How Evolution Created PTSD

PTSD can be a painful, life altering psychiatric condition. Fortunately, science has brought us highly effective treatments that can give PTSD sufferers new lives. However, stigma often makes PTSD sufferers feel that having the disorder, much less seeking treatment for it, is either a weakness or a personal failure. But the symptoms underlying PTSD are not failures. They are ancient, critical survival mechanisms that kept our ancestors alive, but that sometimes require training to turn off once the danger passes. Understanding the evolutionary bases of PTSD can help reframe what we see as personal failures, as naturally occurring survival adaptations that can be recalibrated when they no longer serve us, allowing us to have greater compassion for ourselves. For these, among so many other reasons, Dr. Hector A. Garcia argues that evolutionary psychology should have a protected voice in conversations about human affairs.

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