Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome is a natural reaction to traumatic events. It is common for people to feel afraid, upset, and shocked in response to a frightening event; however, these reactions should subside after time. When the fear and anxiety persist and are so overwhelming that they affect daily life, this indicates that the person is experiencing Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome. The danger of this condition is that it lurks beneath the surface of an individual’s consciousness until triggered again by another stressor. However, there are ways of coping with post-traumatic stress syndrome. Understanding what it is and how you can help yourself or someone you love recover from this condition will help you move forward and begin healing.
What is Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome?
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can develop after you experience a very stressful event, such as combat, sexual assault, natural disaster, car accident, or the death of a loved one. Symptoms range from recurring nightmares and severe anxiety to depression and outbursts of anger. PTSD affects people differently, depending on their individual circumstances. PTSD is a mental disorder that can affect people of all ages, genders, ethnicities and economic levels. PTSD can occur immediately following a traumatic event or can occur months or even years after the initial event. While the majority of people will experience some short-term symptoms immediately following a traumatic event, only a small percentage of people will go on to develop PTSD. Trauma is an inherent part of life, and most people are able to cope with the stress of trauma and move on with their lives. For those who do experience some form of PTSD, the condition will usually subside with treatment.
Signs and Symptoms of PTSD
- Nightmares, or bad dreams about the stressful event - Difficulty concentrating or remembering things - Feeling tense and easily startled - Feeling overly emotional, depressed, or irritable - Having flashbacks, or re-experiencing the event as if it is happening again - Feeling disconnected from (or disconnected to) other people - Having difficulty trusting other people
How to Help Someone with PTSD
If you know someone who has been diagnosed with PTSD, there are some things that you can do to help. It is important to not to get frustrated when your loved one is experiencing symptoms of post-traumatic stress syndrome. They can’t help it. You should be supportive and patient. Let your loved one know that you are there for them and that you want to help them through their healing process. - Be patient- People with PTSD may need more time to do things and may need more help from others. - Be non-judgmental- Let your loved one know that you are there for them, but don’t criticize them for their symptoms. - Be supportive- Offer help when you can and just listen when your loved one needs to talk. - Don’t be a source of stress- Let your loved one know that you are there to help them find ways to manage their symptoms. - Offer reassurance- Let your loved one know that you will not leave them and that you will not abandon them. - Keep good boundaries- Let your loved one know that you are there for them, but that you also have your own life and you cannot be there 24/7. - Take care of yourself- Let your loved one know that you care about them and that you want to help them heal, but that you also have to take care of yourself.
Tips for Adults Recovering from PTSD
There are many things you can do to help yourself recover from post-traumatic stress syndrome. These include: - Seek professional help- Talk to your doctor about getting a referral to a therapist who can help you through your symptoms and find ways to cope with your post-traumatic stress syndrome. - Join a Support Group- Meeting and talking with people who are going through what you are going through can be very helpful. - Update your medical and psychological records- You may need to provide documentation of your symptoms in order to receive the help you need. - Educate yourself- Learn as much as you can about post-traumatic stress syndrome so that you can help yourself cope with it. - Practice relaxation techniques- Post-traumatic stress syndrome is often accompanied by high levels of stress and anxiety. - Practice healthy coping strategies- Find ways to cope with your post-traumatic stress syndrome that are healthy and positive. - Stay healthy- Find ways to stay healthy physically and emotionally. - Don’t isolate yourself- While you are recovering, it is important that you do not isolate yourself.
Tips for Children Recovering from PTSD
If a child has been diagnosed with PTSD, there are some things that you can do to help them recover. These include: - Let your child know that you are there for them and that you want to help them through their healing process. - Update your family’s medical and psychological records. - Educate yourself. - Practice relaxation techniques. - Practice healthy coping strategies. - Stay healthy. - Don’t isolate your child. - Let your child know that they are not alone and that you are there to help them find ways to cope with their post-traumatic stress syndrome. - Let your child know that they did not cause their own symptoms and that they are not bad because of them. - Let your child know that you want them to get help and that you want them to heal. - Let your child know that there is hope for healing and that they can get through this.
If you or someone you know is experiencing the symptoms of post-traumatic stress syndrome, know that you are not alone. There are many people who are going through what you are going through. There are also many ways that you can help yourself cope with your symptoms and move towards healing. If you experience trauma and start to experience symptoms of PTSD, reach out to someone for help. Seek help from a therapist, clergy member, or doctor. These professionals are trained to help you get through your PTSD and find ways to heal.