Five coping Tips for Those Suffering From PTSD
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that occurs in the aftermath of a traumatic event. Patients often suffer from post-traumatic stress after an accident or a major surgery. Some of the common symptoms of PTSD include insomnia, anxiety, depression, and vulnerability to substance abuse. While there is no permanent cure, the condition can be managed with the help of coping mechanisms. Besides hiring an In-home caregiver, here’s a list of tips that you could practice to manage PTSD symptoms better.
1.Stay connected to the present:
Regardless of the reason for your PTSD, every time you find yourself slipping into an anxiety attack due to revisiting trauma, try and stay in the present. Focus on your immediate surroundings, the scents, sounds and people around you. If you find it difficult to focus, we suggest that you keep a “safe object” handy, It could be a marble or even a pen that you can touch and feel between your fingers when you find yourself being sucked into a painful past. Doing this will help you ascertain that you’ve survived the traumatic event and have moved on. So, the next time something triggers you into a flashback, focus on the present.
2. Adopt a physical exercise routine:
Another great way to focus on the present is to work on your body. Having a regular exercise routine is an important part of PTSD therapy in more ways than one, especially so with elderly care. Not only will you feel good due to the endorphin rush, you will also be able to manage anxiety better. Choose an activity that you like and your physical condition allows, whether it is mindfulness meditation, yoga or swimming. These physical activities require you to focus on breathing right, which assumes paramount importance when you’re having an anxiety attack. Taking deep controlled breaths is one of the first measures to stop an anxiety attack from getting worse.
3. Avoid alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine:
When you’re down and out because of PTSD, you might find comfort in drinking and smoking. Alcohol, tobacco and caffeine are negative coping methods, and will interfere with your PTSD therapy. Also, if you’re already experiencing signs of PTSD such as sleeplessness and anxiety, substance abuse will make it worse. Please keep in mind that any person exhibiting PTSD symptoms is extra vulnerable to addiction and self-destructive behavior. It is best that you restrict the usage of alcohol and other recreational substances.
4. Try aromatherapy for relaxation:
Aromatherapy is a method of relieving post-trauma stress using essential oils. Different oils could be used to relax sore / tight muscles or to induce peaceful sleep. In other words, there are specific oils that can be used to treat particular symptoms of PTSD. Besides, there are no known side effects of aromatherapy. However, it would be wise to rule out any allergic reactions before trying out a new essential oil. These essential oils are widely available in both online and offline stores.
5. Connect with others:
A person suffering from PTSD goes through a wide range of emotions – from helplessness, depression to explosive anger. These feelings might make it difficult for the patient to get back to their normal lifestyle. One way to handle these volatile emotions is to give them an outlet. It can be achieved by talking to a trusted friend, seeking help from a psychotherapist or hiring a dedicated personal care assistant (in case of accident / medical PSTD).