Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) occurs when you are involved in or witness a terrifying, usually life-threatening, event.  Severe anxiety, flashbacks, uncontrollable thoughts and nightmares are common symptoms of the illness.  While most people eventually adjust to the aftereffects of traumatic events, some people find their symptoms worsening over time.  Doctors are not able to pinpoint exactly why some people develop PTSD but probably causes include inherited mental and personality traits, a culmination of life experiences and the way hormones and chemicals are regulated by the brain when responding to stress.

 

Below are some ways to help cope with PTSD.

  • Follow your treatment plan to help you move forward over time.
  • Learn more about PTSD to understand what you are feeling and how to respond effectively.
  • Take care of yourself by eating healthy, getting sleep and relaxing.
  • Turning to alcohol or drugs, may be tempting but it isn’t healthy and can cause more problems down the road.
  • Talk to someone to help you stay connected with supportive and caring people.
  • Consider group support.

If someone you love has PTSD it may be hard to understand what they are going through and how to help.  There are ways you can still help and support your loved one.

  • Learn more about PTSD to help better understand what they are going through.
  • Recognize that withdrawal is part of the disorder and give them space when they need it.
  • Offer to attend medical appointments to assist with treatment.
  • Be willing to listen and let them know you are their for them.
  • Encourage participation in activities with family and friends.
  • Make your own health a priority by eating healthy, being physically active and getting enough rest.
  • Seek help from your doctor or a therapist if needed.
  • Always stay safe in the event your loved one becomes violent or abusive.

As the result of a personal injury accident, you or a loved one may develop signs of PTSD.  Consult with a doctor if any of the symptoms occur and learn more here.