In this brief article, we will be discussing PTSD self-help, the methods used for PTSD self-help, the benefits of PTSD self-help, and more information about PTSD self-help.
What are PTSD self-help guidelines that affected people can use?
The following are the guides that you should follow if you want to treat yourself from this kind of psychological disorder:
PTSD self-help guideline 1 (Challenge your sense of helplessness)
You should know that you shouldn’t expect to be healed immediately from this psychological disorder.
Your recovery from this psychological disorder will take time.
In the state of your recovery, you need to take care of your anxieties and fears so that you can feel the effects of this psychological disorder.
You can minimize these distressing symptoms by trying to take control of your life again such as volunteer your time, give blood, get in touch with a friend in need or donate to your favourite charity.
You should always encourage yourself to do positive methods that can help you get healed from this psychological disorder gradually.
There are some positive coping mechanisms that you can try such as the following:
- Educate yourself about trauma and this psychological disorder
- Join a PTSD support group and participate to help you feel more comfortable about life
- Practice relaxation strategies in your own time
- Pursue outdoor activities to help you to stay active
- Confide in a person you trust to release some of your tensions
- Spend time with positive people to help you feel more optimistic about life
- Prevent alcohol and drugs that only worsen the symptoms
- Enjoy the peace of nature and feel relaxed from the scenery
Guideline 2 (Get moving)
You need to get in the spirit of exercise which can help you release endorphins which can make you feel happy.
You can use this activity daily to help you get moving and feel your body like you were meditating.
In this case, you should try the following:
- Rhythmic exercise that indulges both your arms and legs like walking, running, swimming or dancing. Instead of concentrating on your thoughts, concentrate on how your body feels. You need to observe the feeling of your feet hitting the ground, for instance, or the rhythm of your breathing or the feeling of the wind on your skin which can make you feel relaxed
- Rock climbing, boxing, weight training, or martial arts as physical activities. These activities can make it easier to concentrate on your body movements to help in some situations where if you don’t, you could get hurt.
- Spending quality personal time in nature which can help you feel calm. You can do some outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, mountain biking, rock climbing, whitewater rafting, and skiing helps veterans cope with the symptoms of this disorder and transition back into civilian life and help them adjust accordingly. Anyone with this disorder can benefit from the relaxation, serenity, and peace that come with being out in nature. You need to search for local organizations that provide outdoor recreation or teambuilding opportunities which can also get you to socialize.
Guideline 3 (Reach out to others for support)
This disorder will make you feel like you don’t belong with other people.
In this case, it might be tempting for you to withdraw and avoid other people.
However, it is crucial for you to have some support in your life.
You don’t need to talk about the trauma that you have experienced but you should spend the time to have some relaxed fun with your companions.
You need to get in touch with someone which can offer you some time that won’t be interrupted by anything.
This can be done by hanging out with a friend, family member or your counsellor if you prefer.
You could even try the following tips to help you out:
- Volunteering your time or getting in touch with a friend in need. This situation is not only a great method to relate to others but can also help you get back your sense of control.
- Joining a PTSD support group to help you feel less isolated. This participation can help you feel less secluded and isolated and also give invaluable information on how to deal with symptoms and work towards recovery. You can even get help from PTSD forums, which educate you about what the disorder is and gives you tips on how to cope with it.
When you find that connecting with others is difficult for you, you can do the following:
- Exercise or move around as much as you can. Before meeting with a friend, you can either exercise or move around in your own home or your garden. You need to jump up and down, swing your arms and legs or just flail around in your vicinity. Your head will feel clearer and better and you’ll find it easier to relate to other people.
- Practising your vocal toning before meeting with a friend. As strange as it sounds, this practice is also a great method to open up your nervous system to social interaction and reduce stress hormones. You can try sneaking off to a quiet place before talking with friends. You can sit up straight and with your lips together and teeth slightly apart, simply make “mmmm” sounds to make you ready to speak some coherent words. You can change the pitch and volume until you experience a pleasant vibration in your face and hearing some of it. You can practice for a few minutes and observe if the vibration spreads to your heart and stomach which can help a lot in your nervousness to meet other people.
Guideline 4 (Support PTSD treatment with a healthy lifestyle)
The symptoms of this psychological disorder can make you feel stiff and this is why it is important for you to do something about this by engaging in a healthy lifestyle such as the following:
- Take some personal quality time to wind down. Relaxation strategies like meditation, deep breathing, massage, or yoga can induce the body’s relaxation response and ease symptoms of this trauma disorder. You can even listen to music or read books and poems on PTSD.
- Prevent alcohol and drugs as mentioned before. When you’re troubled with complicated emotions and traumatic memories, you may be compelled to self-medicate with alcohol or drugs. But substance use and dependence worsens many symptoms of this trauma disorder, disrupts treatment, and can add to complications in your relationships.
- Eat a nutritious diet to live a healthy lifestyle. You need to begin your day right with breakfast and keep your energy up and your mind clear with balanced and nutritious meals throughout the day. Omega-3s can be a crucial role in emotional health so incorporate foods like fatty fish, flaxseed, and walnuts into your regular diet. You need to restrict processed food, fried food, refined starches, and sugars which can only increase mood swings and trigger fluctuations in your energy.
- You need to get the rest that is needed for you. Sleep deprivation can cause aggression, irritability, and moodiness. You need to have a bedtime goal for somewhere between 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. You need to build a calm bedtime ritual such as listen to soothing music, watch a funny show, or read something light and make your bedroom as quiet, dark, and calming as possible to help you get to sleep.
Self-help tips to cope with flashbacks
You can become very upset when you have to deal with flashbacks almost every day of your life.
This is why you should try these self-help tips for your flashbacks which have been proven to be effective in treating people with this trauma disorder and having this distressing symptom.
You can use these tips to help you cope better when you are faced with this symptom.
You can do the following activities:
- You need to schedule a time regularly, maybe 15-20 minutes, to think about the traumatic experience and write down some notes about the traumatic experience. You need to try to make it the same time regularly, which might be evening time if you have nightmares. You can complete this time by writing down a positive coping statement like (I survived), (I’m taking back control of my life), and (I have …… who/which supports me).
- Talk to yourself you are having a flashback or anxiety attack and that this is alright and normal to make you feel alright.
- The worst is over since it occurred in the past but it is not occurring recently.
- Talk to yourself: That was then and this is now. However, terrible you might feel at the present, you survived the terror then, which means you can survive and get through what you are recalling now.
- Open your eyes and put a light on if it’s dark so to help you re-focus your eyesight to your surroundings. You need to take in the scene around the room, take note of the colours, the people, the shapes of things. You should make it more practical.
- Listen to and really take note of the sounds around you such as the traffic, voices, washing machine, music, etc.
- You need to take note of your body, the curvatures of your skin, how your clothes feel on your skin, movement in your hair as you move your head around, really feel the chair or floor assisting you and how that feels in your feet, your legs, and your body to make you feel the effects of meditation
- You need to pinch yourself like most people would do to make them believe that they are not dreaming and that feeling is in the now, the things you are re-experiencing happened in the past. You need to remind yourself that was then and this is now.
- You need to stand up and put your feet firmly on the ground to reach the grounding feeling
- Move about such as stretch, stamp your feet, jump up and down, dance, run on the spot, rub your arms and legs, clap your hands, walk, and recall for yourself where you are at the present moment
- Use 5,4,3,2,1 such as think about 5 things you can see, 4 things you can hear, 3 things you can touch and touch them when you can, you need to take note of 2 things you can smell or like the smell of, and 1 slow, deep breath and you can remember this once you do it regularly
- You need to observe what is the present and observe how varied it is to the distressing memory that you have experienced which can help you realize that you are safe right now.
- You need to breathe mindfully such as breathing deeply down to your belly and put your hand there (just above your navel) and breathe so that your hand gets pushed up and down to help you control your breathing. You need to visualize that you have a balloon in your tummy, inflating it as you breathe in, and deflating as you breathe out to help you monitor your breathing. When we get scared, we breathe too fast and shallowly and the body starts to panic because we’re not getting enough oxygen. This situation causes dizziness, shakiness, and more panic. You also need to breathe slower and deeper so that it will terminate the panic that you are feeling right now.
- You need to gain some friction from your arms and legs. If you have lost a sense of your body, you need to gain this friction your arms and legs so you can feel where your body begins and ends which is the boundary of you. You can also warm yourself in a blanket and feel the boundary that will keep you safe.
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In this brief article, we have discussed PTSD self-help, the methods used for PTSD self-help, the benefits of PTSD self-help, and more information about PTSD self-help.
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If you have any questions about PTSD self-help, please let us know and the team will gladly answer your queries.
FAQs: ptsd self help
What can happen if PTSD is not treated?
If PTSD is not treated, the affected person will have permanent damage to the brain due to the symptom of hyperarousal which has become severe at this point.
This kind of psychological disorder may also be paired with other psychological disorders if left untreated such as depression and anxiety disorder.
Does PTSD cause anger?
No, PTSD doesn’t cause anger but it can co-occur with this kind of psychological disorder.
This kind of symptom is part of the symptom of hyperarousal in this kind of psychological disorder.
This kind of symptom can co-occur with difficulty sleeping, hypervigilance, and irritability.
Does PTSD affect memory?
Yes, PTSD can affect memory. This kind of psychological disorder can even cause memory loss if it becomes severe.
This kind of symptom in this kind of psychological disorder can also co-occur with concentration complications which can deteriorate function in work or school.
Does PTSD cause personality changes?
Yes, PTSD can cause personality changes.
This kind of psychological disorder can destroy the development of growing personality changes that can help the person adapt to his or her environment which can lead to chronic individual and social outcomes.
Is PTSD brain damage?
No, PTSD isn’t brain damage but brain damage can occur if this kind of psychological disorder has been associated with stress.
This kind of outcome will be more likely to occur when affected people with this kind of psychological disorder will also have depression, substance abuse, physical injuries, and sleep complications.
What we recommend for PTSD
If you have PTSD, then ongoing professional counselling may be your ideal first point of call. Counselling will allow you to practice various habits that improve your overall quality of life.
HelpGuide. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
US Department of Veterans Affairs. PTSD: National Center for PTSD.