7 Self Help Strategies for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

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Chances are you’ve heard about post-traumatic stress disorder. Many generally affiliate it with war veterans, however the reality is, any occasion or series of occasions that creates a strong fear response and worsens over time can set off PTSD. According to the National Center for PTSD, about 6 out of every 100 people will have PTSD at some level of their lives. If you or a loved one is struggling to administer after experiencing a traumatic event, there is hope, and also you can recover. This article provides methods for post-traumatic stress disorder, together with offering details about the best tip – early treatment.

What Is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?

It’s regular to really feel scared, anxious and indifferent from the world round you after experiencing a traumatic event. However, if these signs persist and worsen with time, it might be post-traumatic stress dysfunction (PTSD). PTSD is a psychological well being dysfunction that develops after witnessing, listening to about, or experiencing a traumatic occasion like death, serious injury, or sexual violation. It causes intense psychological and bodily reactions after being reminded of the occasion and uncovered to triggers. It additional creates extreme hopelessness and helplessness, amongst a number of different signs over a interval of months or years.

What Are the Symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?

While everybody experiences PTSD differently, the DSM-5 characterizes 4 main symptoms;

Intrusion involves persistently re-experiencing the event 

  • Intrusive memories
  • Nightmares
  • Flashbacks
  • Intense distress
  • Physical signs after being uncovered to reminders of the event, together with elevated coronary heart rate, nausea, or sweating. 

Avoidance of something that reminds you of the event

  • Trauma-related ideas or feelings
  • Places, people, objects, conversations, or situations

Negative mood 

  • Difficulty remembering or recalling the event
  • Negative beliefs about oneself and the world
  • Negative feelings like shame, guilt, fear, or anger
  • Feeling alienated and indifferent from others
  • Decreased curiosity in actions that were as quickly as enjoyable 
  • A persistent inability to expertise positive feelings such as pleasure and happiness. 


  • Irritability and aggression
  • Impulsive and destructive behavior
  • Problems concentrating
  • Poor sleep
  • Feeling on guard
  • An exaggerated began response

What Causes Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?

After we expertise a stressful event, our nervous system prompts our fight-or-flight response for survival. Our hormones kick in, our coronary heart rate increases, our palms sweat, and we’re ready to both fight, run, or freeze. But as quickly as the threat is gone, our nervous systems returns to a regular mode, and we really feel calmer and extra relaxed. However, within the case of PTSD, the occasion causes the nervous system to get stuck. Even although there is no hazard present, the mind continues to activate stress signals, inflicting persistent PTSD symptoms. And a number of occasions can set off PTSD, together with publicity to traumatic occasions at work, bodily or sexual assault, racial trauma, abuse, a serious injury, war and conflict, torture, and death.

7 Self Help Strategies for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

1. Increase your consciousness about PTSD

One of the best methods for post-traumatic stress dysfunction is increasing your consciousness and education. Many individuals who expertise PTSD are unaware they’ve it. Therefore, attending support groups, studying about it, and attending community occasions about PTSD will increase your mind-body connection and the way PTSD is affecting your life. And when you are given instruments and phrases to outline how that trauma impacts you, you become extra conscious of its imprint in your nervous system.

2. Deep breathing

PTSD prompts a persistent flight-or-flight response. But practicing deep breathing can reduce your stress hormones and calm your mind. When you’re stressed and anxious, how do you feel? You probably take short and shallow breaths. Yet deep breathing helps your physique obtain extra oxygen and reset to a extra relaxed state. One popular method you can practice is stomach breathing;

  1. Sit comfortably. 
  2. While closing your eyes, place one hand in your chest and the opposite in your belly. 
  3. Inhale slowly and deeply through your nostril whereas focusing in your stomach rising
  4. Then exhale and focus in your stomach flattening. 
  5. Repeat for ten breaths, and picture you are inflating and deflating a balloon as you breathe. 

3. Social support

PTSD could make you really feel alone, alienated, and indifferent from your self and the world round you. Yet having a support community can assist you overcome these feelings of helplessness, isolation, and despair whereas opening as much as others who care about you. Whether you talk to your friends, household members or attain out to a support group, face-to-face support is one of many most positively influential factors throughout your recovery.

4. Self-soothing

PTSD creates an overwhelming state of emotions. Therefore, it’s important to have coping mechanisms to handle your feelings. For example, a weighted blanket alleviates your PTSD symptoms, will increase serotonin, and makes you really feel safe. Other examples, include adopting an emotional support animal to make your on a regular basis life easier, taking heat baths, hiking in nature, or practicing progressive muscle relaxation. These methods are designed to enhance your temper and reduce your anxiety.

5. Healthy distractions

Healthy distractions function coping mechanisms and don’t always imply avoidance. When used deliberately for your emotional wellbeing, they are often an efficient tool throughout your recovery. For example, a distraction technique could be something that brings you happiness, such as cooking, taking a yoga class, volunteering at an animal shelter, exercising or spending time with your friends.

6. Expressive writing

Journaling is a private and vulnerable train that permits you to launch your ideas from pen to paper. It can assist you cope with the emotional signs of PTSD like anxiety and anger and assist you restore focus and launch stress. To begin, discover a quiet place, take into consideration the occasion briefly and write any ideas that come to mind. But remember revisiting the occasion can be distressing. Therefore, make sure you have a coping mechanism in place to handle any ensuing stress.

7. Grounding techniques

With PTSD, grounding techniques keep your mindset focused on the current second rather than darting between a number of layers of the past. A few examples include carrying an object that reminds you to repeat “I am safe”, connecting your senses to your surrounding environment, and describing what you see, feel, see, smell, and hear. Or it may be sniffing an aromatherapy oil to calm your nerves.

When to Seek Help

PTSD signs worsen with time. Therefore, reaching out to a therapist quickly after you expertise the trauma occasion can assist you handle any signs earlier than they become overwhelming or out of control. In fact, early treatment is one of many best methods for post-traumatic stress dysfunction since you gain constant support and learn how to heal and transfer ahead from the trauma.

Remember, PTSD is extremely treatable, and also you don’t want to expertise it alone. There is support available.

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