Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is a condition which can lead those affected by it to make poor coping decisions. Drugs, alcohol and other means of distracting oneself in times of distress aren’t suitable coping mechanisms and do nothing to help mitigate or alleviate the symptoms of PTSD.
There are numerous alternatives that can present veterans with a more mindful and healthy path to living with this disorder. One method may not be enough to fully manage symptoms, and you may find a more effective solution elsewhere, but there are several places to start on your road to living a healthier life.
1. Learn as Much as Possible
The first step to dealing with any issue is to understand it as much as you can. You can only defeat your enemy if you know its weakness, which you can only know if you take the time to learn it. As such, learning as much as possible about PTSD is your first step to understanding how to cope with it.
2. Seek Professional Help
Few people really want to visit a therapist, but the benefits of doing so cannot be ignored. There are professionals who specialize in treating patients with PTSD and can help you throughout the entire process. They can help you learn more about your condition – what triggers you, what calms you, ways to keep yourself level and implement a treatment unique to you.
It may feel as though you’re grasping at straws when you consider meditation, but it can actually prove to be an effective tool during your recovery. There have been multiple research studies conducted about the effects of meditation on mental health conditions, such as PTSD. These mediations focus on mindfulness and your ability to overcome whatever it is that afflicts you, whether it is rage, depression or anxiety. They help re-establish the notion that you are in control — not the disorder.
4. Find Others
Unfortunately, there are many cases of PTSD, and no matter how isolated you feel, there are always other people who are more than willing to support you. You can join a support group where everyone relies on each other for encouragement and support. Not only do you benefit from having people who understand what you’re going through, but you also get to be that person for the other members. If you don’t want to join a group, consider seeking out one person in particular to be your helping hand during your healing process.
5. Start a New Hobby
Having a hobby can be a great way to calm yourself down during stressful moments and help you avoid triggers. Your hobby can be practically anything, but you should find something that’s healthy and won’t cause you anxiety. Find something that you enjoy doing and make it a reoccurring thing.
There’s no quick fix for PTSD. It’s essential that you avoid unhealthy coping strategies, which do nothing more than mask your symptoms for a short period. Treating this condition is a healing process that takes time and effort, not an overnight remedy. It’s important for you to find out what coping mechanisms work for you and in what situations.