How To Treat Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD Therapy)
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying and traumatic event. Good PTSD therapy can help you manage your thoughts and emotions.
PTSD therapy, treatment, and recovery are possible, but it doesn’t mean you’ll erase your bad memories. No, that’s not possible (yet!).
What you’ll learn after a PTSD therapy is the ability to concentrate on the good things in your life, deal with the traumatic memories and regain confidence and self-respect.
A PTSD treatment is not a cure, but rather a way to mask the unwanted feelings and go on with life.
Wondering what kind of traumatic events can trigger PTSD? Here is a short list of them:
- Witnessing death or injury;
- Physical assault;
- Rape, sexual assault or abuse;
- Prison stay;
- Natural disasters.
You might suffer from the PTSD if you:
- Relive the event in your mind;
- Feel anxious, jittery, and on the lookout for danger;
- Feel numb and unable to express feelings;
- Avoid situations that remind you of the traumatic event.
There are some physical signs of PTSD too:
- Increased chest pain;
Good PTSD therapy might include the following things:
- Involving in creative arts like photography, painting, drawing, and writing;
- Doing yoga, getting a massage, or even trying acupuncture;
- Listening to some music;
- Eating more foods that boost serotonin production, such as eggs, cheese, pineapples, tofu, salmon, nuts, seeds, turkey, etc.
- Engaging in regular physical activity and starting a daily workout routine;
- Laughing more ofter (watch some funny tv shows, funny clips on Youtube, etc.);
- Cooking more often, or starting a cooking course/class.
Anyway, there’s no better PTSD therapy than talking with a professional about your feelings and the event that triggered you this condition. This PTSD therapy can change your perspective about the trauma, and help to deal with your painful memories and feelings.
PTSD treatments can better control your memories and emotions, but even though the PTSD symptoms drop dramatically, you can’t completely treat PTSD.
Some of the most effective professional PTSD treatments are:
Prolonged Exposure Therapy focuses on thoughts, feelings, and situations that you have been avoiding. ( 1 )
Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors uses medications that can raise the level of serotonin in your brain, which can make you feel better. Some of these medications include Prozac, Paxil, or Zoloft. ( 2 )
Cognitive Processing Therapy is the most effective PTSD treatment which involves meeting with your therapist once a week for up to 4 months. ( 3 )
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing uses eye movement and hand tapping to make the brain to work through those traumatic memories. ( 4 )
There is no specific medication for PTSD but psychotropic drugs have been shown to reduce symptoms. Counseling and psychotherapy often provided by a social worker are the most common PTSD treatments.
To speed up the PTSD recovery process you should connect to your mind, body and to others.
Connect To Your Mind
Say “Cancel!” when negative thoughts intrude and then smile. This trains your brain to easily shift from negativity and create serotonin (the upward curve of your lips release the hormone).
Connect To Your Body
Focus on your left shoulder, then on your right one. Because getting in touch with your body helps you reconnect (vs. dissociate) and enhance mindfulness.
Connect To Others
Listen with your full brain to a friend or stranger. Totally focus on what someone else has to say. This helps you get out of your own PTSD-created thoughts.
Unfortunately, more than 50% of those who suffer from PTSD are not seeking help because they think they can work things out on their own.
But PTSD can affect sobriety, especially if you find relief in taking drugs or alcohol. So enrolling into group therapy or at least trying one of the PTSD treatments presented above is really important. Don’t ignore your fears!