When someone witnesses a traumatic event, such as a horrible car accident, an explosion, or intense experiences while in the military, they may develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Fortunately, PTSD can be managed with the help of a professional.
Here are some coping strategies for civilians and for those who have served our country. It is best to consult with a psychiatrist to ensure you get to the root cause of your symptoms and employ an effective treatment plan.
What is PTSD?
About 8 million people in the United States suffer from the anxiety disorder known as post-traumatic stress disorder. Affecting more women than men and often impacting military personnel, first responders, and others, PTSD can be life-altering, but manageable, with consistent help and coping strategies.
People with PTSD have witnessed or been a part of a catastrophic event or series of events. Examples include those who have been inactive in combat, witnessed the 9/11 bombings, were in horrific motor vehicle accidents or saw someone pass away.
What results is a series of symptoms that can disturb sleep, impact interpersonal relationships, and cause personality or lifestyle changes. The symptoms of PTSD can recur numerous times when something reminds the sufferer of the traumatic event.
Symptoms of PTSD
Like any psychiatric disorder, the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder vary widely from person to person. Most often, patients with PTSD experience varying combinations of the following:
- Panic attacks
- Outbursts of anger
- Flashbacks to the event
- Mood swings
- Social isolation
- Poor concentration
- Suicidal thoughts
- Avoidance of people and places that remind the person of the event
- Starling easily
- Numbness, or lack of emotion
- Little interest in hobbies, sex, relationships, work, and other things the person once enjoyed
Coping Strategies For Civilians and Veterans
Your psychiatrist can recommend many kinds of coping strategies for PTSD. As with other disorders, the best strategy is to reach out for counselling and help. Seeing a trusted mental health care provider is no shame.
Some at-home effective ways to cope are:
- Doing normal activities of daily living, such as going to the store, cutting the lawn, gassing up the car, and more.
- Achieving larger goals by breaking things into smaller steps.
- Planning periods of relaxation into each day (go for a walk, read, watch a favorite TV program, or listen to music or a fun podcast).
- Not postponing important meetings or projects by getting help organizing and executing them (ask a co-worker or friend for help).
- Exercising (pick something you usually enjoy, such as biking).
- Engaging in art and music therapy.
- Get a pet or find an animal therapy program near you.
PTSD Treatments in New York City and Southbury, CT
Dr. Mark Stracks of Psy-Visions is a highly qualified psychiatrist who understands PTSD. He performs in-depth evaluations and creates custom treatment plans for every patient. Dr. Stracks can provide you with counseling and medications to effectively treat your PTSD.
To schedule an appointment, call your preferred location: (718) 887-2918 for the New York office or (203) 405-1745 for the Connecticut office. You can also request an appointment online or send Dr. Stracks a private message.