We all know that mental health problems can be treated through therapy and medication, but it is also important for you, the individual to look after yourself and there are things you can do to make living with a mental health problem easier. This blog post will outline some of the things you can do to help you if you are struggling with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, more commonly known as PTSD, is an anxiety disorder which can arise after an individual has witnessed, or has been involved with distressing, traumatic and frightening events. These events may include road accidents, health problems or any type of assault. PTSD may occur very soon after the said event, or a period of time after the event. There is no time limit for symptoms of PTSD to appear.
PTSD affects one in three people who have experienced a traumatic event.
So how would you know if you are suffering from PTSD? Common symptoms include; reliving the event via flashbacks, feelings of isolation, guilt, nightmares, disturbed sleep, extreme alertness, feeling numb, bad concentration or self-destructive behaviour. If you’re experiencing some of these symptoms you should seek help.
PTSD can be treated by medical professionals through such things at therapy and medication, however, this blog post is going to discuss some of the things you can do yourself, coping strategies, to help you feel more in control of your PTSD.
Self Care: Do something that makes you feel safe and comforted, or something that you enjoy. This could be listening to your favourite music, watching a film to take your mind off the outside world, or ringing a friend or family member. Anything that makes you feel happy and makes you forget about the event and of anxious feelings.
Understand what triggers you: some places and situations may trigger your PTSD response, making you feel anxious or have a flashback of the event. If you get to know what things trigger this response in you it is easier to plan ways to cope when you come into contact with them, such as breathing techniques or self-affirmations. It will also be easier for you to avoid the triggers, for example, if it is a certain place that triggers you, you could plan an alternative route to your destination in advance.
Talk to someone: It may seem difficult to do this as you may not understand your feelings or may not want to discuss the event, but it is one of the best things you can do. Confiding in someone you trust can be the first step in recovering from PTSD. It will make you feel less alone, more relaxed and more in control of your thoughts and feelings.
Breathing techniques: Simple breathing techniques can be very effective when you are feeling panicked or anxious. Focus on taking deep breaths in and out for a couple of seconds and you should start feeling more relaxed. This is due to you beginning to feel in control of your breathing. Meditation apps and videos are another good way to help you focus on your breathing and relax.
If you are suffering from PTSD and need professional help, please seek help from your local doctor. Alternatively, you can contact us on our ‘ask an expert’ page and we can point you in the right direction to get the help you need.