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5 ways to cope with PTSD

5 ways to cope with PTSD

PTSD is short for Post traumatic stress disorder and is defined as a condition of persistent mental and emotional stress occurring as a result of injury or severe psychological shock, typically involving disturbance of sleep and constant vivid recall of the experience, with dulled responses to others and to the outside world. [1]

PTSD is a disorder in which a person has difficulty recovering after experiencing or witnessing a terrifying event. The condition may last months or years, with triggers that can bring back memories of the trauma accompanied by intense emotional and physical reactions. [1]

Symptoms may include nightmares or unwanted memories of the trauma, avoidance of situations that bring back memories of the trauma, heightened reactions, anxiety, or depressed mood. [1]

Treatment includes different types of trauma-focused psychotherapy as well as medications to manage symptoms. [1]

While PTSD can only be diagnosed with a qualified medical experts and treatment consists of Cognitive behavioral therapy ( a talk therapy focused on modifying negative thoughts, behaviors, and emotional responses associated with psychological distress.), Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (Psychological treatment that reduces the stress of traumatic events through eye movements.), and medication, there are practical steps people who have been diagnosed with PTSD can employ to enhance the benefits of their treatment. [1]

  1. Accept Help

It is important that you realize that you do not have to face this problem alone. There are amazing professional resources and tools at your disposal to assist you with fighting through your PTSD. If you are unsure where to turn to for professional help you can always request a referral from your primary caregiver who will put you in touch with the right therapist to help guide you through healing.

2. Give yourself time to heal

Although you may be eager to get back to where you were before the traumatic event or experience please understand that it takes time. In some cases it can take months or years to fully heal for a traumatic event. And in some cases, those events may permanently impact the way you perceive the world and people around you. That being the case, give yourself adequate time to hear. In due time you may be enjoying some of the same things in life that you once enjoyed, free of worry.

3. Take like one day at a time

The question ‘how do you eat an elephant’ with the response ‘one bite at a time,’ well reflects the attitude you must take with your PTSD. You must learn to take things one day at a time. Some days will be amazing with no incidents. Other days may seem almost impossible to handle. Remember it’s OK to have good days and bad days but if those bad days begin to endanger your physical or mental health it is important that you quickly consult your therapist.

4. Remember not to blame yourself

It is all too easy to play the blame game, blaming yourself for our traumatic experience. If only I did this in the event or if only I did that one that day. Remember, you are not to blame for the traumatic experience. So, blaming yourself accomplishes nothing. Actually, blaming yourself for someone else's actions is mentally and emotionally unhealthy. It reminds me of the kid who said it makes me dizzy when I stand up. So the doctor said, then don’t stand up. Blaming yourself often causes us more undue anxiety and stress. So, don’t do it! I know it’s easier said than done. Just don't give up!

5. Love the new you

People with PTSD often feel sad because they miss the person they used to be. When they think back to life before the trauma they wish things could just go back to where they were. Of course that is impossible and those desires to see things like they used to be can begin to weigh heavily on the heart of someone with PTSD.

So my advice is learn to love the new you! Maybe you have a bit of an edge now that you did not have before. Maybe you are more cautious and thoughtful before making decisions now then you were before. Why not write down a list of your new positive personality traits you have developed since suffering from the traumatic experience. Take note of the good you see in the new you! This will help you to focus not so much on what you lost but instead focus on who you have become and the good you are doing and can do with your new personality.

Having suffered from PTSD myself I would not wish this on my worst enemy. However, with some practical steps you can successfully cope with your Post traumatic stress disorder! So be determined to accept help, give yourself time to heal, take life one day at a time, don’t blame yourself and learn to love the new you.


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