Post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD is a mental health disorder that manifests in some individuals after they have experienced an unsafe, terrifying, or traumatic incident. Though it is normal to feel frightened and distraught after witnessing a disturbing incident, there are some people who continue to experience these symptoms even when they are out of danger who might be struggling with PTSD. The symptoms of PTSD usually become apparent within three months of the traumatic event, however, it might take many more months or even a year after the incident for the symptoms to manifest. While some people may recover within six months, in others, the condition might become chronic.
Fortunately, it is possible to recover from PTSD and lead a dynamic and meaningful life especially when the individual seeks mental health treatment. For that reason, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) declared the month of June as PTSD Awareness Month.
The premise is to reach out to civilian and veteran survivors of serious accidents, sexual assault, natural calamities, and other traumatic events and to help them understand that successful treatments for PTSD are available. Seeking evidence-based PTSD treatment can help one significantly improve their quality of life. Therefore, it is important to initiate the conversation about the available treatment options so that no one shies away from seeking professional help.
Self-help tips to cope with PTSD symptoms
For those who are not ready to seek professional help right now, there are several self-help strategies that can help alleviate PTSD symptoms which include:
- Educating self and others: People with PTSD deal with their struggles in isolation which can cause an aggravation in symptoms greatly affecting one’s quality of life. Hence why one must read extensively to understand the symptoms related to PTSD and reach out to people who can understand their condition. Educating yourself and others about the disorder will help one know what to expect.
- Finding supportive connections: Connect with other people experiencing similar problems and symptoms of PTSD can help one break the walls of isolation and help understand that they are not alone. For this, one can join online and offline community meetings, classes, and support groups of their choice. Participating in such group activities can help an individual understand their symptoms better, cope effectively, and learn about the established and emerging treatment options.
- Spending time with people: PTSD victims struggle with feelings of extreme anger, anxiety, confusion, and frustration which forces them to retreat into their shells. However, it is important to understand that spending quality time with family and friends can greatly help change a person’s outlook and levels of awareness about the disorder and its impact. One can begin by spending more time with friends and family by going for a walk, grabbing a cup of coffee, talking on the phone, playing cards or board games, watching a movie, going to a concert, and other activities.
- Practicing mindfulness: Anxiety and stress are common with individuals whom are dealing with PTSD, therefore, one should devote time daily to meditation, prayer, and some mindful techniques which can help relax the mind and the body. Though practicing mindfulness is great and recommended, one must not rush with this practice. Mindfulness helps one to stay focused in the present, feel calm, and gradually start disconnecting from their past traumatic experiences.
- Physical activity: A growing number of studies suggest that exercising can make a big difference, especially in overcoming the depressive, anxious, and fearful symptoms of
PTSD. Regular physical exercise not only helps in improving one’s health issues like high blood pressure, diabetes, and arthritis, but also helps reduce a number of psychological issues. One of the psychological benefits of exercise includes enhancement of self-esteem and exercising helps release the feel-good endorphins in the body that improve one’s well-being. These endorphins interact with the receptors in the brain that play a crucial role in reducing the perception of pain.
Seeking treatment for PTSD
Despite sincere efforts and best intentions, one might not be able to overcome their PTSD symptoms. In such a scenario, it is essential to seek professional help before the symptoms worsen and begin to create life problems.
If you or someone you know is battling PTSD or any other mental health condition, the 24/7 Mental Health Helpline can help. We can assist you in finding the right 24/7 outpatient mental health treatment center that can tailor the programs to suit your requirements. To learn more about mental health treatment centers near you, call our 24/7 mental health helpline (855) 653-8178 or chat online with a representative.