Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health disorder that can cause tremendous difficulties in the lives of sufferers. It results from a traumatic situation, which can be an isolated instance or one that continues for a more extended period of time, even as long as years or decades. The sufferer can experience the traumatic event, or they could have witnessed someone else experiencing it.
Understanding PTSD symptoms goes a long way toward helping these individuals cope with them.
Amongst the most common PTSD symptoms is the experience of intrusive thoughts related to what happened. PTSD flashbacks can occur during the day, sometimes causing the sufferer to feel like they are experiencing the event again and at night, such as in the form of upsetting dreams.
One of the PTSD long-term effects is experiencing negative emotions that may not appear directly related but are. For example, even when you are not enduring PTSD flashbacks or triggers, you may experience the following types of feelings:
Another significant change can be starting to feel easily startled and like you are almost always on edge, constantly feeling like danger is around the corner.
In many cases, the person with PTSD wants to avoid thinking about what had happened and anything that reminds them of it. PTSD triggers can involve activities, places, and people that are related to it.
Sometimes, you may feel an overwhelming urge to leave a situation for unexplainable reasons. Feelings of discomfort in those situations may result from unknown or subconscious-driven PTSD triggers.
Keep in mind that coping with PTSD symptoms is a process that is ever-evolving and that you may experience some at one time and others at another. The intensity of these symptoms may vary from time to time as well. Also, consider that the PTSD recovery process, any mental health-related recovery process, is not linear.
One of the most challenging PTSD long-term effects is how unexpectedly PTSD episodes can occur. A common example is someone with shooting-related PTSD hearing a car backfire and having that immediately cause flashbacks and a tremendous amount of anxiety due to how similar that sound can be to gunfire. This type of situation can often occur when the person feels fine beforehand.
There are a few different PTSD types. One example is Complex PTSD, which is the result of long-lasting trauma. For example, someone kidnapped and kept for an extended period, such as months or years, may suffer from C-PTSD. Another example is delayed-onset PTSD, which occurs when symptoms first appear at least six months after the traumatic experience.
One of the best steps that you can take to cope with PTSD symptoms is to create plans for what you will do when they occur. Get a better understanding of your triggers and how to handle experiencing them. Determine who you can reach out to when feeling overwhelmed. Consider calming, grounding activities you can do during these times, such as journaling, meditating, and exercising.
As you do this, keep in mind how unpredictably PTSD symptoms can appear and that they may occur during particularly inconvenient times, and what to do in those situations.
Regardless of everything else, go easy on yourself. Your body and mind are doing their best to respond to a traumatic situation, and it is important to be patient with yourself as you recover from this.
Also, keep in mind that there are mental health professionals who can help you get your life back on track. Taking advantage of their services can help lessen your PTSD symptoms and help you recover.
All aspects of your mental well-being are important to us at Mind Body Wellness, and we have professionals who specialize in several elements of mental health, such as PTSD, as well as addiction, and co-occurring conditions. We combine holistic approaches with clinical modalities to ensure you receive the best overall treatment.
To start your wellness journey with us, reach out at 615-637-1481 or through our information form on our website, and we will discuss how we can help.