Anyone who has been through a life-threatening, scray, or violent event in their life can suffer from Post-traumatic stress disorder. Even if they weren’t the direct subject of that event but merely an observer, the shock of witnessing something so tough can deeply affect their mental and physiological health.
Some of the most common symptoms of PTSD are insomnia, flashbacks, social anxiety, extremely negative emotions, and low self-esteem. Sometimes PTSD can be so intense that you might feel like you will never get better, but PTSD is very much treatable.
Physiotherapy and medication have proved extremely useful in dealing with PTSD. Plus there is now a lot more understanding in general around this topic so you don’t have to feel isolated and hopeless if you’re suffering from PTSD you are not alone. Here are some of the most common treatment options for Posttraumatic Stress.
Joining a Support Group
Someone who is suffering from PTSD needs to build a strong support system around them, they need to confide in people that are close to them, whether it’s their partner, friends, or family. This gives them a sense of security that there is always someone willing to help whenever they need them.
PTSD patients can also join a support group where different people suffering from the same problem come together to share their struggles and over time learn to deal with them. No one wants to relive their trauma but if you keep confronting it, over time you will be able to learn to not allow it to affect you as much.
PTSD patients always stay on edge because of an imbalance of neurotransmitters in their minds. This is why they have a very different way of perceiving threats and are easily triggered by the smallest perception of threat.
One of the primary ways to counter this chemical imbalance is medication. Medications can easily help you get rid of nightmares and flashbacks. Some of the most popular drugs used to treat PTSD include Fluoxetine, Paroxetine, and sertraline. Doctors can also prescribe other medicines based on what they might think can work for you.
Some doctors also prescribe marijuana shatter or organic Canadian weed in one form or another as it has proved to be quite effective for a lot of PTSD patients. However, you need to make sure that you consult your doctor before trying weed because sometimes it can also aggravate the situation by making you more neurotic and paranoid.
Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT)
Cognitive processing is a kind of therapy where you learn to process your trauma in a different and more positive way. The first step is to talk about your experience with your therapist in detail and determine how your perception of it has affected your life.
Once you are able to articulate your thoughts it’s time to write everything down. This process helps you come up with different ways to cope and live with your trauma rather than being afraid of it.
One of the biggest problems when it comes to PTSD patients is that they have a lot of negative emotion which is why they often end up blaming themselves for their trauma. In cognitive processing therapy, your therapist helps you take into account all the variables that were not in your control so you can start understanding that it wasn’t your fault, which can give you new confidence and strength to deal with your trauma.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing
Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing more commonly known as EMDR is a psychological treatment technique for PTSD where you recall your trauma in your head or share it out loud with your therapist if you want while making rapid eye movements by following the therapist’s finger, or a flashlight. It can also include the therapist playing a melody or tapping their finger on something slowly. The idea is to be able to get rid of the negative emotion associated with the trauma and be able to think about something more positive as you recall it in your head.
Prolonged Exposure Therapy
Many PTSD patients deal with their trauma by suppressing it for as long as possible. However, that just delays the inevitable and can end up making things much worse. Prolonged exposure therapy helps you confront your trauma.
It takes around 9 to 15 sessions, around an hour and a half each, where you talk to your therapist about all the suppressed emotions related to your trauma and how it has been affecting your life.
The first part of your therapy involves breathing exercises that will help you ease your anxiety once you’re reliving that experience in your mind. Then you list down everything that you have been avoiding on a paper and over time learn to face it one by one. The last step involves you recounting your experience to your therapist and recording everything that you say and listen to that recording of yourself regularly.
Stress Inoculation Training
Stress inoculation is a kind of cognitive-behavioral therapy where you use different techniques to deal with the stress related to your trauma. It can include different kinds of massage, yoga, meditation, and breathing techniques. You can do it with a group or on your own, whatever makes you feel more comfortable. Through stress inoculation therapy you can get rid of extra stress within 90 days and bring back some normality in your daily life.
One of the biggest advantages of SIT is that it teaches different ways of dealing with stress in your life whether it is related to trauma or otherwise which can have an overwhelmingly positive effect on your daily life.
At the end of the day, it is almost impossible to predict what will or won’t work for you because everyone reacts differently to different treatments, for some support groups and meditation might be enough while others might need months and months of therapy, a strong support system, and medication. So make sure to consult your doctor before doing anything and stay away from self-medicating because it will do more damage than good.
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