National Center For Complementary And Integrative Health Center
The NCCIHC provides lots of information on complementary therapies to go along with traditional PTSD treatment. A quick search of PTSD on the site produces information on how to ease symptoms with acupuncture, relaxation, and mind-and-body approaches.
Where To Get Self
You can get PTSD self-help information and guidance from the Veterans Adminstration , from PTSD self-help books, and through PTSD self-help worksheets as well as using other tools and mental health management skills provided in therapy. PTSD support groups are another important form of PTSD self-help.
The Veterans Administration, part of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, has various resources on its website, including how to get in touch with the VA in your area and a section on the disorder. The PTSD page includes information about where to find peer support groups and also about an app, called PTSD Coach, that can help you track your symptoms and more.
Another way to find PTSD support groups is through your county mental health agency, community mental health centers and local veterans groups. Your doctor may also be able to direct you to support groups in your area.
Support groups, either led by a professional or peer-run, focus on personal day-to-day experiences of living and coping with PTSD. These groups offer you a chance to connect with other people who are going through the same or similar struggles. This helps remove the sense of isolation that often comes with PTSD. While they wont necessarily reduce symptoms, support groups complement traditional treatment by providing an additional outlet to work through what youre dealing with.
Us Department Of Veterans Affairs: Ptsd Treatment Programs
Here, a number of specialists are available to provide the support and care needed to help individuals overcome trauma. There are more than 200 PTSD programs in the U.S., so help is just a phone call away. Programs entail evaluation and treatment for PTSD, which may include one-on-one therapy, group therapy, medication, and education to understand how trauma affects ones life.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Ptsd
Some of the symptoms are PTSD and complex PTSD are:
- reliving the experience through flashbacks, dreams or nightmares,
- not being able to feel emotions,
- dissociation. This could include disconnecting from yourself or other people,
- negative alternations in mood,
- negative self-perception such as feeling worthless or defeated,
- hyperarousal such as anger, irritability or sleep issues,
- hypervigilance such as feeling on constant alert. Or being overly sensory to stimulus such as smell and noise, and
- avoidance. This could mean that you try to distract your thought from thinking about the trauma. Or you avoid situations that remind you of your trauma.
Is psychosis a symptom of PTSD?
There is a link between PTSD and psychosis. But it is not known if psychosis is a symptom of PTSD. Or a separate mental health condition.
You can find more information about psychosis by clicking here.
What Risks Are Associated With Ptsd
Alcohol and drug use
You might use drugs or alcohol to help you to manage your symptoms.
Drugs or alcohol can make you more unwell and more likely to try and harm yourself or take your own life.
Mental health conditions
Symptoms of PTSD can be made worse by other disorders such as:
- substance abuse, and
- memory problems
Most people with PTSD will have at least 1 other mental health condition. The most common disorders are:
- depressive disorders,
- substance use disorders, and
- anxiety disorders.
Other mental health conditions have the some of the same symptoms as PTSD. This may be why PTSD is hard to diagnose.
Suicidal thoughts and behaviours
In severe cases PTSD can last long enough and have a large impact on day to day life. This can cause suicidal thoughts and behaviours.
Physical health issues
PTSD has been linked to physical symptoms such as dizziness, tinnitus and blurry vision.
It has also been linked to physical illnesses such as heart disease, high blood pressure and obesity.
You can find more information about:
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Where Do I Go From Here
Your doctor or a mental health professional can help you decide which, if any, of the above treatments would be best for you. A doctor, including a doctor at a walk-in clinic, can refer you to more specialized mental health services. In addition, check out the resources below for more information on PTSD.
Visit www.anxietycanada.com or call 604-620-0744 for information, tools, and self-management guides like My Anxiety Plan for PTSD and the MindShift CBT app .
Call 811 or visit www.healthlinkbc.ca to access information, find local resources and services, speak to a registered nurse, or talk with a pharmacist if you have questions about medication.
Call 1-800-563-0808 at any time to speak to a trained victim support worker who can connect you with local resources and help you find support. For more information, visit www.victimlinkbc.ca.
BC First Responders’ Mental Health
Visit bcfirstrespondersmentalhealth.com for resources and supports for first responders in BC. You can learn more about mental health, take an assessment, learn about making a mental health-related claim, find local resources, and learn how you can reach out to support others.
BC Occupational Stress Injury Clinic
Visit www.bcosi.ca for information about the Vancouver-based BC Occupational Stress Injury Clinic. It’s available to any BC resident by referral to Regular and Reserve members of the Canadian Forces, veterans, members of the RCMP, and their family members.
Get Your Daily Routines And Rituals In Place
Most people who experience a crisis lose that ability to get up, eat, care for themselves, and then move about their day. The sooner you re-establish your daily routine the better.
When children are involved the recommendation is the sooner you can resume family rituals the better. Get back to your spiritual home. Remember to have some sort of ritual in your life birthdays, Christmas, or any other familiar activity makes everyone feel better.
Returning to a job or other activity can be a great way to begin your recovery. If you cant work at a paid job consider volunteering. Having a reason to get up and out of the house can jump-start your recovery.
A regular and consistent amount of sleep is important. So is some form of exercise. Be as consistent as possible with mealtimes and bedtimes. Include time for relaxation and positive activities.
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Learning To Cope With Ptsd
You must not get so wrapped up in your loved ones disorder that you neglect yourself. Dont feel guilty for not having all the answers no one does. Remind yourself that you cant speed up the process of recovery as these things always take time. Make time for your family and remember all the good things in your life. Learning to cope with PTSD is equally important for your well-being. Keep in mind that in a given year, approximately 5.2 million people suffer from PTSD. That means almost as many caregivers are dealing were with the disorder. You and your loved one arent alone.
Talk to your family about concerns you might have. You need their support. Learn methods of relaxation, like meditation or yoga, that can help you take a break. Use positive activities as a distraction. Make an effort to spend time with people who arent connected to your loved ones trauma. Dont allow yourself to be suffocated by the PTSD.
Ptsd In Children And Teenagers
Older children and teenagers experience similar problems to adults when they develop PTSD. Younger children can express distress in a different way. For example, they may re-live the traumatic event through repetitive play rather than having unwanted memories of the event during the day. Many children have frightening dreams without recognisable content rather than nightmares that replay the traumatic event. Children may also lose interest in play, become socially withdrawn, or have extreme temper tantrums.
About one third of children who experience a traumatic event will develop PTSD.
Other problems that can develop alongside PTSD include anxiety or depression, defiant behaviour, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and in teenagers and young adults, suicidal thoughts and alcohol or drug use.
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How To Treat Ptsd
If self-coping doesnt work for your loved one, youll need to know how to treat PTSD another way. Find a doctor to talk to and offer to go to the visit together. Many people find answers in formal treatment. Psychotherapy and medication are very effective for recovering from a trauma. Learn about cognitive behavioral therapy and medications used to treat PTSD, and share this information with your loved one.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
PTSD can cause ongoing mental distress, and it takes time to heal emotionally. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a crisis center that provides free emotional support to those living with PTSD and their families 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The ability to talk with someone can make the recovery process easier. Its website also contains information on finding support groups and therapists by location, as well as inspirational stories from survivors.
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Where Can I Find More Information On Ptsd
The National Center for PTSD, a program of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, is the leading federal center for research and education on PTSD and traumatic stress. You can find information about PTSD, treatment options, and getting help, as well as additional resources for families, friends, and providers.
Ptsd In Military Veterans
For all too many veterans, returning from military service means coping with symptoms of PTSD. You may have a hard time readjusting to life out of the military. Or you may constantly feel on edge, emotionally numb and disconnected, or close to panicking or exploding. But its important to know that youre not alone and there are plenty of ways you can deal with nightmares and flashbacks, cope with feelings of depression, anxiety or guilt, and regain your sense of control.
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How To Diagnose Ptsd
The first step in diagnosing trauma is making an appointment with a doctor, preferably someone trained in mental health disorders. The doctor will talk with the patient to determine their state of mind. The practitioner will have to determine whether the prerequisite symptoms for PTSD are present before deciding how to proceed. For a diagnosis of PTSD, the patient must have experienced the following for at least one month:
- At least one event in which they re-experience symptoms
- At least three avoidance symptoms
- At least two hyperarousal symptoms
- Symptoms that interfere with daily life activities
Tip : Rebuild Trust And Safety
Trauma alters the way a person sees the world, making it seem like a perpetually dangerous and frightening place. It also damages peoples ability to trust others and themselves. If theres any way you can rebuild your loved ones sense of security, it will contribute to their recovery.
Express your commitment to the relationship. Let your loved one know that youre here for the long haul so they feel loved and supported.
Create routines. Structure and predictable schedules can restore a sense of stability and security to people with PTSD, both adults and children. Creating routines could involve getting your loved one to help with groceries or housework, for example, maintaining regular times for meals, or simply being there for the person.
Minimize stress at home. Try to make sure your loved one has space and time for rest and relaxation.
Speak of the future and make plans. This can help counteract the common feeling among people with PTSD that their future is limited.
Keep your promises. Help rebuild trust by showing that youre trustworthy. Be consistent and follow through on what you say youre going to do.
Emphasize your loved ones strengths. Tell your loved one you believe theyre capable of recovery and point out all of their positive qualities and successes.
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Getting Professional Help For Ptsd
If you suspect that you or a loved one has post-traumatic stress disorder, its important to seek help right away. The sooner PTSD is treated, the easier it is to overcome. If youre reluctant to seek help, keep in mind that PTSD is not a sign of weakness, and the only way to overcome it is to confront what happened to you and learn to accept it as a part of your past. This process is much easier with the guidance and support of an experienced therapist or doctor.
Its only natural to want to avoid painful memories and feelings. But if you try to numb yourself and push your memories away, PTSD will only get worse. You cant escape your emotions completelythey emerge under stress or whenever you let down your guardand trying to do so is exhausting. The avoidance will ultimately harm your relationships, your ability to function, and the quality of your life.
Why you should seek help for PTSD
Early treatment is better. Symptoms of PTSD may get worse. Dealing with them now might help stop them from getting worse in the future. Finding out more about what treatments work, where to look for help, and what kind of questions to ask can make it easier to get help and lead to better outcomes.
PTSD symptoms can change family life. PTSD symptoms can get in the way of your family life. You may find that you pull away from loved ones, are not able to get along with people, or that you are angry or even violent. Getting help for your PTSD can help improve your family life.
How To Help Someone With Post
Post-traumatic stress disorder sometimes occurs when a traumatic event is experienced. The illness is marked by uncontrollable thoughts, extreme anxiety, nightmares and flashbacks. PTSD sometimes causes short-term memory loss and can have long-term chronic psychological repercussions. Its imperative to seek treatment for PTSD as early as possible. Symptoms can become more severe over time, and for some people, PTSD can last for many years.
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What Are The Symptoms Of C
C-PTSD symptoms are the same as those of PTSD plus 3 extra groups of symptoms:
These extra symptoms are similar to symptoms of borderline personality disorder .
Where To Get Help
Veterans and their families may receive treatment for war zone related problems from a number of qualified and sympathetic sources:
- Chaplain Services
- Department of Veterans Affairs
- Mental or Behavioral Health Services Located with Hospitals or Clinics near you
- Nursing or Family Assistance Programs
- Primary Care Physicians
- Private practice professional counselors, clinical social workers, psychologists or pastoral counselors.
- Readjustment Counseling Service Vet Centers
It is important to shop around for the provider you feel is right for you, and most counselors will understand that you are searching for a fit that makes you feel comfortable.
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Do You Need More Information About Ptsd
Our website has lots of information about PTSD to arm you with the knowledge and details you need to understand the condition, be able to explain it to your friends and family better and, ultimately, to help guide you to the support and treatment you may need. Below are some direct links to some of the most common questions we are asked.
What is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?
Anyone exposed to trauma can develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and it can cause a wide variety of physical, mental and emotional symptoms find out more about PTSD on this page here.
I think I might have PTSD, what should I do?
If you recognise some of the symptoms of PTSD in yourself, its really important to speak to someone if you feel you can. This might be a friend or loved one initially, but seeing a medical professional will also allow you to get a full diagnosis, understand your condition better, and most importantly, find out what treatment options are available for you. Find out more about what to do if you think you have PTSD on this page here.
I think my loved one has PTSD, what can I do?
I’ve just been told I have PTSD, what can I do next?
What treatments are available for PTSD in the UK?
What can I do to ease my PTSD symptoms?
Eye Movement Desensitisation And Reprocessing
Eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing is a psychological treatment that’s been found to reduce the symptoms of PTSD.
It involves recalling the traumatic incident in detail while making eye movements, usually by following the movement of your therapist’s finger.
Other methods may include the therapist tapping their finger or playing a tone.
It’s not clear exactly how EMDR works, but it may help you change the negative way you think about a traumatic experience.
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What Exactly Is Post
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is an anxiety disorder that can occur after a person has been through a traumatic event. These events can include:
- Natural disasters
- Terrorist attacks
- Combat during wartime
During a traumatic event, people think that their life or the lives of others are in danger. They may feel afraid or feel that they have no control over what is happening. And if the person has a TBI, too, these feelings of lack of control and fear can balloon into confusion, challenges with memory, or intense emotion.
Combat-related PTSD has existed as long as war itself. The condition was called soldiers heart in the Civil War, shell shock in World War I, and Combat fatigue in World War II. Despite the fact that the condition has been around for thousands of years, it is sometimes still difficult, or controversial, to diagnose.