Distressing and traumatic life experiences affect all of us at some point in our lives. They can trigger a stress response, eventually leading to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). As per the National Center for PTSD, 6% of the US population is affected by the condition. Traumatic life experiences can include abuse, losing a loved one, bullying, and much more.
However, even though trauma and PTSD are widespread, there are a lot of people who never learn how to deal with it. A lot of people are told to “take it in stride,” “move on,” or “it could have been worse.” They are told to forget their life experiences and move ahead.
This is why it is crucial to understand the various effective coping strategies for PTSD. In this post, we will dive deeper into the coping strategies for PTSD. Let’s get started.
Effective Coping Strategies For PTSD
1. Accept And Validate What You Are Feeling
One of the most effective coping strategies for PTSD is to validate your feelings. Accepting what you are feeling is real and justified is important. This is one of the most initial and starting steps you will take toward recovery.
Normalizing the reactions after traumatic experiences needs to be normalized for people to open up to further recovery.
Validating and accepting your experiences means understanding that what you went through was hurtful and terrible. It means knowing that your reactions might feel new and abnormal to you, but they are common to others in similar situations.
2. Connect with your people.
A lot of people feel social withdrawal symptoms as a result of their traumatic experiences. While having your own space is good, relying on the people you can trust for care and support is equally important.
Supportive loved ones can be a powerful barrier to PTSD. You don’t even have to talk to them about your issues all the time. Just having someone who can be a silent support system with your throughout is more than enough.
3. Let go of the obsessive need to control things.
When faced with adverse life experiences, a lot of people constantly try to get everything under control. However, one of the most important coping strategies for PTSD is understanding that you can’t magically control or improve things in one day.
Therefore, choosing the things you can and can’t control is essential. Once you have determined your priorities, learn to avoid thinking and stressing over the ‘what ifs carefully.’ Understand that there is nothing more that you can do in this situation. Yet, you still have the invaluable power to move ahead in life.
Read more: Psychotherapy For PTSD – Meaning and Types
4. Practice Grounding Techniques.
Grounding techniques help people deal with traumatic memories and the anxiety and stress associated with them. The main aim of these techniques is to allow the affected individual to move away from flashbacks and negative thoughts. They help the person stray from the intensity of their feelings using their senses.
Deep breathing exercises, naming things you can sense, meditation, and yoga are some of the most efficient coping strategies for PTSD.
5. Look for professional help.
While all the above-suggested tools and strategies for PTSD are essential, the most critical aspect of recovery involves seeking proper professional help. PTSD is a diagnosable mental health condition that requires immediate medical intervention. While the symptoms can vary in intensity and duration, every person with the condition can find therapy harmful and effective.
Treatment options for PTSD involve psychotherapy like cognitive-behavioral therapy, eye-sensitization, and medications.
Post-traumatic stress disorder is a debilitating and severe mental health condition that requires timely help and support. While professional help is of the utmost necessity, specific coping strategies for PTSD can help improve the overall journey to recovery.
Do you have frequent nightmares and flashbacks related to PTSD? Read to learn more about how to control them here.
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