Recovery from PTSD can be overwhelming. It takes time but if you decide to take a proactive approach you can relieve your suffering and move your recovery along more smoothly and hopefully more quickly. Individual therapy and medication management are the first lines of treatment for PTSD. In addition to treatment, self help strategies for coping with PTSD are necessary.
Here are some self help strategies that have been helpful to others in their recovery from PTSD:
Spend time with friends and family: Although your impulse may be to stay by yourself nurturing your wounds, this can lead to a feeling of isolation and make you feel worse. Talk to your friends, spend time with your family and receive the support that you really do need at this time. Interacting in a meaningful way with those in your sphere who care about you will have a positive effect on your mood, your health and on your recovery.
Try to relax: Make the effort to do what has always helped you to calm down and relax; this can make a big difference. Whether it’s listening to soft music, escaping into a book or taking a neighborhood walk, try it. Take deep breaths, stretch your muscles, do some yoga, meditate or just schedule a massage. You need to self-soothe by trying to relax.
Get some exercise: Light exercise will relieve tight muscles and the endorphins released will lift your mood. It also helps you sleep at night, increase your energy and gives you more strength. If you make the time three times a week to get some exercise this will help your anxiety and fight the depression. Spend at least 10 – 15 minutes at a time and work up to 30 minute exercise periods.
Put a lid on your coffee: Caffeine can be a good energy booster but for some people it causes anxiety. It can also have a detrimental effect on sleep so for these reasons it is best to limit your intake of caffeine.
Get enough sleep: Sleeping is very curative and with a good night’s sleep people are more able to take on the challenges of the day. Sleep helps you combat illness and relieves stress. You should try to get a good 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night.
Use a journal: You can better process your thoughts and feelings if you keep a journal and write about them. This helps relieve the stress and can make you feel better.
TV watching should be at a minimum: When you’re suffering from PTSD it would be really helpful if you could limit the time spent in front of the TV and avoid watching upsetting news or programs before bedtime. Relax instead with a good book.
Avoid self-medicating with alcohol or drugs: Many people use alcohol or drugs as an attempt to relax. This will only increase your symptoms and delay your recovery. It also has the potential to compound your problems by depending on alcohol or drugs to regulate your mood.
When a Family Member is Coping with Recovery from PTSD
Family members can be affected when dealing with someone close who is working on their recovery from PTSD. Their daily symptoms can get in the way with family life and individual relationships. Family members may also be suffering.
Common concerns and feelings of family members:
- Anger over the disruption to family life
- Sadness and depression over inability to help
- Fear when dealing with loved one who is angry
- Difficulty sleeping and as a result, tired and worried
- Frustrated and isolated trying to get your partner to socialize
- Cut-off by your partner with PTSD and therefore lonely
The stress on family members dealing with a loved one coping with recovery from PTSD can take a toll. Help is available through family counseling or psychotherapy. All members of the family can benefit by help from a mental health professional.
Unfortunately, many people who are experiencing PTSD require more treatment than individual therapy and medication management. 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 recovery from PTSD 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 PTSD 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.