school performance, along with stained social relationships. 

However, the good news is that – both conditions are treatable. So, if you can diagnose the issue at the correct moment, then the person will be able to lead a normal life. 

For more information on PTSD & executive dysfunction, feel free to contact our experts. 

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