PTSD: What Is It and How To Treat It

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is common among soldiers returning from war. PTSD can occur within people who have not been to war but have endured some traumatic experience.

What Are Some Symptoms of PSTD?

  • Vivid Flashbacks of the traumatic event
  • Strong emotional reactions to stimuli that remind them of the traumatic event
  • Feelings of being emotionally numb
  • Trouble sleeping
  • and more…

Here are some tips designed to help those with PTSD. If you are dealing with PTSD, combat stress, or trauma, there are steps you can take to start the recovery process. Recovery from PTSD can be an ongoing process. Getting over it doesn’t happen overnight. However there are ways to cope with the symptoms which can help reduce your anxiety and fear.

PTSD self-help tip 1: Reach out to others for support. PTSD can make you feel disconnected from others. You might be tempted to withdraw from social events and loved ones. However it’s important to stay connected to life and those who care about you. Outside support is essential to your recovery, so ask your close friends and family members for their help during this difficult time. Also consider connecting to a support group for other  survivors of similar types of traumas. Support groups for PTSD can help you feel less isolated. They also provide important information on how to cope with symptoms and work towards healing.

PTSD self-help tip 2: Avoid alcohol and drugs. When faced with difficult emotions and traumatic memories, self-medication with alcohol or drugs is common. While alcohol or drugs may temporarily make you feel better, they make PTSD worse in the long run. Substance use enhances many symptoms of PTSD, including emotional numbing, social isolation, anger, irritability, self-hate, and depression. It also interferes with treatment and can create problems at home and in your relationships.

PTSD self-help tip 3: Challenge your sense of feeling helplessness. Dealing with a sense of helplessness is key to overcoming PTSD. Trauma often makes you feel powerless and vulnerable. It’s vital to remind yourself that you have strengths and coping skills that can get you through rough moments. Taking positive steps directly challenges a sense of helplessness that is a common symptom of PTSD.

Positive ways of coping with PTSD:

  • Educate yourself about trauma and PTSD
  • Get into a PTSD support group
  • Do relaxation techniques and meditate
  • Spend time in outdoor activities
  • Talk to someone person you trust
  • Surround yourself with positive people
  • Do not relay on alcohol and drugs

Locating a therapist for PTSD

When looking for a therapist for PTSD, search for a professional who has experience in the treatment of trauma and PTSD. You can ask other trauma survivors for recommendations, or call a local mental health clinic, or psychiatric hospital. Along with finding someone with the right credentials and experience, it’s vital to find a PTSD therapist who you feel at ease. Trust yourself, if a therapist doesn’t feel right, try talking to someone else. For therapy to work, you need to feel safe and validated.

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