Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a condition that can affect people of all ages. As its name suggests, PTSD can develop after an individual goes through a traumatic and often life-changing event. Examples of traumatic events include war, abuse, accidents, and the death of a loved one. Although fear is an emotion that’s helpful in evading and surviving life-threatening events, continuing to experience fear and other adverse effects after the events have passed can be incredibly debilitating to daily life. Let’s look at some ways to cope with PTSD.
What is PTSD?
Before we begin, let’s look at what PTSD and its symptoms are. PTSD occurs in some individuals after they experience a dangerous or frightening event. The onset of this disorder is not time specific, it can begin years after the incident. Some symptoms of PTSD include:
- Nightmares and difficulty sleeping.
- Frightening and intrusive thoughts.
- Flashbacks and reliving the trauma, triggered by certain sights and sounds.
- Feeling tense and afraid.
- Intense feelings of guilt and shame.
If you suspect that you or a loved one has undiagnosed PTSD, it is important to seek help from a mental health profession, so you can receive a diagnosis and begin the process of healing.
PTSD occurs when your body is overly sensitive to any signs of threats or danger, even after the traumatic event has long since passed. A qualified psychotherapist will be able to help you cope with the emotional and mental aspects of trauma, and work with you to resolve it. You will also be taught methods to manage the triggers, rebuild your sense of self-worth, and practice mindfulness to stay in the present. Over time, you will be able to regain control over your feelings and experience fewer flashbacks. The duration and intensity of the flashbacks will also be reduced as you learn to manage your condition.
Exercise is incredibly beneficial to a variety of health conditions. It helps to reduce cholesterol, lowers blood pressure, and reduces depression and anxiety. Moderate levels of exercise can also help to reduce PTSD symptoms. However, it is important to discuss exercise activities with your physicians in advance. An elevated heart rate may also trigger the PTSD symptoms in some individuals.
Build a Support Network
PTSD can be an incredibly lonely experience. If you’re afraid of being misunderstood or getting triggered, you may view isolation as a form of self-preservation. However, this is unhealthy, as avoidance behavior that can worsen your quality of life and will not improve your condition. Instead, socializing and receiving emotional support can help to improve your mood, add some structure to your life, and reduce feelings of loneliness.
When you stay in a community living facility, you will have access to neighbors and trained professionals who understand you, and care for you. In addition, there will be many relaxing activities and amenities for you to engage in, such as yoga, art classes, and heated pools.
Remember, if you have PTSD, you are not alone. It is possible to recover with the help of trained professionals, a good support network, and most important of all, kindness, and patience towards yourself. To learn more about senior living programs and how they can help you with your PTSD symptoms, contact us today.