What You Can Do Now to Counteract PTSD
1. Order Reclaiming Your Life From a Traumatic Experience
This manual is produced by the Treatments That Work program and provides detailed, step-by-step procedures to assess and treat PTSD. These procedures are based on empirically tested treatment programs that have been proved successful in treating PTSD.
2. Learning about trauma and PTSD
It is useful for trauma survivors to learn about PTSD and how it affects them. By learning just how common PTSD is and finding that their problems are shared by millions of veterans and survivors of other types of trauma, they can better recognize that they are not alone, not weak and not “crazy”. When survivors seek treatment and learn to recognize and understand what is triggering them, they are in a better position to cope with the symptom of PTSD. If the survivor wishes, he/she can tackle the source of the problem or tell another person specifically what is happening.
3. Reach out to to others for support
PTSD can make you feel disconnected from others. You may be tempted to withdraw from social activities and your loved ones. It is important to stay connected to life and the people who care about you. Support from other people is vital to your recovery from PTSD, so ask your close friends and family members for their help during this difficult period.
4. Seek out a support group
Also consider joining a support group for survivors of the same type of trauma you experienced. Support groups for PTSD can help you feel less isolated and alone. They also provide invaluable information on how to cope with symptoms and work towards recovery.
5. Use expressive writing to cope with PTSD
Expressive writing has been found to have a number of benefits, including improved coping and post-traumatic growth, the ability to find meaning in and have positive life changes following a traumatic event, and reduced PTSD symptoms, tension and anger.
In order to use expressive writing as a way to cope with PTSD, consider the following steps:
- Take a few minutes to think about how your PTSD or traumatic event has impacted
you and your life.
- Begin writing about your deepest thoughts and feelings regarding your PTSD or the traumatic event you experienced. Write for at least 20 minutes.
- Once you have finished writing, read over what you wrote and pay attention to how you feel. Notice any changes in your thoughts and feelings as a result of writing.
- Although long-term benefits of writing have been found, writing about your PTSD or traumatic event will naturally bring up some distressing thoughts and feelings. Therefore, have a trusted other available for support and understanding if you feel the need to discuss your writing experience. And, of course, such writing can facilitate work with a PTSD therapist.