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7 Tips for Managing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)


Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a serious anxiety-related reaction to an extremely stressful or frightening traumatic experience. Typically, someone affected by PTSD will experience high anxiety or panic feelings after the event, triggered by certain actions, or will have nightmares or flashbacks to the traumatic experience that feel as though they are living through the experience again.  

These episodes can be terrifying for those involved, but there are ways to treat trauma like this and you can get better.  

Tip #1: Talk to a trauma expert 

Talking with a professional and attending regular therapist appointments is the first step toward recovery. It is often helpful to talk through thoughts or emotions that you have during the time after a traumatic event. It is entirely normal for those who have experienced trauma to have distressing thoughts related to their trauma.  

A therapist who specializes in trauma care knows how to properly help you deal with these troubling thoughts, so be honest and vulnerable in sharing your experiences with your therapist to help normalize and work through your trauma. 

Tip #2: Educate yourself and take action 

As with every treatment that you go through, it is important to educate yourself about the disorder and actively participate in your treatment. Taking an active role in setting your treatment goals will help set a steady pace that you are comfortable with. 

Tip #3: Remember that healing is a journey 

When you first start your treatment, it is common to notice an increase of symptoms because you are talking through the traumatic experience with your therapist which will bring back some emotions. Don’t let this deter you from continuing to talk with your therapist and ask questions, it will only get easier as you practice the skills you learn in therapy in everyday life. 

Tip #4: Practice managing your symptoms 

Staying aware of your symptoms and certain re-traumatizing factors in your environment will help you manage your emotions as you are faced with new experiences.  

You might feel frightening memories, or emotions randomly pop in your head after experiencing a traumatic event. This usually means that something in the environment is re-traumatizing you in some way. These factors could be anything from smells, sights, sounds or an image.  

Being aware of what factors impact you will help you prepare to handle them when they arise. 

Tip #5: Open up to your support system 

Reach out for support from people who care about you and will empathize and listen to you. Make sure you feel comfortable before sharing and talking about your experience with someone who isn’t your therapist.  

It might feel distressing to talk about it at all, but talking with family or close friends about the experience and what your re-traumatizing factors are will allow them to support you when you need it the most. 

Tip #6: Prioritize wellness and health 

As with most mental health challenges, engaging in routine healthy behaviors will help keep your head in the right place. Coping with stress by using positive methods, such as exercise, yoga, meditation, listening to music, eating well balanced meals, and getting enough sleep will help you manage your stress levels in a healthy way.  

Establishing specific routines around these activities will also help create a sense of normalcy and control.