There are approximately 8 million people in the United States that are suffering from PTSD. Many people who have PTSD deal with it in silence, but it doesn’t have to be that way. This type of mental health condition is more common than you think. Approximately 7-8% of the United States population will have PTSD at some point in their lives.
This June, we celebrate PTSD Awareness Month as a chance to bring awareness to and promote healthy ways of treating and coping with PTSD. While it may not always feel like it, PTSD can be treated. It may not be an easy journey, but it will be worth it.
What is PTSD?
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a type of anxiety disorder and is the result of experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event. People suffering from PTSD tend to experience vivid flashbacks, recalling a certain life-altering event. These flashbacks can result in intense physical or emotional reactions.
Many people associate PTSD with active or retired military. However, it can affect anyone who has experienced a traumatic event. An injury, terrifying event or near-death experience, sexual assault, natural disaster, or psychological shock can all result in PTSD.
Symptoms of PTSD include:
- Severe anxiety
- Problems sleeping
- Trouble concentrating
- Flashback memories
- Irritability and anger
- Intrusive thoughts
PTSD affects everyone differently and it’s important to understand that not every traumatic event affects individuals the same way. PTSD can severely affect your day-to-day life, so instead of developing negative coping mechanisms like drugs or alcohol, here are some healthy methods of handling your PTSD.
Healthy Ways to Cope with PTSD
You may not be able to change what has happened to you, but you can decide how you handle it. When unpleasant thoughts and PTSD side effects spring up, try some of the tips below to help ease your mind.
Mindfulness and Meditation
In recent years, mindfulness has been gaining traction, and doctors are beginning to understand just how powerful of a tool it is. As a matter of fact, mindfulness can benefit people suffering from anxiety and depression, which are symptoms of PTSD. Instead of reliving the past or worrying about the future, mindfulness is all about being in the present moment. Meditation is one way to help you practice mindfulness as it draws attention to your body in that exact moment while tuning the rest of the world out.
When a traumatic event happens, you may not be able to process it right away. And when it comes a time that you can, you may not be able to voice it out loud. By writing down your thoughts or feelings on a specific situation, or anything for that matter, you are able to get all of the thoughts swirling inside of your head out and on paper where you can start to see them in a different light.
Exercising or any type of physical activity that gets your heart rate up can be a great stress reliever. The lower your stress levels are, the clearer your head will be, making it easier to cope with your symptoms.
Arts and Crafts
Art therapy has become increasingly more popular when it comes to PTSD treatment. This type of therapy lets you express your emotions and learn to cope with traumatic memories through art, whether it be painting or sculpting.
If you have PTSD, it’s likely that not everyone you encounter will be able to understand what you are going through. Finding support in others who are working through the same issues can be beneficial for a number of reasons – it gives you someone to confide in, lean on, and all without fear of judgment. Support groups led by professionals can be particularly helpful.
PTSD Therapy with Harmony Bay Wellness
Between the healthy coping skills mentioned above and professional help, you can overcome PTSD and start becoming the person you want to be. At Harmony Bay Wellness, we offer specialized treatment programs backed by evidence-based mental health therapies to help you change your life. If you or someone you love can benefit from PTSD therapy, contact us today at 855.857.6050.