Throughout life, you’re likely to come across ups and downs alike. Some experiences can be more traumatic than others. These experiences can leave long-lasting scars that can be challenging to deal with. For some people, these psychological scars fade away over time. For others, they can linger around no matter how hard people try to move past them.
Post-traumatic stress is a genuine issue. Anyone who has experienced a traumatic incident is likely to develop PTSD. For years, post-traumatic stress disorder was neglected because of stigma. Now, however, there is more awareness regarding this disorder. Although it can be isolating and scary to be haunted by your worst memories, there are ways to overcome them. Some methods can help you cope with your symptoms, reduce their severity and live a healthy, happy life. If you’re interested in learning more about how you can deal with PTSD, keep reading below.
Try alternative treatments
For people struggling with severe PTSD symptoms, life itself can become unbearable. They can experience vivid, debilitating hallucinations, flashbacks, depression, and crippling anxiety. These symptoms can make it challenging for patients to work and connect with their loved ones. Also, these symptoms can often be severe enough to hamper daily life functioning.
Although traditional therapy has its own merits, sometimes alternative approaches can offer immediate relief. Ketamine therapy is an incredibly effective treatment to alleviate the symptoms of PTSD, including associated depression, anxiety, and hallucinations. Ketamine is a potent dissociative anesthetic and can work within hours to reduce symptoms. Heading to a reputable ketamine clinic can help you deal with your symptoms. Also, ketamine has no side effects, making it a therapeutic intervention you can use sustainably.
One of the hallmarks of suffering from PTSD is that you can constantly switch away from the present and stay rooted in the past. People with PTSD feel overwhelmed by their thoughts, and it can be challenging to get some distance from these fears. Constantly staying preoccupied can make you struggle to connect with those around you, lose focus on your daily routine, and ignore the present. However, mindfulness helps overcome these challenges.
Mindfulness is a new therapeutic intervention that focuses on awareness and helps patients to remain in the present moment. It teaches you increased awareness, which can help you recognize when you’re slipping away from reality and sinking back into fears of the past. Furthermore, mindfulness has various therapies and techniques that allow you to anchor yourself in the present wherever you feel you’re slipping. Breathing exercises are popular in mindfulness and can allow you to ground yourself. Also, you can perform these techniques anywhere and anytime you feel overwhelmed.
Identify your triggers
People struggling with PTSD may feel they’re on the road to recovery until they encounter a trigger that sends them spiraling back into the abyss. These triggers are reminders of your traumatic experience. They can immediately make you feel like you’re back in a distressing situation. Distancing yourself from your thoughts and feelings after encountering a trigger can be challenging.
Triggers can be both internal and external. Internal triggers can be feelings of fear, guilt, anxiety, memories, or physical pain that reminds you of the situation. External triggers can be environmental, such as watching a show or listening to a story that reminds you of your trauma, certain people, specific events, and so on.
Although it can seem straightforward to avoid these triggers entirely, you never know where they can crop up from. Thus, you need to identify which situations or feelings trigger you most and stay prepared. With time, you can learn to control your emotions even in the presence of triggers.
Build a support system
People with PTSD are prone to isolating themselves from everyone, including those close to them. The crippling depression and anxiety can make it challenging for them to maintain relationships as they once used to. Also, they can experience a lot of physical and emotional fatigue in social interactions. It can feel as if no one understands the experience they have gone through, especially when some people discount their experiences.
However, having a healthy support system can be instrumental in recovering from PTSD and returning to everyday life. Even if you feel like pushing away those around you, making an effort to stay connected can make a huge difference. Staying isolated can increase the emotional pain you experience. On the other hand, sharing your feelings with others can help you unburden and feel like you’re not alone. Having people to rely on can also help you turn to someone whenever you feel overwhelmed and can help you get some much-needed advice and support.
Challenge your sense of helplessness
People who have PTSD can often feel as if they cannot help themselves or others around them. Being surrounded with so much anxiety and fear can make you feel like you cannot do anything useful for yourself or others. But challenging this sense of helplessness can be instrumental in giving meaning to your life.
There are several ways to enhance your self-efficacy and give your life purpose. Volunteering at shelters, helping friends or loved ones in need, donating blood, and other charitable ventures can restore your confidence. Although you can’t expect a change to happen overnight, with time, you can start experiencing positive feelings too. These methods can also help you boost your resilience and give you task-oriented ways of dealing with negative experiences and emotions.
Sometimes struggling with PTSD can make you feel overwhelmed with negative feelings, and you’ll need to find an appropriate way to handle your emotions before you explode. Finding a proactive way of dealing with your feelings is vital to coping with PTSD in the long run.
Venting can include sharing your feelings with someone you know or more effective non-verbal and non-violent acts. Painting, dancing, exercising, singing, writing, and playing sports are all effective ways to channel your energy into something more positive.
Living with PTSD can seem like a life where half of you is stuck in the past, dreading what may come. Using these coping strategies can help you live a life grounded in the present and can help you deal proactively with your symptoms. Although healing is a gradual process, these tips can help you get on the right track. Consult a mental health specialist if you feel you need more help.