Post-traumatic stress disorder can last for years and be difficult to treat. People who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, often have a hard time living a normal life and interacting with the world. As such, it’s important that people with PTSD get the help that they need to recover and enjoy their lives as they did before.
You might’ve heard about PTSD from war films or a high-school history class. Maybe you even have a relative who suffers from PTSD. But PTSD is a lot more complex than people tend to think.
The term itself was first coined around the mid-1900s, during times of war. However, it wasn’t officially recognized as a mental disorder until around 1980.
Misconceptions about PTSD can lead to large dissociations between how people experience PTSD and how we understand it, making it all the more difficult for people to recover.
PTSD is classified as a mental health condition. It primarily involves having severe anxiety and experiencing flashbacks or nightmares, and in general uncontrollable fear, triggered by a traumatic event.
While PTSD is generally understood as a serious medical condition, it is still challenged by many people who are hesitant to take seriously the effects of mental disorders (as compared to physical ones).
It can be caused by a variety of incidents, all of which are traumatic to the person that experienced it. Though it is most often associated with war veterans, it can also be caused by abuse, the death of a loved one, or any other kind of event that leads to strong negative feelings. All kinds of people can have PTSD, across all ages, genders, ethnicities, etc.
People who suffer from PTSD often find that they can no longer return to their everyday lives or routines. This is because of how intensely PTSD can affect people.
And for the loved ones of someone suffering PTSD, it can be difficult to understand and know how to help best. This can lead to further isolation and an inability to recover.
Though a lot of support can be especially helpful to someone who has PTSD, ultimately a large part of PTSD is a battle within oneself. Like many other mental illnesses, treating PTSD starts at taking the first step to understanding what’s going on, figuring out that there is a treatable problem, and then seeking help.
Help can come in many shapes and sizes. PTSD is an incredibly holistic ailment, in the sense that it involves both mind and body.
Many people start with therapy. Engaging in physical activities, talking it out with loved ones, and finding smalls ways to get back to what you love, are also incredibly helpful.
But generally, because PTSD can be incited by so many different kinds of things, dealing with it can be complicated and tedious.
If you are suffering from PTSD or know someone who is, here are a couple of pieces of advice:
- Try opening up to loved ones
This one might be harder than it sounds. But it is nonetheless important and should be taken seriously.
Part of having PTSD is feeling alone and misunderstood. It’s not easy for others to identify with someone who has PTSD, and so, at first, it might feel uncomfortable to talk about it, especially to those around you.
But opening up can help someone with PTSD work through their emotions. While there are therapists who are trained to do this, talking to family and friends can help one feel more at home and accepted.
Talking it through can also help PTSD patients rewrite their narrative that was lost through the traumatic event. It can also help them continue to be in charge of their narrative as they continue through life, without the disrupting thoughts and feelings that come with PTSD. This is one of the most important parts of getting through PTSD because it’s not just that the event caused a terrifying moment, but that memories and feelings from that time continue to linger throughout the rest of one’s experiences.
2. Engage in physical activities
While PTSD is a mental disorder, it is also more physical than we might think. This is especially true for those whose traumatic events involved physical damage such as war or assault. Sometimes the emotional part of PTSD can even be induced by brain damage that occurred during the incident.
Exercise is an important part of life, whether or not you suffer from PTSD. But physical activity can help PTSD patients a lot because it can help stimulate both the mind and body.
In general, engaging in life physically has been shown to help improve one’s mood. It can also help exercise parts of the body that had been damaged during the traumatic event. Even though exercise is the last thing that most patients would want to do, little things like going on a walk can help.
3. Add some supplements into your daily routine
Another thing that can help one get through PTSD is supplements. Supplements help improve bodily health and in turn mental health as well.
One supplement that may be able to help is CBD.
According to CBD Kyro, CBD, or cannabidiol, has been shown to have therapeutic properties. It is generally considered a safe treatment for many symptoms such as pain, depression, and anxiety, all of which may be present in those who have PTSD.
Though research into CBD’s effects isn’t as complete as many other compounds that been used medically, current research is promising, and many people can attest to its benefits anecdotally. CBD has, however, been FDA approved as an epilepsy treatment because it helps reduce seizures.
Some of the positives about CBD usage is that it is available in many forms that can be used to more specifically treat different kinds of symptoms. According to Healthcare Weekly, it also has very few side effects. And any side effects that may arise are mild and only temporary, such as dry mouth, drowsiness, and feeling dizzy.
4. Start early
PTSD can last years if not addressed properly. As such, it’s important to recognize it early and start working through it sooner than later, so that patients can have more time to develop skills that help them process it.
For example, one of the ways that people with PTSD are taught to address it is to recognize and label their emotions. This is especially vital so that they don’t fall into negative or self-blaming thoughts.
Another part is exposing oneself to trauma-related cues rather than avoiding them. This helps those who suffer from PTSD by preventing them from drawing large misconceptions about things related to their trauma. This essentially breaks faulty associations and thus prevents triggers from worsening one’s experiences later on.
So, if you are suffering from PTSD or know someone who is, hopefully, these tips will help you get started or continue working through it. PTSD can be lasting, and it can penetrate every aspect of life, but that’s why it’s so important to recognize it and start treating it early.
PTSD patients go through a lot after the traumatic event that triggers it, and it can be difficult to re-obtain their previous selves. Getting the support of understanding from those around them can really help them gain control back over their lives and experiences.