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

a diagnosis.

 

 

 

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

Exposure 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;

 

Breathing techniques 

Grounding techniques 

 

Mindfulness techniques  

 

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

 

 

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.

 

 

Stressors

 

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.

 

 

 

 

© 2019 HealingFromComplexTraumaandPTSD.com

Author Lilly Hope Lucario   All rights reserved.

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