Category Archives: PTSD

Dealing with PTSD: Self-Help Techniques

PTSD

In this post I am going to tell you about some self-help techniques that will help you to deal with your PTSD. If you want to know more about the symptoms and risk factors check out my previous post: “An Introduction to Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)”. PTSD is usually connected to an overwhelming traumatic event, it is very important to effectively cope up with the physical and psychological repercussions of a traumatic life event. Those who think that with time and tide everything will eventually heal let me tell you that this works for only a few chunks of people. Others just keep on sulking over the physical and emotional wounds for their entire lifetime. So let’s see some of the effective ways that will help you to successfully cope with PTSD and its symptoms.

1. Let it out!

When you face a traumatic event, do not hold up, seclude or hide your emotions. Let your pains come out. If you want to cry out loud, then do not hesitate to do so. Crying out loud will allow a vent to all the pent-up negative emotions. I have seen many people who say that if they cry then people will feel that they are emotionally weak. But, hey! It’s the other way round. Shedding your tears will make you much more emotionally stronger and well-prepared to deal with any ebb and tide of life. Like happiness and anger, sadness is also a basic and significant human emotion. So do not vacillate from it.

2. Safe and healthy foods

If you have read my blog on “Foods that boost our moods”…then understanding this point will be easier for you. When you feel sad, low, traumatized and shattered it is quite obvious that you will not feel like eating anything for days and days. It happens and it’s natural. However, the truth is if you eat a balanced diet or certain foods that increase your body’s feel good hormones you can save yourself from the negative psychological effects of the traumatic event. I am not saying you to go ahead and party…but at least you can have green leafy veggies, some fruits, salads, etc. I have seen people who start taking drugs, caffeine, alcohol to get rid of the pain and trauma. But, they don’t understand that these things are silently and slowly killing them. If you really want to come out of a trauma, then help yourself with safe and healthy foods. Stay away from drugs, booze and caffeinated drinks. They just elate you for a moment but silently eat up your body and mind too.

3. Don’t let a loss overpower you

When I lost my father when I was in grade 6, my life ceased. I was a high achiever at school; I earned prizes in performing arts, painting, etc. But, after my father deceased…I stopped doing everything. My grades fell like anything, my teachers became sick and tired of motivating me to do all the stuff that I once liked. Things and times changed when my mother inspired me to stand on my feet once again. She said that maybe my Dad cannot come back, but I can keep him alive by achieving the dreams and aspirations that he had for me. From that day till today, I am trying my level best to achieve this. After that day I never looked back. My grades started increasing again, I won a State-level award in Fine Arts, and I even won an All-Rounder Award too. Life never sank after that loss. It is true that what you loss after a traumatic event cannot be brought back, but whether you let that event eat up your whole life, that depends on you. Do not let a loss overpower you. Make that loss give you a hundred and one accolades….at least for the sake of the thing or person you lost. Somewhere in some part of heaven that aspect or that person would be a smiling star by seeing you smile and shine.

4. Don’t run away from the pain or problem

If you simply deny or avoid a pain, it will ooze out in some or the other form either today or tomorrow. Do not avoid your pain and suffering. Feel it, face it and tackle it. The more you try to run away from a pain or problem, the more it will keep haunting and troubling you. In some cases, it may get buried somewhere in some corner of your heart or mind. But, hey dude! It’s only temporary. Sooner or later it will erupt again. So the best way to effectively deal with the effect of a traumatic event is to face it and deal with it. Just for once, and it’s done!

5. Share your sadness and happiness

It is said that happiness shared is happiness doubled, and sadness shared is sadness halved. Therefore, when you feel sad and forlorn share it with someone who understands you. Try to help a needy person. If you look at the ones who are in a lower plane than you, you will get a lot of strength. Of course, your pain and suffering cannot be compared. But, sharing your feelings with someone or making someone feel better will eventually make you feel better too.

Life is not a fair journey. If there are gains, there are losses too. PTSD can be prevented or dealt with if you build hope, trust on your inner strength and take effectual steps ahead. If the symptoms become too much chronic then you should see a psychologist or a psychiatrist for help.

Best Wishes,

Sareeta

An Introduction to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Post-traumatic-stress-disorder

Roaring sound of a speeding train, the vibrating railway tracks and platform, the sound of the train honk. It still gives me a jitter and immense pain. 16 years have passed since I lost my beloved father in a rail-road accident in front of my own eyes. We lost our father, I sustained major injuries. Not a single train journey after that has been an easy task for me since then. During the earlier days I used to feel panicky and stressed out in each and every train journey. The memories and bitter experiences of the fateful day would flash in front of my eyes on and off. Today, after so many years…the panicky and maladaptive responses have receded. But, the emotional scars are yet to be buried.

Like me, many of you would be struggling with the painful memories and the psychophysical repercussions of a traumatic event. Technically, this is known as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD. It occurs when the traumatic event becomes too overwhelming to bear for someone. It also occurs when you cannot effectively cope up with a traumatic life event.

PTSD symptoms and risk factors

Here is a symptom checklist below that epitomizes the physical and psychological issues a person with PTSD faces. PTSD sometimes increases the risk factors of other mental health issues too. Therefore, an early diagnosis and treatment of the same is very important.

Sypmtoms of PTSD

Physiological Symptoms Psychological Symptoms
Increased heart rate Anxiety
Palpitations Stress
Increased skin sensitivity Increased tension
Respiratory problems Insomnia
Profused sweating Depression
Speech problems Apathy
Trembling /Shaking Emotional sensitivity
Changes in eating habits Anger/aggression/hostility
Tremors Isolation
Dry mouth Lack of interest
Frequent urination Intense flashbacks
Changes in bowel control Problems in memory, attention and concentration

PTSD and Risk Factors

Sometimes PTSD leads to other mental and physiological health problems. The disorders that can exist as a co-morbid illness along with PTSD are:

  • Suicidal thoughts and actions
  • Self-harm or harming others
  • Eating disorders
  • Clinical Depression
  • Cardiovascular problems
  • Muscular pains
  • Neurochemical imbalance

When we face a traumatic situation, most of our well-wishers and relatives try to console us. This is good, I am not against it. When I am in deep pain or despair I also need someone by my side. I have seen many relatives saying that “time is the best healer”. Well, this is also true. But, not always! You never know how hard a trauma strikes into the chords of your heart and mind. If you waste your time ignoring the signals and symptoms then the best healer can turn into a worst killer. So when you or any of your near n dear ones face a traumatic event, do not let the scars or wounds open. It is necessary to heal the emotional/mental wounds too. Even at the slightest feeling of the symptoms I had mentioned above, try to seek medical assistance or the help of a psychologist/psychiatrist as soon as possible.

Life is a rough and tough journey. It has never been easy for any one. We all need to travel through it through the storms, obstacles, pits and ditches. Victory and happiness will be ours only when we fall down and rise up with all our might. Sorrows and pains are quite natural. We cannot avoid it. But, with effective strategies you can surely deal with it successfully. The main Mantra to deal with PTSD is: Face the trauma, do not let the physical and mental wounds open, deal with the issues and resolve them as soon as you can. It is the unresolved and unsettled silt of pains that sinks down and prick you as PTSD symptoms from time to time.

When we feel weak, we drop our heads on the shoulders of others. Don’t get mad when someone does that. Be honored. For that person trusted you enough to, even if subtly, ask you for help.” – Lori Goodwin

Best Wishes,

Sareeta