People experience some nightmares, disconnection, or numbness following traumatic events. These symptoms may last a few days or even a few weeks for some people. This is a normal reaction to an abnormal situation. However, if these symptoms stick for a more extended period, then you may have developed post-traumatic-stress-disorder (PTSD).
What causes PTSD? A wide range of events can lead to it, including witnessing violent attacks, physical or sexual abuse, undergoing natural or human-made disasters, car crashes, fires, being bullied, military combat (sometimes called “shell shock”), etc.
Symptoms of PTSD include re-experiencing the traumatic event, avoidance or numbing the pain, negative thought, mood changes, feeling wound up, lasting feelings of anxiety, or any type of negative physical reaction to a stimulus.
Signs of PTSD vary from person to person. However, adults and teens show similar symptoms, while younger kids may show more fearful or regressive behaviors. They may reenact that trauma through play. Symptoms may begin within the first month of trauma, but they can show up after months or years have passed. Often anniversaries of the event cause a flood of emotions and resurfacing of traumatic memories. Here are 4 effective ways to deal with PTSD.
Performing an enjoyable physical activity regularly has helped with the reduction of PTSD symptoms. The activity absorbs one for a few hours, which takes their mind off from past events. Several studies have been conducted to look at the effect of regular exercise on PTSD symptoms. In one study, adults with PTSD joined a 30-minute training session for a week. The results of this study showed a significant decrease in PTSD symptoms, depression, and an improvement in sleep quality after the program expired.
Research claims we can train pets to recognize or interrupt the onset of PTSD symptoms. Several studies show that adopting trained animals has had a positive impact on people experiencing PTSD-related depression or anxiety. Our furry little friends can even help relieve nightmares!
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This is one of the most important and useful ways of dealing with PTSD. Having a robust social support system can be extremely beneficial when dealing with a mental illness. Friends that treat us with empathy and care are significant regardless of any disease. Social circles could also include support groups that may help one relate their experiences with other people. Talking about our problems may help us cope with them in a better, healthier way. It may give us hope, reminding us that we are not alone. Our feelings are not hints of insanity but a mere reaction to our lived experiences.
In addition to this coping mechanism, one should always consult therapy. People with PTSD often restrain themselves from getting professional help because they believe it is understandable to feel frightened or scared after a traumatic event. They often downplay their symptoms justifying their state as normal. However, after experiencing a traumatic event, the chances of developing post-traumatic stress disorder are genuine. Thus, one should always get a consultation with professional counselors and therapists!