PTSD (or post-traumatic stress disorder) is a condition that can affect you at any point in your life in response to a traumatic event. Researchers have known about it since soldiers came back from the front in WWI. But, according to data from Psychology Today, 90 percent of clinicians still miss the signs.
PTSD can affect you in all kinds of ways. For instance, you can find yourself reliving events in your mind over and over again, never able to shut them down. Or you might wake up suddenly in the night, dripping with sweat and heart racing.
What makes the condition confusing is that these symptoms are actually a normal response to traumatic events. PTSD only enters the picture when you can’t shake them off. Intrusive images of things that happened in the past continue to invade your mental space for months and years after the event. And that’s often when you know that you have the condition.
So what can you do to fight back against it and retake control of your life? Let’s take a look.
Start Moving More
Did you know that people who experience PTSD can often reverse many of the condition’s symptoms by merely moving more?
The reasons for this are neurological, according to the people who study it. When you take physical activity, the brain releases chemicals that make you feel better. Having more of these in your mind doesn’t change the memories of your experience. But it does make it more likely that you’ll be able to mount a healthy response to them. And the more frequently you can do that, the better the situation will become.
Reach Out To Others For Support
If you have PTSD, you’re not alone. It’s something that affects a large number of people throughout the course of their lives, often for reasons similar to you. Speaking with them about your troubles helps you feel like you’re a part of a community and provides direct support. Those with the condition often know the best ways to fight through it and manage their symptoms. They’ll remind you that there is light at the end of the tunnel and that the experiences you’re having today won’t last forever.
In the past, clinicians addressed PTSD with trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy. The idea here was to expose patients to the situations that caused their disorders in the first place to characterize them better and help the brain move on from the incident.
Now, though, there are a variety of alternative approaches. The growth of brands like Martha Stewart CBD, for instance, reveals the extent to which cannabidiol is now seen as a viable approach for treating the condition. Other therapies like eye movement desensitization and reprocessing are also essential tools in the battle against the disorder.
Challenge Your Helplessness
Ultimately, the way people make it out of PTSD is to challenge their helplessness. They decide to say “no” to the vulnerability they feel and seek help in whatever form they can. It’s always the first step.