Can you tell me what someone with PTSD is like? I can. It’s like every day they wake up to a different version of themselves. Will they be happy? Or sad? Or scared? Or safe? They don’t know what mood they will be in when they wake up the next day. It’s not like they are unstable, they have grown to become a master of themselves. Their PTSD lives within them, but it is not visible to others. They see flashbacks, feel the sensations of the trauma, fighting their own battles, strangled in their memories which may seem real to them, streaming in front of their eyes, just like a film!
PTSD can occur due to exposure of death, serious injury, sexual violence or any trauma related event. The exposure can be direct, witnessed trauma, learning that a close friend or relative was exposed to it or indirect exposure to the aversive details or trauma. The symptoms can hence last for more than 1 month. The individual may encounter nightmares, flashbacks, unwanted memories, emotional distress or even physical reactivity. And he/she feels like they’re trapped within that trauma and there is no way out!
So how can you manage your PTSD symptoms?
- Deep breathing and relaxation exercises can help you manage your PTSD anxiety.
- Then comes self-monitoring, it’s a simple way to increase your awareness and make you live in ‘here and now’.
- Social support can always help you feel better and get out of the trauma.
- Express yourself through writing. Writing down your thoughts can improve coping and posttraumatic growth.
- Distraction may give your emotion some time to decrease the intensity and help you manage it.
- Reaching out for professional help through platforms like PUKAAR can always be beneficial.
Written by: Harmeen Khalid