Post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD is a mental health disorder that manifests in individuals after they experience an unsafe, terrifying, or a traumatic incident. Usually, it is normal to feel terrible and distraught after a life-threatening or disturbing episode. A majority of people experience these symptoms and most of them pull through, however, people who continue to experience these symptoms even when they are out of danger are the ones struggling with PTSD. The symptoms of PTSD usually manifest within 3 to 4 months of the unsettling event, nevertheless, they may also take many more months or even a year after the incident to manifest. While some people may recover within 6 months, in some, the condition might become chronic.
Fortunately, it is conceivable to recuperate from PTSD and lead a dynamic and meaningful life. Regardless of this, most people wrestling with PTSD do not receive the help they seek. It is therefore important to practice some self-help strategies to deal with these symptoms.
Self-help tips to cope with PTSD symptoms
Some self-help strategies to deal with the symptoms of PTSD are as follows:
- Educating self and others: Oftentimes, people struggling with PTSD deal with their struggles in isolation. This can cause an aggravation in symptoms which can greatly affect one’s quality of life. Thus, one must read extensively to understand their symptoms or reach out to someone who understands their condition. Getting educated will help one understand what to expect from their disorder and also what to expect from others.
- Finding supportive connections: Getting connected with people who are also struggling and undergoing the same experiences can help one overcome their isolation and understand that they are not alone in their journey. For this, one can join many online and offline community meetings, classes, and support groups. Participating in support group activities can help understand symptoms better, learn effective coping strategies, and also become aware of established and emerging treatment options.
- Spending time with people: People with PTSD struggle with extreme feelings of anger, anxiety, overwhelm, confusion, and frustration and these feelings might isolate them from people around them. However, it is important to understand that spending quality time with family and friends can greatly help change their outlook and mood. One can begin taking baby steps if it seems like a daunting task in the beginning. One can go for a walk with them, have a cup of coffee, call them every once in a while, play cards or scrabble together, watch a movie, visit a concert, or choose to do whatever they prefer. If one feels uncomfortable sharing something yet, they can still spend time with their loved ones by sitting beside them quietly in a setting of their choice. This experience can also feel comforting and help break the ice eventually.
- Practicing mindfulness: People with PTSD often experience high levels of anxiety, stress, and a feeling of devastation. Therefore, devoting sometime every day to meditate, prayer, and practicingmindful techniques can be greatly helpful in appeasing the mind as well as the body. However, one must not rush with this practice. They can start by devoting 2 to 5 minutes per day and gradually scale up. Mindfulness helps one to stay focused in the present, feel calm, and gradually start dissociating from their past traumatic experiences.
- Physical activity: When a person struggles with the melancholies of PTSD, it becomes exceedingly difficult for them to perform routine and basic tasks. Under such circumstances, one of the last things a person would like to indulge in is exercise. However, a growing number of studies suggest that exercise can make a big difference, especially in overcoming the depressive and fearful symptoms of PTSD. Regular physical exercise not only helps in improving one’s health issues like high blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis, etc. but also reduces a myriad of psychological issues. Moreover, one of the psychological benefits of exercise includes enhancement of self-esteem. This is because exercise helps in releasing the feel-good endorphins in the body that improves one’s well-being. Further, these endorphins interact with the receptors in the brain that play a crucial role in reducing the perception of pain.
Road to recovery
Sometimes, despite earnest efforts and the best intentions, one might not be able to come out of the rut of PTSD symptoms. In such a scenario, it is indispensable to seek professional help before the symptoms worsen.
If you or someone you know is battling PTSD, the 24/7 Mental Health Helpline can help. We can assist you in finding the right 24/7 mental health treatment program tailored to suit your requirements. To know more about credible mental health rehab centers near you, call at our 24/7 inpatient mental health helpline (855) 653-8178 or chat online with a representative.