Anxiety & Depression: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) 11 self-help tips to try (and 4 more for others to assist you)
Many think of PTSD as a military phenomenon, but we are all vulnerable, no matter the age or circumstance; a home fire, domestic abuse, witnessing a traffic accident. Any experience of a life trauma, either physically or emotionally; lived, witnessed or thought of, can cause an anxiety problem- even depression, known as Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
The anxiety & depression of PTSD can affect you for years after the event occurs – possibly even the rest of your life. PTSD can very well affect you both psychologically and physically.
As a result, you may relive the trauma, as though transported back in time.
These reminders are what fellow mental health practitioners term, “Triggers” (Yes, just like a pistol trigger; and with similar catastrophic results.)
Triggers, such as loud noises, images or other situations may “trigger” panic attacks, extreme anxiety, unexplained anger or fear (of recurrence) and depression. Those with PTSD also experience issues with their emotional thinking and future: detachment from love, numbness, depression, feelings of helplessness/hopelessness or avoidance behaviors of events, things, and even people that may remind them of the dreaded event.
The good news is that there are genuinely effective ways to help. Many people have cured their anxiety altogether, and others find ways to make it easily manageable. Counseling on Demand.com practitioners are experts at this.
But first, here are 11 self- help tips to try:
1. Get moving
Focus on your body and how it feels as you exercise, you can better help your nervous system become “unstuck”; by walking, running, swimming, or dancing.
2. Spend time in nature
Pursue outdoor activities like hiking, camping, mountain biking, rock climbing, white water rafting, and skiing or just a simple walk in the woods- even a relaxing view out your window.
3. Self-regulate your nervous system
Learn that you can change your hyper-alert system and calm yourself directly. This challenges the sense of helplessness that often accompanies PTSD.
Mindful breathing, a quick way to calm yourself through mindful breathing. Simply take 60 breaths, focusing your attention on each out breath.
Sensory input Listen to an uplifting song. Smell ground coffee or a certain brand of cologne. Pet an animal.
Reconnect emotionally. Learn more about a mindful practice that connects you to your emotions.
4. Connect with others
Find someone you can connect with face to face—someone you can talk to for an uninterrupted period of time, someone who will listen to you without judging, criticizing, or continually being distracted by the phone or other people. That person may be your significant other, a family member, a friend, or professional therapist.
5. Exercise or move. Take some time to exercise. Jump up and down, swing your arms and legs. A few minutes of that and you’ll be breathing heavily. Your head will feel clearer.
6. Vocal toning. Sing. Find a quiet place and in a straight back chair, purse your lips together and teeth slightly apart, simply making “mmmm” sounds. Change the pitch and volume until you experience a pleasant vibration in your face.
7. Volunteer your time or reach out to a friend in need. This can help you reclaim your sense of power. Join a PTSD support group.
8. Take time to relax. Relaxation techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, massage or yoga can activate the body’s relaxation response and ease symptoms of PTSD.
9. Avoid alcohol and drugs.
10. Eat a healthy diet. Start your day right with breakfast, and keep your energy up and your mind clear with balanced, nutritious meals throughout the day. Limit processed food.
11. Get enough sleep. Sleep deprivation exacerbates anger, irritability, and moodiness.
Here are Tips for what a loved one can do to help (Show this to them):