If you have gone through a traumatic event, it is normal to feel many emotions. These include distress, fear, helplessness, guilt, shame and anger. You may start to feel better after days or weeks. Sometimes, however, these feelings don’t go away. If the symptoms last for more than a month, you may have post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD.
After the end of a traumatic event, if these normal experiences do not slowly improve, if they worsen with time, or if they cause difficulties in relationships or work, it is helpful to find professional support for PTSD treatment. People considering therapy should select a trained mental health professional who is knowledgeable about trauma.
Feel Better After Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
If you are experiencing symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, know that it can be treated successfully. Although your memories won’t go away, you can learn how to manage your response to these memories and the feelings they bring up. You can also reduce the number and strength of your reactions. The following information may be helpful to you.
It may seem painful to face the trauma you went through. Doing so with the help of a mental health professional can help decrease distress. There are different types of therapy that have proven to be effective at reducing distress. Today, mental health professionals use a variety of PTSD treatment methods.
To schedule an appointment with a mental health provider trained in helping people who experienced trauma, speak with your healthcare provider.
Recovering from PTSD is an ongoing process. There are healthy steps you can take to help you recover and stay well. Discover which ones help you feel better and add them to PTSD treatment—and your life.
Connect with friends and family. It’s easy to feel alone when you’ve been through a trauma and are not feeling well. But isolation can make you feel worse. Talking to your friends and family can help you get the support you need. Studies show that having meaningful social and family connections in your life can have a positive impact on your health and healing.
Relax. Each person has his or her own ways to relax. They may include listening to soothing music, reading a book or taking a walk. You can also relax by deep breathing, yoga, meditation or massage therapy. Avoid using drugs, alcohol or smoking to relax.
Exercise. Exercise relieves your tense muscles, improves your mood and sleep, and boosts your energy and strength. Research shows that exercise can also ease symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Get enough rest. Getting enough sleep helps you cope with your problems better, lowers your risk for illness and helps you recover from the stresses of the day. Try to get seven to nine hours of sleep each night.
Keep a journal. Writing down your thoughts can be a great way to work through issues. Researchers have found that writing about painful events can reduce stress and improve health.
Refrain from taking drugs and alcohol. Although using drugs and alcohol may seem to help you cope, they can make your symptoms worse, delay your treatment and recovery, and cause abuse or addiction problems.
Limit caffeine. Caffeine can often trigger anxiety and may also disturb your sleep.
Limit TV watching. If watching the news or other programs bothers you, limit the amount of time you watch. Try not to listen to disturbing news before going to sleep. It might keep you from falling asleep right away.