Get Through Having Ptsd
Edited by Robbi, Ephraim, Nlangster, Shelley and 1 other
Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that's caused by witnessing or experiencing traumatic or terrifying events. It plagues both military personnel and civilians, and is characterized by feelings of anxiety, fear, sadness, disconnection and constant painful memories of tragic events. If you feel like you're unable to cope with what happened, it's possible that you're experiencing PTSD. To determine if you're actually experiencing PTSD, visit a doctor or mental healthcare provider with your concerns. You can successfully treat PTSD through regular psychotherapy sessions, prescription medications and support groups.
What is PTSD?
Post traumatic stress disorder is a complex and difficult condition to deal with because it's all-encompassing and won't resolve itself on its own. PTSD is usually triggered by traumatic events such as the sudden death of a loved one, war, natural disaster, accidents, terrorist attack, rape, assault, abuse or childhood neglect. While it's normal to feel unsettled, depressed or anxious after negative events, PTSD doesn't resolve itself on its own after a few weeks or months. Instead, symptoms often get worse and manifest themselves in more troubling ways. Listed below are some common symptoms and experiences of someone with PTSD.
Reliving Traumatic Events
- Intrusive and unwanted thoughts and memories of the event.
- Nightmares about the event.
- Reminders of event trigger extreme feelings of distress and physical manifestations such as rapid heartbeat, sweating, nausea, etc.
Avoiding Event Reminders
- Avoiding people, places and things that might serve as a reminder of the traumatic event.
- Avoiding talking about or thinking about the traumatic event.
Negative Changes in Thoughts, Mood and Behaviors
- Feeling "numb" emotionally.
- Inability to enjoy previous hobbies or pleasant activities.
- Feelings of guilt or shame.
- Feeling detached from others.
- Loss of any future goals or aspirations.
- Difficulty sleeping and concentrating.
- Increased irritability and lashing out in anger at others.
- Increased anxiety levels or hypervigilance.
- New or increased drinking and drug use.
- Employment and relationship problems.
PTSD Treatment Options
Contacting a mental health provider is the best thing you can do if you think you have PTSD. You can also ask your doctor to refer you to a therapist that has experience in treating people with PTSD. Once you find a healthcare professional that you feel comfortable with, you can ask questions, develop a treatment plan and find support groups that can help you deal with your condition. There is not necessarily a "cure" for PTSD, but it is possible to live symptom-free. Below are some common treatment options for PTSD, and these are often combined for the most effective treatment.
- 1Cognitive behavioral therapy.You'll expose yourself to thoughts and feelings about the trauma and learn new and effective thinking patterns that can help you deal with symptoms. You'll also learn how to work through bad feelings and balance out irrational or skewed thoughts or memories.Advertisement
- 2Exposure therapy.Exposure therapy involves reliving the traumatic experience through talk, virtual simulation or visiting locations that were previously avoided. Repeated exposure in a controlled environment or situation can teach you how to deal with irrational thoughts and reduce your body's reaction to it. While it may sound scary, this is typically a very effective form of treatment.Advertisement
- 3Eve movement desensitization and reprocessing.This form of treatment utilizes special guided eye movements that help change your reaction to memories of traumatic events.
- 4Family therapy.This type of therapy helps loved ones learn more about your condition and how to cope with it. Family therapy can also help mend relationship problems and improve family communication.
- 5Medication.Anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications are sometimes prescribed to help control symptoms of PTSD. There are also medications that can help control the occurrence of nightmares related to the trauma.
Ways to Cope with PTSD
- 1Avoid withdrawing from others.Reach out to family and friends, and try to stay connected so you'll have the emotional support you need to get through tough times. Seek out PTSD support groups either online or in person where you can meet others who've experienced the same or similar traumatic experience as you. This can reduce the feelings of loneliness and isolation that often occur with PTSD.Advertisement
- 2Don't self-medicate.While it might be tempting to use drugs and alcohol when you're feeling the effects of PTSD, it will likely only worsen your problems and possibly ruin relationships. If you have substance abuse issues, talk to your doctor about a treatment program.
- 3Spend more time outdoors in nature.Hiking, walking, camping, fishing, swimming and other outdoor activities can help you find peace, serenity and positive challenges that help you rebuild your life after traumatic events.
- 4Do volunteer work.Volunteering your time or services can help restore your sense of power and push out feelings of helplessness. Watching the work you do improve the lives of others is both empowering and healing.
- 5Find a person you trust to confide in.Whether it's a longtime friend, family member, coworker or fellow church member, find a person you can confide in. Sometimes just having someone listen when you're having a hard time can help you get through it much more easily.
- 6Write down your thoughts and feelings.Writing down your thoughts or feelings in a journal or diary can help you get your feelings off of your chest without having to talk to others. It's also a good idea to write down goals, accomplishments and progress you've made with your treatment, so you can look back and see what you've achieved so far.Advertisement
Questions and Answers
How to get people to believe you have PTSD?
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a psychological condition that manifests on people who have suffered traumatic events such as being involved in accidents, witnessing a crime, being physically or sexually abused, loss or death of a loved one, experiencing natural catastrophes or calamities, and terrorist or war episodes; among others.
If you have experienced brutal and terrifying events in your life, you will likely develop or show symptoms of PTSD which can appear right at that very instant or in a matter of days; or may take much longer such as after a few weeks, months, or even years. Common symptoms of PTSD in both adults and children include irritability or mood swings, withdrawal or lack of interest in socialization and other activities, aggressiveness, increased agitation or being jumpy, nervousness, forgetfulness, numbness or depersonalization, and nightmares; to name some.
If you believe that you are suffering from PTSD then you need to get medical help right away. The changes in you will surely get people's attention (especially your family and friends or people closest to you) and they will be your steady support system in acquiring the professional counseling and therapy that you need. Simply telling them that you need to get help will work. Most patients do not have that much difficulty convincing or asking people to believe they have PTSD or any similar condition if they as a matter of fact have it.
These psychological problem needs to be dealt with immediately to avoid lifetime or life-long emotional scarring or developing into more severe mental or psychological conditions such as bipolar disorder or depression. People who have PTSD needs early and continuous treatment to enable them to thoroughly process and eventually get to move forward from the traumatic episodes of their lives and be able to create new memories.
- If you have problems with any of these steps, ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.
Categories : Military
Recent edits by: Shelley, Nlangster, Ephraim