WHAT’S NORMAL ABOUT PTSD?

The thing about PTSD is that it is a normal reaction to trauma. You can actually think of it as a normal reaction to an abnormal event.  So why do we call it a disorder?  .  Although we may be changed by what we’ve been through, we can and usually do get better over time.  While we may never be the same, for many people the symptoms lessen or disappear altogether.

PTSD treatment works. There are different options you can try to treat PTSD.  The thing is, if you don’t get into treatment, your PTSD may get worse.  It’s never too late to get into treatment; the sooner treatment starts, the sooner you can start to feel better!

There are a variety of treatments available for treating PTSD:

  • Talk Therapy involves discussing what you went through with a therapist.
  • With Prolonged Exposure Therapy, you’ll discuss your experience with a therapist who will ask you to review the situation multiple times. Reliving the experience helps reduce the intensity of the memory.
  • Cognitive Processing Therapy helps you change your thoughts about the event which helps change how you feel too.
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing involves having you think about the event while listening to a sound such as a beeping tone, or being exposed to a blinking light. For some reason, this helps your brain reprocess your feelings about the event.
  • Stress Inoculation Training teaches you the skills you need to handle stress.
  • Medications may be used to increase certain chemicals in your brain that help you manage stress.

PTSD is a normal reaction to an abnormally stressful situation.  It is treatable, and treatment can result in reduction or elimination of symptoms.

COPING WITH ANXIETY

Some tips for helping cope with anxiety:

  • Avoid caffeine – it acts as a stimulant and revs up your nervous system increasing your anxiety.
  • Try relaxation techniques. They may not all work for you, but there are many choices out there and you may just find one that really works. Try meditation, yoga, or deep breathing exercises to help lower your anxiety.
  • Try visualization – like relaxation techniques, visualization can help lower your stress levels. Picture yourself confronting your fears, and handling stressful situations calmly.
  • Ask for help when you need it. Talk to your doctor. There are many different treatments that may reduce your anxiety.
  • Change your attitude. If you can change the way you think about things, they may not seem so bad.

Controlling your anxiety is possible.  Try a variety of coping techniques.  While one may not work for you, another just might do the trick!