Are you affected by a stressful event in your life? Has this event led to a buildup of stress? If the answers are yes, then you should consult your doctor. There are a number of actions that can be taken to deal with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
- Be Strict with Your PTSD Treatment Plan: Both medication and therapy take effect after a certain period of time. Hence, any person suffering from PTSD should follow the treatment plan strictly laid out by their medical professional.
- Gain Knowledge on PTSD: Understand the intricacies of this disease. Learn what the impacts on the human psyche are and what medication is prescribed for the same.
- Give Priority To Your Health: Lack of sleep, depending on addictive substances and improper diet can worsen the symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Patients need to exercise some amount of self-control and ensure proper sleep at all times.
- Don't self-medicate: Medication without understanding is harmful. Always inquire with your health professional about the drugs being prescribed and the side effects of it.
- Volunteer: Diverting your mind is an important activity. People suffering from PTSD should indulge in some activity when they are triggered by the symptoms.
- Talk to Close Ones: You need to create a group of friends and family to help you through the recovery phase of PTSD. Talking is a great way of relieving the stress and allaying your fears.
- Find Support Groups: You can search for groups online. You can even ask your doctor or therapist to suggest groups you could join and be part of.
What to Do When Someone Close To Me Has Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?
There is a huge difference before and after the onset of PTSD. Once PTSD sets it, people may battle depression, withdrawal symptoms, high levels of anger and irritability. This is extremely tough on all the near and dear ones of the patient.
Once people hear the situations that led to the onset of PTSD, they experience pain and in some cases replay the events repeatedly in their mind. There is a feeling of hopelessness when it comes to recovery from PTSD. Most friends and family do not encourage attempts made by the patient to talk about those events. Family and friends also feel guilty, as they cannot accelerate the recovery process of PTSD. There are few steps that you can take on their part.
- Gain a Better Understanding of the Disease and you can understand what your loved ones are going through.
- Understand that Withdrawal from People is Part of their Disorder: Provide the patient time and acceptance so that they are comfortable to discuss the same at their own pace. Also, take steps to ensure that they do not isolate themselves.
- Make Time to go to the Doctor's and Therapist Appointments: Show that you are willing to support them at every step.
- Listen to Them: Offer them a sympathetic ear. However, give them time to be ready to share their thoughts in an open and stress free manner.
- Encourage participation: Include them in all social gatherings. Make it a point to make them feel as normal as possible. Ensure that they do not feel as outsiders to the celebrations.
- Don't Forget to Take Care of Yourself: Remaining healthy is important. This will allow you to provide care and attention that the patient suffering from PTSD requires.
- Most families and friends of PTSD patients find it difficult to overcome their feelings of despondency. Hence it makes sense to consult a therapist for the same.
- Be Safe: Sometimes Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) may lead to violent and abusive behavior. Hence, it is important to have a safe area where the family can stay until the behavior subsides.
Self Help Recovery Tips for People Suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Like some of the disorders or diseases, recovery for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a long process. There are no immediate cures. There is also no guarantee that the memories will disappear forever. You need to take a number of steps to ensure that you remain healthy.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Self Help Recovery Tip #1: Joint Support Group To Share Experience
Many people suffer from PTSD and hence there are groups formed by such patients. These groups help each other with tips and success stories. They can be found online and by inquiring with mental health professionals.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Self Help Recovery Tip #2: Avoid Consumption of Drugs and Alcohol
Most patients assume that the calming effect of alcohol and drugs can help them tide over the symptoms of PTSD. However, the reality is that both heighten the symptoms of PTSD. The patient ends up feeling worse than before. Most do not realize that the consumption of drugs and alcohol led to the escalation of symptoms.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Self Help Recovery Tip #3: Participate in Activities
The overall feeling of dread is what makes patients susceptible. Instead, they need to provide constant challenges to the brain. This can best be done by partaking in a number of different activities. Doing the same will ensure that the brain spends more time being occupied with positive rather than negative thoughts.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Self Help Recovery Tip #4: Feel The Nature
Spending time in nature provides the relevant soothing required calming a patient suffering from PTSD. Most veterans take this route to help them deal with high levels of PTSD. However, this can be applied to normal patients as well. The effect of greenery on a troubled mind is something that even mental health professionals attest to.
How Long Does It Take to Recover from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?
Patients start getting a better perspective on things a few weeks after the traumatic incident. However, if symptoms last for more than three months, professional help will be needed. There are a number of therapies that have led to changes within a short period.
Treatments like Cognitive Behavior therapy, Cognitive Processing Therapy, Reprocessing, Desensitization of Eye Movement (EMDR), and Exposure Therapy have been instrumental in treating PTSD. Since they combine education, strategies and skill based training, they have proved to be extremely effective.
However, recovery does not mean ignoring the trauma. Instead, it teaches patients to deal effectively with both physical and emotional reactions to changing situations in your life. It teaches patients to deal with symptoms and regain their self-respect and self-confidence.