Post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD can become deeply effective without the person being fully aware of its implications on their life. Being unable to deal with PTSD can cost a person their relationships and livelihood. It even causes a detachment from life, giving rise to other mental health issues like depression and illnesses like insomnia.
Dealing with post-traumatic stress (PTSD) can be challenging, but there are effective ways to manage the condition. Here are a few things you can do to help cope with PTSD:
Seek professional help
Seeking professional help is an important step in managing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). A therapist or counselor who specializes in PTSD can help you process your traumatic experience and develop coping strategies.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a type of therapy that is commonly used to treat PTSD. It involves identifying and changing negative thoughts and beliefs related to the traumatic event.
Prolonged Exposure (PE) is another type of therapy that has been shown to be effective in treating PTSD. It involves gradually confronting and desensitizing yourself to the memories and feelings related to the traumatic event.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is another evidence-based treatment for PTSD. It involves recalling the traumatic event while simultaneously focusing on an external stimulus, such as the therapist’s finger movements or sounds.
It’s important to find a therapist or counselor who you feel comfortable with and who is experienced in treating PTSD. It may take some time to find the right therapist or treatment approach for you, but the effort is worth it.
Practicing self-care is an important aspect of managing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Self-care refers to activities and practices that individuals do to maintain their physical, mental, and emotional health.
Here are a few ways to practice self-care when dealing with PTSD:
Eat a healthy diet: Eating a well-balanced diet can help improve your overall mood and energy levels.
Get enough sleep: Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night and try to establish a consistent sleep schedule.
Engage in regular physical activity: Exercise can help reduce stress and anxiety, improve your mood and sleep, and boost self-esteem.
Take time for hobbies and activities you enjoy: Engaging in activities that you enjoy can help you relax, reduce stress and improve your overall well-being.
Avoid alcohol and drugs: These substances can worsen symptoms of PTSD and make it harder to cope with the condition.
Practice mindfulness: Mindfulness practices such as meditation, yoga, or deep breathing can help you stay present at the moment, reducing anxiety and improving your overall well-being.
It is important to remember that self-care practices will vary for different people and it is important to find the self-care practices that work best for you. Self-care should be part of a larger treatment plan that may include therapy, medication, and support.
Connect with others
Connecting with others is an important aspect of managing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Trauma can be isolating and talking to friends, family, or other people who understand can help you feel less alone and more understood.
Here are a few ways to connect with others when dealing with PTSD:
Talk to friends or family members: Share your thoughts and feelings with someone you trust.
Join a support group: Support groups provide a safe and supportive environment where you can connect with others who have gone through similar experiences.
Participate in online communities: There are many online communities where you can connect with others who are dealing with PTSD.
Re-engage with old hobbies or activities: Joining a club, team or group that you enjoy can help you connect with others who share your interests.
Seek professional help: A therapist or counselor who specializes in PTSD can help you process your traumatic experience and develop coping strategies, and also provide you with a space to talk through your thoughts and feelings.
It is important to remember that connecting with others can help you feel less alone and more understood, but it is also important to set boundaries and take time for yourself when you need it. It’s also important to keep in mind that not everyone may understand what you are going through and it’s important to surround yourself with people who are supportive and understanding.
Try relaxation techniques
Trying relaxation techniques is an important aspect of managing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Relaxation techniques can help reduce stress and anxiety associated with PTSD and improve overall well-being.
Here are a few relaxation techniques that may be helpful when dealing with PTSD:
Yoga: Yoga combines physical postures, breathing exercises, and meditation to help reduce stress and improve mental clarity.
Meditation: Meditation involves focusing your attention and eliminating the stream of thoughts that may be crowding your mind. This can help reduce feelings of stress and anxiety.
Deep breathing: Deep breathing exercises can help calm the nervous system and reduce feelings of stress and anxiety.
Progressive muscle relaxation: Progressive muscle relaxation involves tensing and then relaxing different muscle groups to help reduce muscle tension and stress.
Guided imagery: Guided imagery involves using your imagination to create a peaceful scene in your mind, which can help reduce stress and anxiety.
Nature walks: Being in nature can help reduce stress and improve overall well-being.
It’s important to find a relaxation technique that works best for you. It may take some time to find the right technique, but the effort is worth it. It’s also important to remember that these techniques should be part of a larger treatment plan that may include therapy, medication and support. Also, It’s important to practice these techniques regularly to see the benefits.
To cope with PTSD, you first need to acknowledge that you are suffering from it. Most people are raised to brush off their feelings under the carpet, and they tend to say things are absolutely fine, even after they have encountered something traumatizing. As the name suggests, PTSD occurs when one has gone through a deeply disturbing, horrifying, and traumatic experience.
War veterans face PTSD after they are back, unable to cope with the horrors of war. Childhood abuse, rape, death of a parent or spouse, near-fatal accidents- all of this can give rise to PTSD. If you feel sad, numb, alienated, disturbed, anxious, have difficulty concentrating, and startle at the littlest noises after a traumatic event, you might have PTSD.
Even if the events occurred several years back, and you find yourself unable to let go of the memories or still suffer from nightmares, you have PTSD that should be addressed.
Start Exploring Again
PTSD can push you into a corner, both literally and metaphorically, and the best way to deal with it is to move around and be more active. PTSD could result in a loss of spatial and environmental understanding. If it is too severe, you might feel cut off from the rest of the world, and trying out new things could seem daunting as your brain tells you that you might again encounter similar circumstances that lead to stress and trauma in the first place.
For example, you might have developed a fear of stepping out in traffic if you were in an accident or refuse to go for walks at night- something that you loved before- because the traumatizing event happened at night. It would help if you learned to challenge the triggers instead of letting them overwhelm you. And the right way to do that is to break the shell and start exploring anew.
Finding a Support Group
Bottling up all your feelings is one of the biggest impediments to overcoming PTSD. You need to confide in others and let go of the assumption that no one will truly understand what you are going through. You can confide in a friend or someone you know or join a support group dedicated to understanding and combating PTSD.
Being in a group will reduce your feeling of alienation over time, and you will start getting used to more people- people you may even come to trust over time. When you talk about your feelings, you address your deepest fears. Professional therapists also use cognitive therapy and teach you relaxation techniques like meditation and yoga.
Support groups also start instilling favorable habits while refusing to open up has often pushed people living with PTSD towards more drastic steps like seeking solace in alcohol and drugs.
Overcoming PTSD is not easy, but it can be an extremely liberating experience when you finally do. You feel whole, and the world starts seeming beautiful again. You can find out more about PTSD by following sites like The Human Condition, which can help you cope with whatever stress and trauma you might be going through.