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What to Know Before Starting

Tips for trauma victims to cope with their changed life are difficult to find because everyone is different, their traumas are different and their pre-trauma experiences are so unique. When a person is involved with a painful or traumatic event in their life such as violence, a natural disaster or terrorism, these events may produce post traumatic stress disorder, which can negatively affect a person for years.  For the vast majority of people they do experience some problems initially, but after a few months their stress slowly ebbs away as they get back to their lives.  If you or a loved one experienced trauma and these symptoms persist, then these tips for trauma victims may be helpful.  Among the tips for trauma victims is that if you are having a hard time, you should consider see a mental health professional for a post traumatic stress disorder assessment.  Understand and take note of the signs that something is not quite right and understand when you need help.

Signs of Anxiety, Stress and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder:

  • Frequent pains in the head such as headaches.
  • Getting startled very easily.
  • Having twitches and tremors.
  • Not eating that much or eating much more than in the past.
  • Getting frequent stomach problems such as upset stomach or diarrhea.
  • Getting the chills or sweating a lot.

Changes in Thinking:

  • Having trouble making decisions.
  • Having difficulty remembering.
  • Not being able to concentrate or think clearly.
  • Getting confused easily.

Emotional Changes

  • Sadness, lack of interest, feeling helpless or hopeless.
  • Feeling nervous, fearful and anxious.
  • Getting angry or easily irritated.
  • Feeling numb and not being able to care about anyone or anything.
  • Feeling guilty, worthless or useless.
  • Feeling overwhelmed.

Behavioral Changes:            

  • Avoiding people, place or things associated with the traumatic event.
  • Self medicating by using tobacco, illegal drugs or alcohol.
  • Not being able to sleep or relax.
  • Always worrying.
  • Crying spells.
  • Trouble listening and communicating.
  • Blaming other people for your problems.
  • Having less or more energy.
  • Not wanting to be with other people.
  • Being extremely short tempered, with angry outbursts and arguing for no reason.
  • Not being able to ask for help.
  • No longer being able to have fun or experience pleasure.

Tips For Trauma Victims: Understand how you can Reduce your Stress

The first step is to acknowledge that you have a problem.

Reducing Stress:

  • After you are in a stressful situation take some time to unwind and relax.
  • Have people in your life that you trust and rely on to talk about your innermost feelings like a family member or a friend.
  • Utilize time off from school or work to relax by spending time with the family, taking a bubble bath, listening to relaxing music, reading or eating a tasty and healthy meal.
  • Relax the body by meditating, take up a hobby you enjoy, washing your hands and face, stretching or taking deep breaths.

Tips for Trauma Victims: Physical Improvements

  • Get a good amount of exercise.
  • Make sure you have enough sleep at night and naps during the day.
  • Drink a lot of water and eat healthy and natural foods.
  • Don’t use illegal drugs or smoke.
  • Don’t drink too much alcohol or drink too much caffeine.

Tips for Trauma Victims: Spiritual Improvements

  • Take some time out of your day to help other people, pray or meditate.
  • Talk with other people who experienced trauma so you can help each other out.
  • Understand how events which transpired prior to the trauma affected you.
  • Know whenever you start to get stressed out and try relaxing exercises so the stress doesn’t overwhelm you.

Tips for Trauma Victims: Take Control of your Life

You need to gain control back of your life and not have the negative feelings and emotions guide you downhill into post traumatic stress disorder.  If you feel out of control, seek help by first talking to friends and family and then seeing a therapist. This will improve the quality of life of both yourself and the people around you.  If these self help tips are not enough, you may need help from a qualified behavioral health provider.

Our Intensive Outpatient Program in Memphis, TN has been proven to be effective in the treatment of these disorders in six 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.  Because our treatment center relies 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.  If you or a loved one is showing signs of PTSD, depression or anxiety, they should be assessed by a trained mental health professional who can help design a treatment plan that can result in recovery.  Treatment for PTSD, depression and anxiety can be highly successful.  Call us at 901-682-6136 to schedule an appointment.