How You Can Help and Support PTSD Awareness
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PTSD which stands for, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, is a very serious mental illness. Usually, this will occur in people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic or even life-threatening event.
These events could be a serious accident, terrorist attacks, a sexual assault, and many other serious or violent acts. For most people the effects of experiencing such an event fade over time. However, some people will become emotionally shattered. This prevents them from recovering and leads to PTSD.
Some of the symptoms used to diagnose this disorder are:
- Frequent nightmares.
- Depressed mood.
There are four main types of symptoms that characterize this disorder.
- Avoidance – The person tries to avoid people, places, emotions, thoughts, and situations that remind them of the event they experienced.
- Re-living the experience through intrusive memories, nightmares, and flashbacks.
- Changes in negative thinking and mood. Some of the behavioral symptoms the person may experience include:
- Frustration and irritability.
- Social isolation.
- Self-destructive acts.
- Difficulty in concentration and sleeping.
If the person can get an early diagnosis and treatment for PTSD, this can dramatically reduce and in some cases eliminate the symptoms being experienced. This will help the person return to living a more normal life without the intrusive thoughts and will also help in learning how to manage their emotions better.
Tips to Prevent PTSD
If there are early treatment and intervention, PTSD is possible to prevent. It is easiest to overcome the sooner treatment is sought after. The following are some tips for reducing the complications.
If you have PTSD, it’s best to disclose this information to your loved ones. This disorder can often make you feel as though you are disconnected from your normal social activities as well as from your loved ones. It is good to surround yourself with good family and friend contacts with the people that care about you. The caring support you receive from family and friends will be vital to your recovery.
Support groups offer a great and safe way of talking about your PTSD with others who can understand and relate to what you are going through. The support groups can help to speed up your recovery.
Practicing relaxation techniques such as meditation, mindfulness and deep breathing exercises will help you to relax your body and mind which can help to ease the symptoms you are feeling.
Treatment and Therapy
A very important part of the process is to seek out a physician or therapist who has experience in helping people who suffer from PTSD. They will be able to provide better-coping strategies and help you manage your symptoms more effectively.
Avoiding Drugs and Alcohol
It is important to avoid drugs and alcohol. Drugs and alcohol will only worsen the situation more. It can become extremely easy to self-medicate through alcohol and drugs, but it will only make things more difficult for you in the long run.
Make sure you are getting enough sleep, around 8 hours a night. Lack of sleep can easily trigger the symptoms of irritability, anger, and agitation. Listening to calming music can help in giving your mind some peace before to go to sleep.
Supporting and Creating Awareness
There is a national PTSD awareness day that is observed every year on June 27 to help recognize and support the effects that post-traumatic stress disorder causes in the lives of people who are affected by it. There are always opportunities for volunteering and offering your support in raising the awareness of PTSD.
Many people suffering from this disorder can use the help and support in taking medication at the required times and making it to Dr. and therapy appointments.
It’s important for people to understand that avoidance comes as part of the disorder. When reaching out to someone that you know suffers from PTSD remember to allow them the time and space they need and not to force them into situations that could make matters worse. If you come up against resistance when offering help just let the person know that you are there for them and available anytime they may need you. Let them know that you are there to listen without criticism or judgment.
Please feel free to leave a comment below about PTSD and/or raising awareness.