Living with post-traumatic stress disorder is difficult as the flashbacks, insomnia, anxiety, and other symptoms of PTSD makes it worse each day. Does that mean people with PTSD has to always live in fear and pain? No, dealing with PTSD triggers is easy with few coping mechanisms. Read further to know how to deal with PTSD?
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD
Sexual abuse, loss of loved ones, accidents, violence, or any such disturbing event does a lot of harm to the brain. Initially, the person experiences the tightening of muscles, increase in blood pressure and heart rate.
The person continues to feel these changes until the danger moves on. As the days and years pass on, emotions that come up with traumatic events fade away with time. But, in a few cases, these events embed a deep fear in the mind and heart of the victim.
As a result, the person constantly worries about their safety. This mean their mind is still stuck into those experiences felt initially.
However, each person experience PTSD differently as their ability to deal with traumatic stress is different. But, everyone with PTSD definitely experiences the following 4 symptoms:
- Avoiding events or activities that trigger the flashbacks of the traumatic event
- Negative thoughts
- Nightmares that hold the memories of the past
- Self-destructive thoughts, uncontrollable anger, sleep issues, and other hyperarousal symptoms
Anyone can suffer from PTSD, be it, children or adults without even knowing that they have the disorder. Answering a few questions can help to identify whether a person has posttraumatic stress disorder or not.
Check Your PTSD?
- Did you experience any extremely stressful event once in your life?
- Do those events raise your heartbeat just by thinking about it?
- Can’t sleep because of the fear or anxiety that comes with that thought?
- Is it hard to get out of those fearful thoughts?
- Can’t work normally due to that stress?
If the answer to all questions is YES, then you need medical help. Doctors will suggest suitable medications and therapies that will ease your condition and help you live normal.
Therapies would include cognitive behavioural therapy, stress inoculation training, prolonged exposure therapy, and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing.
Apart from these therapies, one can even practice coping strategies to deal with PTSD.
How To Deal With PTSD?
- Take a deep breath– An easy way to deal with complex PTSD is to improve your breathing. Deep breathing techniques ease stress and anxiety. So, fill your lungs with more fresh air.
- Relax your muscles- As PTSD’s symptoms tighten your muscles, trying muscle relaxation techniques will reduce the tension trapped in the muscles.
- Mindfulness-Mindful meditation is an old relieving technique to keep stress and anxiety at bay. It will help you focus on the present moment and not get stuck in the past.
- Monitor yourself- Unawareness can put you back in those thoughts and you end up following the bad habits that seem to give some relief at first. Self-monitoring will help you become aware of the conditions that steal the peace of your mind. Avoiding those conditions will help you manage PTSD symptoms.
- Get support– Find support, ask your friends, family members, partner, or colleagues to be available at the tough times. Talk to them whenever those negative thoughts or past events cause discomfort.
- Write it out– Writing is the best way to express how you feel when those painful events haunt you. So, write it down.
- Distract yourself- The best way to deal with PTSD is to distract your mind at the times of uncomfortable situation. Do what makes you happy or that forces your brain to think out of the box. Brain games can help you or a positive emotion or memory can give you some relief.
Most people rely on alcohol or drug but they make things worse so don’t rely on them to avoid the PTSD triggers.
Practice these techniques instead. Follow everything that your doctor and therapists suggest you. Gradually, you’ll see a positive impact of these coping strategies on your mind.