Coping with traumatic stress takes time. Getting over a traumatic experience and post traumatic stress (PTSD) is an ongoing process. It will be helpful if you can accept the fact that you will be experiencing emotional reactions for some time after the traumatic incident.
You need to know that with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD):
- It’s perfectly normal to have repeated responses to the traumatic event.
- Overcoming the event is day-to-day. There is no immediate “cure”.
- You will remember the traumatic incident(s) and you will continue to feel pain but you can still heal and function normally in life.
- As you heal your PTSD symptoms will diminish and affect you less over time.
- Healing is defined by attaining more confidence in your ability to manage your memories and the post traumatic stress symptoms that accompany them. You will be able to cope better over time and move forward in life.
By being proactive in helping yourself heal you can take control of your life. There are some positive coping methods that can reduce the distressing memories that occur with post traumatic stress disorder and help you on the road to recovery:
Study up on Coping with Traumatic Stress and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Anyone suffering from the aftermath of a traumatic event can benefit by learning more about what they’re going through and the symptoms that are typical for someone in this situation. You can definitely benefit by studying the signs and symptoms that PTSD sufferers have. You will learn if and when you should seek help from others and that you are not alone as many people are going through the same thing you are. You will learn that your reactions to the traumatic event are normal under these conditions.
Coping with Traumatic Stress Requires Social Support
Do not remain isolated. You are so much better off if you spend time with others. You need to force yourself to make the effort to be with those that care about you. Do not be shy about asking them for what you need. Talk it out, over and over if necessary. Spending time with caring friends or family will make you feel less alone and more secure. But stay away from people who do not understand, tell you to “get over it” or otherwise demoralize you. Surround yourself with people who understand and are supportive.
Relaxation Techniques for Coping with Traumatic Stress:
- Light exercise can relax muscles
- Deep breathing is calming
- Take time to meditate regularly
- Relax by stretching, doing yoga or taking a swim
- Prayer is helpful to many
- Have some soft soothing music on in the background
- Nature walks are very healing
Do Relaxing Exercises
Find time every day to do some relaxation exercises. Ideally you should do these three times during the day. This will help reduce your anxiety and calm you down.
Periods of distraction usually help
It is critically important that you are able to escape into a positive activity in order to relieve your traumatic memories and just have a break. Distraction is a great tool and many trauma survivors benefit when they find pleasant activities to fill their time with. Do things you enjoy. If you’re creative, draw, write, paint or build. If you’re a movie buff, go out with friends and watch the latest movies. Be with people and take your mind off what you have been through.
Seek help for coping with traumatic stress
If you continue to re-experience the trauma and your PTSD symptoms persist, seek help. You can discuss your post traumatic stress reactions with your counselor, or psychotherapist to get relief. If necessary you can use medication to help relieve your symptoms. If individual therapy and medication do not relieve your symptoms, you may need a higher level of care providing intensive outpatient treatment.
Because our treatment for depression and anxiety programs rely on evidence based practices, our Intensive Outpatient Program shares many common methods with other successful treatment methods. The foundation of our treatment program for relies on the principles of the stages of change, cognitive behavioral therapy, solution focused treatment, skills training and identifying repetitive dysfunctional behavioral relationship patterns to promote recovery from depression and other mental health disorders. In fact, our Intensive Outpatient Program in Memphis, TN that has been proven to be effective in the treatment of these disorders in seven peer reviewed treatment outcome studies.
Our treatment center provides services to those who need more treatment than one hour a week, but less than 24 hour care, by providing three hours of treatment per day, three to five days per week, in an intensive outpatient setting. It is also important to keep in mind that women and men often experience depression differently and therefore the presence of depression may also appear differently based on gender. If you or a loved one is showing signs of depression or anxiety, including PTSD, they should be assessed by a trained mental health professional who can help design a treatment plan for depression that can result in recovery. Treatment for depression and anxiety can be highly successful. People who have completed our program have provide very high consumer satisfaction scores and reviews. Call us at 901-682-6136 to schedule an appointment.