Seeking Help & Symptom Management
PTSD REQUIRES SYMPTOM MANAGEMENT
There is no known cure for PTSD, so managing the symptoms is key in reducing their severity and impact on life.
1. SEEK A DIAGNOSIS
The first advice I give anyone who suspects they may have PTSD, is to seek
2. SEEK COUNSELLING
Then seek counselling with someone trained and experienced in trauma
and related disorders.
The most common therapies for PTSD & Complex PTSD are:
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy
EMDR - Eye Movement Desensitization and Re-processing.
Dialectical Behaviour Therapy
There are many additional therapies used in the treatment of PTSD and Complex PTSD
See links HERE
3. LEARN SYMPTOM MANAGEMENT
Learn symptom management in the following ways;
Safe Place visualisation techniques
Learn to cope with emotions and have increased emotion regulation
Stress reduction - relaxation techniques, yoga, gentle exercise, boundaries for toxic people in your life etc.
Coping strategies - such as journalling, creative hobbies, music.
Healthy lifestyle choices - such as healthy diet, removing alcohol and non prescription drugs. Seek appropriate medical and counselling support if alcohol and drugs are a problem, as they can often become a self medicating and coping method, worsening PTSD symptoms and depression.
Exercise - exercise is really important for everyone - a healthy body helps to gain a healthy mind. It releases endorphins that lift mood and does help PTSD symptom management.
Medication - which must always be prescribed by a qualified doctor or psychiatrist, preferably with insight into trauma and PTSD.
There are a variety of medications used for the treatment of PTSD, for anxiety, depression and nightmares.
4. SELF COMPASSION AND SELF LOVE
One of the most common issues I have read about and have seen voiced on my community support page, is trauma survivors often find self compassion very hard. Shame and guilt are often contributing factors after trauma and these are very challenging to confront.
Learning to have self compassion is vital in this healing journey.
5. EDUCATE YOURSELF ABOUT PTSD AND YOUR SYMPTOMS
Educate yourself as much as possible about PTSD and any other related disorders you have diagnosed.
Education is empowerment and is vital, for the sufferer of PTSD and those supporting - love ones and family and friends. The research I have done has had a huge impact on my ability to manage my symptoms and understand why I have PTSD, why I have the additional complex symptoms, and how best to deal with these in my every day life.
It is also vital so loved ones and supporters know best how to help and also learn how they need to also take care of themselves too, as PTSD impacts not just the sufferer, but loved ones , family and friends too.
6. SEEK HELP AND ASSISTANCE
This can be from supportive family and friends and help educate them about PTSD.
7. SET BOUNDARIES AND LEARN TO SAY NO
Look to set boundaries with family or friends who are not supportive.
Boundaries can be a challenge, especially with family, but in order to heal, it is vital to not have toxic influences in our lives and not to be accepting wrong, inappropriate expectations of us.
8. LEARN YOUR STRESSORS AND TRIGGERS
These are things that instantly and involuntarily take your mind to the trauma. They can be visual, a place, a smell, an object etc.
An example of this for me is guns, as guns were used in captivity trauma to threaten me and control me.
Learning triggers, helps reduce and avoid the flashbacks and intrusive memories and anxiety that triggers cause.
While PTSD is unmanaged, it is best to avoid triggers.
These are things that cause anxiety and stress to build, which causes the PTSD to be overwhelmed and the PTSD symptoms increase as a result.
An example of a stressor - is noisy children, running late for an appointment.
These need to be kept to a minimum, although they cannot be avoided completely, as life has it's stresses.