Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): Tips for Coping

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a debilitating mental health issue that impacts the ability to function normally and affects overall quality of life. It affects more adults, adolescents, and children that you may think, but thankfully there are healthy ways to cope with PTSD.

Defining Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

It’s normal to feel scared, sad, anxious and disconnected following a traumatic event. These feelings usually subside after a short time, but for some people, these negative emotions linger and worsen. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, results from any traumatic event that makes you fear for your safety. Those who suffer from PTSD struggle with overwhelming feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, and emotional scarring.

With a normal response to traumatic events, the body and mind are in a state of shock, but as emotions are processed and you start to make sense of the events, the state of shock wears off. With PTSD, you remain in psychological shock unable to remember the series of events, disconnected, and unable to process emotions.

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What are the signs and symptoms of PTSD?

Symptoms of PTSD usually present within the hours or days following a traumatic event, but sometimes it can take weeks, months, or years to present. There are four main types of PTSD symptoms:

  1. Re-experiencing the traumatic event: Intrusive symptoms like nightmares, flashbacks, fearful thoughts, and intense mental and physical reactions to reminders of the trauma are all symptoms of PTSD.
  2. Avoidance and numbing: Some sufferers will avoid any situations that remind them of the traumatic event and refuse to discuss it. Losing interest in activities, feeling numb and detached from others, a sense of a limited future, and a general lack of interest in life are warning signs of PTSD.
  3. Hyperarousal: PTSD causes sleep interruptions, irritability, angry outbursts, aggression, self-destructive and reckless behavior, and hypersensitivity to potential threats.
  4. Negative thoughts and mood swings: It’s common to feel alienated and estranged from others, feel guilt and shame, struggle to concentrate or remember things, and to develop depression, phobias, and anxiety.

Coping with PTSD symptoms is challenging, and if left untreated, they can have a negative impact on social, developmental, educational, and occupational functioning. Recognizing and treating the symptoms of PTSD in teens is the priority of the dynamic team of mental health professionals at PolarisTeen.

As an independent residential mental health treatment center, Polaris provides an individualized holistic approach to address the underlying causes of psychiatric disorders to treat the whole person—mind, body, and spirit.

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How to cope with PTSD

Depending on the severity of PTSD and the person, there are several coping methods that can help ease the struggle.

It’s not always easy to explain the experience of PTSD to others. Get educated about the signs, symptoms, and treatment options for PTSD. Being educated about the condition makes it easier to find the words to explain the experience to others. Find supportive connections in the community or online that offer group-based support. Connecting with other people suffering from PTSD through support groups, classes, or meetings can help overcome feelings of isolation and detachment.

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When coping with PTSD, it’s important to take care of and strengthen both the mind and the body. Practice mindfulness to cope with stress, anxiety, and general overwhelming feelings. Focused mediation, breathing exercises, prayer, and journaling are all healthy ways to balance the mind. Exercising and participating in outdoor activities can help regulate mood and emotions. Find an enjoyable physical activity and commit to small, consistent exercise goals.

Another natural way to calm the mind and ease anxiety is to use 100 percent natural CBD products. Marigold Botanicals handcrafts their CBD oil in small batches sourced with home-grown organic hemp grown in the foothills of Colorado and New Mexico. Marigold Botanicals CBD products include organic CBD oil, a hemp flower tincture, and organic CBD salve made from organic hemp flower. Both products are formulated to activate healing, pain relief, and promote the balance of the mind and body.