Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a disorder caused by witnessing a horrific event and the inability to be able to recover from it. PTSD can have an impact on one's quality of life. Millions around the world are diagnosed with this condition. Women have a higher risk of developing the condition, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA).
Distressing situations like physical and sexual abuse, accidents and some kind of violence can cause some people who have had those experiences to develop PTSD. Flashbacks of the event, anxiety, sleep issues, and mood swings are some of the symptoms of the condition patients experience. However, there are a few ways to manage the symptoms. Here are a few strategies you can try to cope with PTSD.
* Mindfulness meditation
Meditation has been used along with other treatments to treat various disorders. This practice has been found to improve many aspects of a person's life. Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) is a program which focuses on the practice of mindfulness meditation. The goal is to train people to focus their attention on their breathing so they can block out negative thoughts. Mindfulness-based exposure therapy is another program which focuses on self-compassion training.
* Use physical activity to regain focus
Many PTSD patients have reported physical activity has helped them deal with stress. Rebecca Thorne was diagnosed with PTSD after experiencing childhood trauma. She told a news portal running was instrumental in helping her deal withPTSD symptoms. "I am a runner – and I suffer from [PTSD]," she says. "One of the many things I think about while I'm running, and also when I'm not, is the relationship between the two,"Thorne told a news portal. Adding,"I embrace running in all weathers [...], always with a considerable amount of ascent. As I fight my way up the climbs, I often imagine that the hill is my illness and I am going to slowly and steadily conquer it. Yet it never feels like suffering and, once at the top of the hill, I can reach out and touch the sky."
Researchers have discovered that orange essential oil can be an effective way to reduce PTSD symptoms like anxiety and chronic stress. "Lavender, sage, peppermint, or any other relaxing oil massaged on the spot between your eyebrows and your pulse points is marvelously calming," Sezin Koehler, who has been coping with her PTSD symptoms for years, told a news portal.
David Kinchin, who was diagnosed with PTSD in the 90s, believes aromatherapy has a soothing effect. "Aromatherapy can form part of a healing regime as well as being a preventive therapy in its own right. It gives pleasure through the sense of touch (massage), the sense of smell (aromatic oils), the sense of sight (pleasant surroundings) [...] By so doing, it helps to create favourable conditions in body and mind for healing to take place quite naturally," Kinchin told a news portal.
* Art therapy
Art therapy has been an effective way to treat symptoms of PTSD, according to many experts. The idea is to use art to externalize a patient's emotions to deal with difficult memories. "Someone who has experienced trauma has a block that keeps them from verbalizing what they've been through," Melissa Walker, who works as an art therapist, told a news portal. Adding, "There is a shutdown in the [convolution of] Broca — the part of the brain responsible for speech and language."
Walker further explained: "The mask gives them a way to explain themselves. The concrete image of the mask unleashes words. It reintegrates the left and right hemispheres. Now they can discuss their feelings with their social worker or psychiatrist."
* Pets for PTSD
Love animals? Adopt a pet. Many PTSD patients say pets have a way of helping them deal with their symptoms. One study found a specially trained dog designed to detect symptoms of PTSD was able to improve symptoms by 82 per cent.
Picture Courtesy: Google Images