4 Ways to Manage PTSD

4 Ways to Manage PTSD

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) causes feelings of insecurity, isolation, and distress that make you feel like you’ll never overcome the trauma you’ve been through. But recovery is possible with the appropriate treatment strategies and a willingness to actively manage your condition.

At Revolution Psychiatric and Addiction Treatment, we specialize in the diagnosis and ongoing management of PTSD and other trauma-related disorders. As an addiction medicine specialist, Richard E. Repass, MD, can also address the misuse of drugs and alcohol if you’re using them as a PTSD coping strategy.

Here, we outline a few effective ways to keep your PTPD symptoms under control without self-medicating, so you can regain control of your life.

An overview of PTSD

PTSD is a mental health condition that can develop after you’re involved in or witness a traumatic event. Such events can include physical or sexual abuse, neglect, military combat, severe auto accidents, or a natural disaster.

There’s no clear reason why some people develop PTSD after trauma and others don’t, but your personality, genetics, and stress response all play a role in the condition.

In the weeks, months, or years after the trauma, you can experience a range of distressing symptoms, including neuropsychiatric disorders like anxiety and depression and:

You may avoid people, places, or things that remind you of the trauma, which can cause feelings of detachment from loved ones and difficulties maintaining relationships.

Without proper management, PTSD symptoms can worsen over time and increase your risk for addiction, self-harm, and suicidal thoughts or actions.

But recovery from PTSD is possible when you implement positive coping strategies into your life and work with a mental health professional like Dr. Repass.

Strategies to better cope with PTSD

If you’re experiencing PTSD symptoms, one of the first things you should do is to get an accurate diagnosis. Revolution Psychiatric and Addiction Treatment offers diagnostic evaluations that confirm PTSD and assess the severity of symptoms.

In addition to psychiatric counseling and medications, Dr. Repass can recommend strategies you can use to take back control of your life, so you can be healthier and happier. These strategies might include:

Educating yourself

After receiving a diagnosis of PTSD, learn all you can about the disorder. This helps you understand that you’re not alone and that what you’re experiencing is real.

It’s also beneficial to learn from the experiences of others who have found recovery from PTSD symptoms.

Using relaxation methods

When you feel fearful or are dealing with intrusive thoughts, use relaxation practices in the moment. Such practices might include taking a walk in nature, sitting in meditation, or engaging in deep breathing exercises.

Expressing your feelings in a constructive way

Creativity can be an outlet for negative emotions, so you can support your PTSD recovery by engaging in a new, creative hobby, such as painting, drawing, or playing music.

Add recreational activities to your routine that naturally lift your mood and distract you  from intrusive and unwanted thoughts.

Prioritizing restorative sleep

Restorative sleep resets your nervous system and other biological functions. On the other hand, sleep deprivation can worsen PTSD symptoms, so stay consistent with healthy bedtime habits.

Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day, even on weekends. Create a comfortable, quiet, and cool sleeping environment that promotes good quality sleep for 7-9 hours each night.

Schedule a PTSD evaluation by calling our Mercer Island, Washington, office today.

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