PTSD Treatment Options: How To Find Hope and Embrace Your Healing
This post is about PTSD treatment options.
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Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a condition that can impact a person’s life severely, making it difficult to do everyday tasks. Seeking effective PTSD treatment options is crucial in finding relief and improving daily functioning.
Distressing symptoms such as flashbacks, nightmares, anxiety, and intrusive thoughts can plague a person suffering from this condition.
As someone who has experienced PTSD from a fatal car accident, I can say the journey to recovery is long and hard but well worth it. There were days I wanted to give up completely on life and the battle seemed too hard.
I however found the following treatments worth their weight in gold. They not only helped me heal but to stay healed and go on to live a fulfilling and joyful life.
PTSD Treatment Options
PTSD is a mental health condition that develops after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event. It can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender, or background.
The symptoms of PTSD can be debilitating, making it challenging for individuals to lead a fulfilling life.
The right treatment, however, will make it possible to manage and alleviate these symptoms.
The following is a list of treatment options for PTSD.
1. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
This type of therapy engages with the person who is suffering from PTSD and provides an alternate way of thinking to the negative thought patterns that they have secured.
Widely used as a therapy that helps individuals identify and modify negative behaviours associated with PTSD, it helps the individual find healthier ways of coping.
Self-awareness: Therapy helps individuals develop self-awareness, enabling them to identify negative thinking patterns.
Examining the evidence: With the guidance of a therapist, individuals can explore the validity of their negative thoughts and challenge them with evidence.
Developing coping strategies: Therapy equips individuals with effective coping strategies to manage negativity and promote a more optimistic mindset.
Transformation of thinking patterns: With the support of a therapist, individuals can transform their negative thinking patterns, leading to improved healing and a brighter future.
2. Exposure Therapy
Gradually and carefully facing trauma-related memories, thoughts, and situations helps individuals become less sensitive to them and reduces their emotional reactions.
For example, someone like myself, who has experienced a car accident can gradually expose themselves to driving again. Taking short drives around the block and eventually driving on highways allowed me to carefully and slowly re-introduce myself to driving and lessen the fear of it all.
It was scary but exposing myself to driving again after a traumatic car accident helped to de-sensitise me to the trauma. This meant the emotions associated with driving were not so harsh.
Gradual exposure: I started by sitting in a parked car, then progressed to short drives around the block, and eventually drove on highways.
Facing fear: While it was scary, exposing myself to driving again but it helped desensitize me to the overwhelming feelings.
Reducing emotional response: Gradual exposure allowed me to regain confidence in my driving ability and lessened my emotional response to cars and driving.
Positive outcome: By gradually facing my fear and exposing myself to driving, I was able to overcome the negative impact of the car accident and regain a sense of control and confidence.
It reduced my emotional response to cars and driving and allowed me to regain confidence in my driving ability.
Antidepressant medications can help alleviate symptoms of depression, anxiety, and panic often associated with PTSD.
Always consult with a healthcare professional for guidance on the use of antidepressant medications to alleviate symptoms of depression, anxiety, and panic commonly associated with PTSD.
4. Yoga and Meditation
These practices promote relaxation, reduce anxiety, and improve overall well-being.
Meditation: Regular meditation practice involves focusing the mind, often on the breath or a specific object, to develop a state of mental clarity and emotional calmness.
Deep Breathing Exercises: Deep breathing techniques encourage slow, deep inhalation and exhalation. This activates the body’s relaxation response, reducing anxiety, lowering heart rate, and promoting a sense of tranquillity.
Mindfulness: Mindfulness practices involve being fully present in the moment and observing your thoughts, emotions, and sensations.
An alternative therapy that involves the insertion of thin needles into specific points on the body to promote relaxation and relieve stress.
6. Establishing a Support Network
Surround yourself with supportive friends, family, or fellow PTSD survivors who can provide understanding and encouragement.
Join an online group or attend group therapy to help you not feel so alone. Your healthcare provider can refer you to a licenced therapist who has the resources to help you feel connected with others.
Even if some of your friends and family don’t understand what you are going through with PTSD, remember that just having a distraction or doing a fun activity can help. Spending time with loved ones can provide a much-needed break and alleviate feelings of stress and overwhelm.
Panic Away is a great online resource for stopping anxiety attacks in their track, go hereto learn more.
7. Engaging in Regular Exercise
Physical activity, such as walking or dancing, releases endorphins, which can help improve mood and reduce symptoms of PTSD.
Do an activity that you love and enjoy when you exercise if you don’t like running then don’t do it. You don’t need to put any more pressure on yourself when healing from PTSD.
Instead, choose an exercise that you love and will make you want to get up and do it. For me, it is dancing and high-energy aerobic exercise, that makes e feel so much happier and healthier, so I promise that over other types of exercise like yoga or walking.
To find out more about the effect of exercise on PTSD symptoms go here.
8. Practicing Relaxation Techniques
Deep breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation, and guided imagery can help calm the mind and body during times of stress.
Releasing tension in your body is crucial when recovering from PTSD. We store so many emotions in our muscles and it can cause physical problems along with the emotional and mental condition of PTSD.
If you don’t release the tension stored in your body you can develop severe and longer-term illnesses.
To find out more about relaxation techniques go here.
While living with PTSD can be challenging, it is essential to remember that effective treatment options are available. Psychotherapy, medication, complementary therapies, and self-help strategies can contribute to healing.
If you or someone you know is struggling with PTSD, consider contacting a mental health professional who can guide you towards the right treatment path.
Remember, with support and dedication, there is hope for a brighter future beyond PTSD.
Remember, if you or someone you know is struggling with PTSD, consider contacting a mental health professional who can guide you towards the right treatment path. With support and dedication, there is hope for a brighter future beyond PTSD.