How to cope with PTSD

Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is manifested by a number of serious mental and physical symptoms that prevent from living a full life. However, doctors confirm, that one can learn how to cope with PTSD and get rid of the PTSD symptoms with a special therapy and techniques.

PTSD is a survivor’s disorder

First of all, it is worth to note, that the post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD), often found in participants of various military operations, can also be found in ordinary quiet life. Any emergency situation that goes beyond ordinary can become a trigger for PTSD: a loss of a loved one, a fire, an assault, a terrorist attack and so on.

Patients that suffer from PTSD need to remember, that the disease is not an indication of a weakness, as some people think. It is a misconception, which often prevent people from seeking a qualified help. In reality, the situation is exactly the opposite: PTSD is a disease of survivors or witnesses of the horrific events, one can say, the disorder of heroes. Therefore, there is no reason to avoid treatment, hiding it as something shameful.

How to cope with PTSD or help somebody with PTSD:

  • Basic care: provide a person with adequate nutrition, persuade a person to rest and sleep. Very important is to provide warmth, warm food, drink, bed, clothing, bath.
  • Body contact: holding a hand, hugging, stroking, being close, but do not overdo or bother person against his will.
  • Contact with nature: sit in the sun, look at the water, stare at the fire, at the sky, smell the grass, earth, touch trees or stone.
  • Engage person in simple, familiar activities, better with a specific and clear result of “restoring order and contacts, taking care of yourself and others”: cleaning, farming, housekeeping, decomposition, sorting something.
  • Take part in common rituals, visitations, commemoration, creating memorial signs, praying with others.
  • Do not be silent, do not control emotions: cry if you want to, write, talk, complain, talk about your experiences to anyone who will listen, and, accordingly, listen to what they are saying. In any case do not get onto comfortable words to the ill person directly “do not worry”, do not go on with such statements like “heroes don’t die.” They do die, it hurts and a pain should have the way out.
  • If there is no way to talk, cry and get support right now, in the contrary, it is better to deliberately block the memories and thoughts about the traumatic experience, do not allow to be “dragged” into the funnel of the trauma, so just get distracted, switch to something, do something, sing, pray – but later give a vent to your feelings, as soon as conditions for support appear, and close people will be near you.
  • Treat such “soothing” methods as alcohol, with an abundance of caution: low dose taken once can help to feel relaxed, but alcohol – it’s a downer, it prostrates already exhausted psyche, and with a regular use it worsens the syndrome.
  • Seek the help of psychologists and doctors (can be your regular neurologist or physician), in a critical condition take the sedative drugs; it’s not a weakness, but taking care of yourself.
  • Remember, that there are a lot of people experiencing PTSD, take this into account while evaluating their words and reactions, and do not provoke the conflicts.

A person, experiencing PTSD, often feels that something is wrong with him, or he is insane. This forces him/her to hide emotions and be ashamed of it, prevents from asking for help. It is important to remember, that post-traumatic stress syndrome is a normal reaction to an abnormal conditions, just like pain is a normal reaction to a bodily injury. All things will pass. The better you take care of yourself or your loved ones now, the more quickly it will be healed, and the trauma won’t poison people for years and years.