Mental Health: 5 Ways to Cope with PTSD

Post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD is usually rampant among people who rendered service in the military and have witnessed very traumatizing and disturbing events on the battlefield. While PTSD is primarily linked to former military personnel, it’s pretty standard even among ordinary people.

PTSD is a natural response to any number of distressing events such as sexual abuse, accidents, assault, violence, or any type of event that can traumatize a person. The sad thing about this is that some people have undiagnosed PTSD and have been going through life without getting help.

Symptoms of PTSD usually include a heightened state of anxiety, recurring flashbacks of traumatic events, sleeplessness, moodiness, avoidance of social interactions, or a very horrified response to something probably linked to their traumatic event.

PTSD can last for years and can hugely impact a person’s quality of life if not helped sooner or later. It can even lead to a downward spiral of harmful coping mechanisms such as alcohol addiction, drugs, excessive gambling, etc. That said, before this happens, the patient should learn some coping techniques to deal with their PTSD before it’s too late. Here’s what we can do.

Meditate

With the help of meditation, the patient can learn to be mindful and aware of the present moment. The patient will regularly be more aware of their bodily sensations, feelings, thoughts, and ultimately, their triggers.

With meditation, a patient can also learn how to overcome their negative thoughts and allow their memories to pass through their chain of thinking without having a negative response.

Stay Active

Exercise is not only good for the body but also for your mind. Staying physically active is a mood booster, which can help you manage your PTSD symptoms, such as irritability and anxiety.

It can also lead your mind away from your negative thoughts and flashbacks as you’ll be more focused on moving your body. This is even better if you’re in a group or attending a class at a gym or fitness center.

Social Support

It’s common for patients to withdraw from their family and friends for several reasons. For example, they may feel ashamed of their current state or just don’t want to bother their loved ones. While it’s essential to have a boundary, especially when a patient has a hard time, abandoning them should be a big no-no.

Instead, by seeking them out and providing them with an ear and a comfortable atmosphere, they will slowly open up and have you help them overcome their grief and despair. Experts believe that having someone to talk to is a massive factor in a patient’s recovery.

However, forcing them to talk is also a huge no-no. Instead, you should let the patient open up naturally, and if they do, you should listen without hate or judgment. Make it clear that you’re interested and that you care and are there to help.

Service Dogs

More and more people nowadays are learning more about the help of companions when it comes to mental help. That said, service dogs can offer companionship and provide an environment of peace and calm for their patients. There are a lot of organizations that offer service dogs to their customers, and most of them are even recommended by a lot of experts in the medical field.

These organizations train dogs to meet the needs of people who have PTSD. For example, a dog is trained to see the signs of an attack like heavy and fast breathing, acting nervously, etc., and have them intervene when these symptoms appear. They are even trained to wake up people when they have a nightmare and provide comfort when their owners are distressed.

These dogs are lifesavers and will be an excellent companion to someone suffering from PTSD.

Counseling

While self-help methods to cope with PTSD are certainly helpful, some people may need additional support, especially from professionals. Professionals know a lot of techniques to cope with PTSD and deal with it through several types of therapies and counseling. They can also recommend medicine to help patients with their health.

They even contribute live transfer medicare leads and recommend their patients with websites where they can get insurance for mental healthcare. But most of the time, they specialize in different kinds of therapies. For example, PTSD therapy may include the following:

  • Cognitive Processing Therapy: This type of counseling focuses on cognitive behavioral therapy to help you process your negative thoughts and feelings of self-pity and self-blame.
  • Exposure Therapy: With exposure therapy, counselors will help you develop your strategies with your trauma by reliving your experiences, sometimes through VR.
  • Group Therapy: In this treatment, people with PTSD will share and receive support from a counselor and several other people who are suffering from the same condition.

Final Words

PTSD can lead to isolation and self-pity, which can only complicate the whole thing. If you have a friend or family member suffering from PTSD, you should always let them know that you care and you’re always there to help and listen. Living with PTSD is hard, and the patient will often push away their loved ones. Don’t let that happen, and support them all the way.