PTSD is an acronym of post-traumatic stress disorder. This condition usually develops following a traumatic incident which seems to threaten one’s safety, making one remain in a psychological shock. It commonly affects those who have personally experienced or witnessed the catastrophic event, such as emergency workers.
Here is a brief description about different possible healthy ways to cope with PTSD, which can have a significant impact on a person’s life. It is quite normal that the mind and the body of any individual, who have experienced a trauma will be in shock. But as time passes by, one realizes and understands what had happened, processes his/her emotions, and then comes out of it. It is quite difficult to cope with the symptoms of this disorder, and they often result in the use of more unhealthy methods of coping, such as alcohol abuse or drug addiction.
Positive coping methods are defined as certain actions which can help to decrease the upsetting symptoms of this disorder, and make one feel better. In addition, these actions can lead to changes which last longer into the future, and help improve the quality of life. Here are a few positive coping methods to manage the symptoms of PTSD
1. One should learn and gather more information about PTSD, its causes, and diagnosis. The gaining of more knowledge about this disorder will enable one to tackle this problem in a better way.
2. One should consult a psychological therapist or a mental health expert in the field of this disorder, who will help relief from the symptoms of PTSD effectively through the necessary support as, well as medications. Certain medicines can also reduce urges to drink alcohol or use drugs. Sometimes, a detailed discussion and sharing of his/her experiences with a counselor is quite effective.
3. One should establish supportive relationships with somebody trustworthy and confidential, with whom one will be able to share his/her experiences open-heartedly. It is important to be with others, and not to remain isolated. With appropriate support from others, one can feel less helpless, and more understood.
4. It is recommended to join a support group, the information of which can be obtained from the National Alliance of Mental Illness. By joining such groups, one can listen to other peoples’ experiences and the methods adopted by them to overcome the symptoms of PTSD. This will also enable one to understand that there are hundreds and thousands of others, who have similar problems.
5. One should learn Relaxation Skills, to manage the fear and anxiety associated with this disorder. This can be achieved through the practice of slow and deep breathing exercises, listening to melodious and soothing music,the practice of yoga and meditation, and sometimes by spending time in nature.
6 People with PTSD may sometimes be afraid to do things which they enjoy, or feel that specific activities are no longer enjoyable. This aloofness leads to feelings of despair and depression. Hence, one should participate in positive activities, that is to do things in which they find pleasure and enjoyment. Pleasant recreational activities such as painting, drawing, often help a person come out from his or her traumatic memories and Stressful reactions.
7. One should use healthy methods of diversion. Diverting one’s mind is often a useful method, to cope with stressful thoughts or feelings. This may be achieved by reading a novel, talking to a friend, playing a video game, watching a comedy show, or performing exercises. Once distress has subsided, one should try to find out the exact triggering factor, and also find out other ways to manage a similar incidence of distress in the future.
8. Sometimes writing down one’s feelings can be a positive method of coping, as one can express and organize his/her experiences. This also provides an adequate control over the degree of information one wishes to disclose.
9. It is recommended that one should remain mindful. Mindfulness, through the practice of simple mindfulness exercises help to reduce the stress of thoughts, which stimulate anxiety. And fear
10. One should improve his/her physical health. It is a fact that, our psychological strength is closely associated with our physical health. Persons with PTSD are practically speaking more prone to develop various forms of health problems. Hence, a person with this disorder should live a healthy lifestyle, practice exercise regularly, and consume a nutritional diet.
11. Coping with the trauma actively, makes one begin to feel less helpless. The meaning of active coping is the acceptance of the trauma and taking direct action for the improvement of things. In fact, active coping is a method of response to any sort of trauma in our everyday life; and this habit should be put into a regular practice.
12. One should know that, healing following an exposure to a trauma is a slow and ongoing process; and that this does not mean complete cure. Recovery does not mean not remembering the trauma, but means feeling less bad and more confident about the ability to overcome the traumatic memories.
13. One should try to maintain a regular schedule to go to sleep. Tobacco, alcohol and caffeine should be avoided, as they cause disturbances in regular sleep pattern. It is recommended to drink a glass of warm milk or herbal tea at bedtime, to have a sound sleep.
One should be spiritual. Ultimately, it has been shown through various studies conducted by various mental health experts that, establishing of a kind of spirituality, definitely can have a very positive influence on one’s ability to overcome from the stressful experience of PTSD. Whatever religion he/she belongs to, prayer should be a daily practice, which gives a very effective positive result in alleviating the distress.