Coping with Traumatic Events: A War with PTSD

Coping with Traumatic Events: A War with PTSD

May 18, 2021

Coping with Traumatic Events: A War with PTSD

Depression Mental Health

Any traumatic episode—from a global crisis to a personal tragedy—can take an emotional toll and cause traumatic stress leaving the mind anxious, frightened, and baffled. However, this does not mean that you need to continue to carry the burden of the trauma your entire life. Here are some ways that can be used to win back control of your life.

In case of a personal life tragedy, trauma may lead to sadness, stress, depression, and anxiety. One might feel all alone, nervous, insecure, helpless, and vulnerable. On the other hand, in case of any global traumatic incident, repeated exposure to news, social media, and heart wrenching pictures affect the nervous system to create traumatic stress. Traumatic stress can lead to sleep disorders, nervousness, baffling thoughts, anxiety, and depression.

Experiencing trauma for any unpleasant event is a normal reaction of the body, from which the body eventually revives as time passes. But, if the symptoms of the traumatic stress persist for a longer time and seem to have permanently engraved in the mind, then it might lead to PSTD.

What Are The Emotional And Physical Symptoms of Traumatic Stress?

The emotional and physical symptoms for traumatic stress are as follows:

  1. Feelings of shock and disbelief
  2. Sadness, grief, and fear
  3. Helplessness
  4. Feelings of guilt, anger, and shame
  5. Dizziness
  6. Trembling and shaking
  7. Racing thoughts, shortness of breath, and disturbed sleep patterns
  8. Unexplained body pain and headaches
  9. Changes in sexual function and libido
  10. Loss or increase in appetite, or excessive consumption of alcohol, drugs or any other substance used for chemical dependency.

What is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a mental health disorder characterized by the inability to overcome a traumatic event. In other words, post-traumatic stress disorder (PSTD) is a mental health condition wherein the traumatic event gets stuck in the nervous system permanently and the patient is unable to overcome the trauma without medical intervention.

The symptoms include intense flashbacks followed by anxiety, panic attacks, perspiration, depression, heightened sensitivity to stimuli, and avoiding the places or people that may trigger the flashback. The severity of the symptoms depends from person to person.

Signs and Symptoms of PTSD

The ability to deal with stress differs from person to person. Therefore, PSTD development in every individual will differ, it might take days for some people, while months or even years for others, post the traumatic incident took place. PSTD can be triggered out of nothing or may be initiated through image, a noise, smell, or certain words.

The Main Types of Symptoms of PSTD include:

  • Re-experiencing the traumatic event through flashbacks, intrusive memories, or intense physical or mental reactions when reminded of the trauma.
  • Feelings of numbing and avoidance of the traumatic event
  • Hyperarousal including sleep problems, hypervigilance (on constant “red alert”), irritability, anger outbursts, and aggressive, reckless behavior, or suicidal thoughts.
  • Negative thoughts and mood swings like feeling lonely, loss of focus, memory loss, depression and feeling guilty, shame, or self-blame, betrayed or hopeless.

How to Cope with PSTD?

Here are a few quick tips to coping with PTSD.

  • Read about PTSD and gain as much knowledge about the mental disorder as you can
  • Join a PTSD support group
  • Practicing breathing exercises can help
  • Participating in outdoor activities like walking or sports is always beneficial in maintaining good physical and mental health
  • Talking to a person you trust, can help in dealing with PSTD and reducing stress
  • Spending time with positive and motivational people
  • Avoiding alcohol and drugs or any other type of chemical dependency
  • Enjoying the environmental and nature
  • Eating healthy
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Giving yourself timeout

PTSD Symptoms in Children

PTSD can affect both adults as well as children. However, the symptoms of PTSD differ in children and may include the following:

  • They experience a sense of fright of losing their parents both emotionally and physically
  • They tend to forget acquired skills and childhood trainings
  • They experience sleep disorder with terrifying nightmares
  • They start to portray the traumatic event repeatedly in their daily activities and play
  • Development of new anxieties or phobia that do not seem to be related to the trauma (such as fear of shapeless monsters)
  • Acting out the trauma through stories, play, or drawings
  • Aches and pains without any cause
  • Aggression and irritability

Helping children cope with PSTD:

To help children cope with PTSD, you can do the following:

  • Encourage the child to share their feelings openly
  • Allow them to grieve for any losses
  • Do not allow your child to relive the traumatic event again and again
  • Use relaxation techniques to help them ease their discomfort
  • Make the child feel safe once again
  • Use play therapy to make the child come out of the trauma
  • Travel to some other place and spend time with them
  • Shield the child from social media, news, images, or graphics containing graphically violent or content related to the tragedy.
  • Provide the child with an opportunity to talk, but do not pressurize them
  • Reassure them

If none of the above works, then take the child for psychotherapy or counseling to help them get over the trauma.

Get Professional Help For PSTD

Learning to accept your past and moving forward in life is an effective way to deal with PSTD. However, it might not be easy for every person to let go off their past traumatic experience and move forward. If this is the case, the best way to deal with your mental health issue and PSTD is to talk to someone you trust or seek professional help. Seeking help from a professional mental health therapist can help you cure your PSTD. You need to believe that PSTD is never a sign a weakness but the determination to come out of it is a sign of a strong person.

We, at Invictus Health Group, can help you get in touch with a trained mental health therapist to help you overcome your PTSD. Call our 24/7 helpline at 866-548-0190 to get more information about a psychiatric center near you. You can also chat with our admissions consultants to learn about treatment plans and our network of mental health centers.

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