PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) is a condition that occurs when an individual goes through a traumatic experience, which leaves them feeling anxious, stressed, frightened, miserable, detached, or intimidated all the time.
PTSD is a mental illness that is frequently witnessed in veterans who have served in war. It has also been observed in victims of fatal car accidents, domestic abuse, sexual assault, and physical violence related to racial discrimination and bullying.
Symptoms of PTSD include recurrent panic attacks, depression, headaches, nausea, hyperventilating, sweating, numbness, insomnia, emotional outbursts, extreme mood swings, intrusive memories, flashbacks, nightmares, and aggressive reactions.
People suffering from PTSD are not able to immerse themselves into an old routine or live a normal life. They distance themselves from situations and activities that may trigger any symptoms, thereby isolating themselves.
If you have experienced a traumatic event, here’s how you may cope with PTSD:
1. Distract Yourself With A New Hobby
If you are not ready to face your fears right now, you can always start by distracting yourself. Engross yourself in a productive activity that utilizes all your attention and energy.
You may work on an art project, learn to bake, write a book, or read fictional novels from your preferred genre. Your new hobby will keep you busy and ultimately help you move on from the trauma.
2. Engage In Meditation & Breathing Exercises
Whenever you are overwhelmed by stress/panic or feel like you can’t breathe, you may calm your nerves trough meditation.
Breathing exercises and yoga are two effective methods to escape stressful episodes and bring down adrenaline levels.
Meditation also aids in manifesting mindfulness – a state of mind that allows you to live in the present and block intrusive thoughts.
3. Lean On Your Loved Ones
Emotional support is vital to recovery for every patient of PTSD and other anxiety related mental disorders. If you have friends and family who want to help during these tough times, be grateful and accept the sympathy.
Tell them how you feel and what they can do to make you feel better.
4. Challenge Your Physical Strength
PTSD may lead to build up of mountains of negative energy that can be released through physical exertion. Strenuous exercise like weight lifting, running/hiking, or boxing is effective for discharging pent up emotions.
All the bad energy will be spent, and you may feel lighter and relaxed.
5. Help Others
It is customary to feel hopeless and helpless after a traumatic experience. If you want to stop feeling powerless, you can do this by contributing to your community.
You may volunteer at organizations that aim to help the underprivileged and homeless. You can also donate to causes and charities of your choice. The smallest gestures of kindness can make a huge difference in the world and improve your self-esteem.
6. Stay Away From Stimulants
You must understand that you are in a vulnerable position, so you must avoid consumption of products that could escalate your susceptibility.
Alcohol, caffeine, and all kinds of mind-altering drugs need to be off-limits. Your mind is already disturbed and hyperactive due to PTSD, which is why any stimulating substance in your system can be dangerous.
7. Relax Your Body & Senses
There are several ways to relax the mind, body, and soul. You need something to deflect all your worries and pacify the raging storm called PTSD within you.
Aromatherapy, acupuncture, body massages, beauty treatments, and healthy comfort foods are recommended to heal you inside and out.
8. Adopt A House Pet
Many patients of depression undergo miraculous recovery with the help of a support animal. Cats and dogs make great house pets; they are not only adorable, but also provide unconditional love, which is the best medicine for PTSD in the world.
If you are allergic to furry animals, know that many non-mammal species like snakes, crocodiles, lizards, and turtles are also trained to be supportive pets.
9. Join A Support Group
If you don’t have any supportive friends and family, do not lose hope. There are many support groups out there that address PTSD, similar mental illnesses, and emotional challenges.
Here, you can meet many people who have encountered traumatic events like you. Listening to their stories and sharing your own experience will instigate a very positive outcome.
You will not feel singled out anymore, and you may develop a few lasting friendships.
10. Try Professional Therapy
If nothing else seems to work or doesn’t feel doable, you must consider professional treatment to manage PTSD symptoms. Seeing a therapist should not be viewed as a social stigma.
It is imperative to prioritize your health and wellbeing, regardless of what others think and say. Many people do not understand mental illness, thus do not let their lack of awareness come in the way of you getting better.
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John Adams is a paralegal who writes about psychological issues faced by individuals from all walks of life. He helps readers deal with personal injuries and traumas, and aims to reach out to individuals who are unaware of their legal rights, in order to make the world a better place.