People who don’t have PTSD just don’t understand. For someone who isn’t living with PTSD, they often don’t know that someone with PTSD doesn’t just experience fear and anxiety. They’re re-experiencing their trauma again and again.
PTSD is closely associated with veterans. It’s an anxiety disorder that occurs after experiencing a traumatic event. In many cases, it affects men and women who served in combat situations.
It also occurs following terrorist attacks. But PTSD doesn’t only affect veterans.
Victims of abuse, rape, and anyone who has been a survivor of a catastrophic event can be affected. Unfortunately, doctors aren’t sure why some survivors are impacted more than others.
It’s also important to note that seeking help for PTSD doesn’t imply weakness. PTSD has affected some of the bravest and most fearless Americans and is nothing to be ashamed of.
There is help available to help you put the trauma of your experiences behind you. Knowing what’s proven to be effective can help you make a treatment decision.
PTSD doesn’t have to be a life sentence. Read on to learn more about coping skills for anxiety and how to best treat your PTSD.
1. Name Your Enemy
Coping can be difficult if you don’t know what exactly it is you’re up against. Fortunately, PTSD symptoms are easy to recognize.
PTSD diagnosis includes a stressor or stressful event that has negatively impacted the patient. Examples of a stressor could include a car accident, violent situation, or a childhood of abuse.
Symptoms of PTSD include the reoccurrence and re-experience of the stressor in nightmares, flashbacks, or upsetting memories. These reoccurrences cause undue stress, anxiety, and depression in the person experiencing them.
If reoccurrence has persisted for more than a month, there’s a good chance that what you’re experiencing is PTSD. PTSD can cause destructive behavior, irritability, hypervigilance, and difficulty with normal behavior like eating or sleeping.
2. Don’t Isolate Yourself
Dealing with PTSD-related anxiety can feel like a huge burden. Resist any urge you may feel to carry the burden alone.
Isolating separates us from our all-important support system. Talk to your friends or loved ones and let them know what you’re experiencing.
This is also important because avoiding your symptoms can give them more power. Attempting to avoid triggering situations may give you temporary relief from your symptoms. It can ultimately empower your PTSD to have an even larger response.
3. Practice Mindfulness
While using mindfulness to grow your own awareness of the feelings you’re experiencing may sound like the last thing you’d want to do during an episode, the effects can be life-changing. Instead of trying not to feel your trauma, turn to face your monster and understand what’s happening inside your body.
Using mindfulness is a practice that can help almost anyone that experiences pain on a regular basis. But it’s especially effective in taking away some of the power your PTSD holds over you.
Talk-based therapy can be a huge asset for those looking to put their trauma behind them. There are a variety of techniques that can be used to lessen the frequency and occurrence of episodes.
Talk-based therapy is one of the most common and effective PTSD treatments. Cognitive processing techniques or cognitive behavioral therapy (also known as CPT and CBT, respectively) can be effective in taking power away from your PTSD.
Another effective therapy is known as Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. EMDR involves walking through your trauma with a skilled professional while engaging in a rhythmic back and forth eye movement.
Created in 1989 by Francine Shapiro, there are currently over 20,000 practitioners trained in providing EMDR therapy.
Keeping track of your feelings and occurrences can be a great way to begin the healing process. Journaling can help reinforce your coping skills. It can be a great opportunity to track your recovery progress as well.
In certain situations, journaling can be a great distraction when you’re feeling anxious or in a situation that you feel triggers your anxiety. This tool can also be effective when seeing a therapist.
Not knowing where to start or how to explain your trauma can be improved by reading your own work. Bringing your journal to therapy and reading your own words can help you articulate the heart of the issue and begin the journey toward recovery.
You deserve to be alive and are worthy of happiness.
6. SSRIs and Other Treatment Options
Under the guidance of a therapist or doctor, SSRIs are another option for treating PTSD. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, commonly referred to as SSRIs are currently the only medication prescribed to treat PTSD.
SSRIs help regulate neurotransmitter serotonin which can help PTSD suffers to better regulate their own lives. Eating, sleeping, and dealing with anxiety are three of the components SSRIs can help regulate.
Once under control, PTSD treatments can be more effective and empower you to better treat your other co-occurring symptoms.
Learn More About Coping Skills for Anxiety and PTSD
If you or someone you love is having suicidal thoughts or feelings, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), visit an emergency room, or call 911.
Find a therapist to help you take your life back. There’s no shame in asking for help and finding a therapist is easier than ever. Thanks to the internet, you can even find a discreet and convenient option that you can book online.
For more insight into coping skills for anxiety and PTSD, check out more posts on our blog. Don’t let PTSD or anxiety steal you away from the friends you love and the life you deserve to enjoy.
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