What You Need to Know about PTSD & Trauma

What You Need to Know about PTSD & Trauma

Have you been suffering from PTSD or Trauma?

If you have experienced trauma, witnessed trauma, learned of violent trauma done to loved ones, or experienced any of the symptoms below for one month or longer and, as a result are suffering from work or social impairment– you may be suffering from the symptoms of trauma or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

 

Symptoms include:

  • Negative alterations in cognitions and mood associated with the traumatic event
  • Intrusive memories, nightmares, and flashbacks
  • Avoidance (avoiding memories, thoughts, feelings, or reminders)
  • Negative thoughts & feelings (amnesia to the event, exaggerated negative beliefs, self (or other) blame, persistent fear/anger/horror/shame, low interest in activities, feeling detached or numb
  • Hyperarousal (insomnia, poor concentration, emotional lability, hypervigilance, exaggerated startle, reckless or self destructive behavior)

 

Small things you can do at home to relieve your symptoms:

  • Admitting to yourself you have experienced a trauma (it’s okay to not feel okay)
  • Establish a support team with close friends. Share what you have been through with at least one person
  • Get outside in nature
  • Wrap yourself in a soothing weighted blanket
  • Educate yourself on trauma so you can feel more in control
  • Trace your hand on a piece of paper or place your hand on your heart and stomach to feel present during a flashback
  • Start journaling about feelings and thoughts to feel less overwhelmed/ write a letter to your trauma and burn it
  • Become aware of your triggers by practicing mindfulness
  • Medication and deep breathing
  • Do yoga to try and reconnect with the body
  • Consider getting an animal companion/ support animal or get a plant to take care of
  • Practice self-care
  • Avoid any mind-altering substances, including alcohol
  • Carry headphones with you in case you need a distraction

 

In addition to self help, there are medical intervention options. Seeing a “trauma-informed” counselor, psychiatrist, or naturopathic doctor specializing in mental health care may help you with your trauma or PTSD. By seeing a professional who is “trauma informed” they may provide you with the help you need.

 

Changes to your daily lifestyle can also help. Increasing physical activity and learning stress reduction skills such as the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction program are recommended. Increasing your Magnesium and Vitamin D intake may make an impact for depressive symptoms, or finding natural means of decreasing anxiety and the impact of stress.

 

Health for Life can help you with your trauma or PTSD. Paul Krauss MA LPC, one of our professional counselors specializes in EMDR therapy and all of the counselors at Health for Life Grand Rapids are “trauma-informed’ which means they can also help you. Health for Life Grand Rapids support you to feel like yourself again.

 

Below is an abbreviated list and summary of the data above:

 

Trauma & PTSD:

Severe Trauma – experienced trauma, witnessed trauma, or learned about violent trauma to loved ones. Symptoms present for 1 month and work/social impairment.

Symptoms include:

  • Negative alterations in cognitions and mood associated with the traumatic event
  • Intrusive memories, nightmares, flashbacks
  • Avoidance – (avoid memories, thoughts, feelings, reminders)
  • Negative thoughts & feelings: amnesia to the event, exaggerated negative beliefs, self (or other) blame, persistent fear/anger/horror/shame, low interest in activities, feeling detached, feeling numb
  • Hyperarousal (insomnia, poor concentration, emotional lability, hypervigilance, exaggerated startle, reckless or self destructive behavior)

 

Small things you can do at home to relieve your symptoms/self help:

  • Admitting to yourself you have experienced a trauma can feel freeing/ be okay with not being okay sometimes
  • Establish a support team with close friends. Share what you have been through with at least one person
  • Get outside in nature
  • Wrap yourself in a soothing weighted blanket
  • Educate yourself on trauma so you can feel more in control
  • Trace your hand on a piece of paper or place your hand on your heart and stomach to feel present during a flashback
  • Start journaling about feelings and thoughts to feel less overwhelmed/ write a letter to your trauma and burn it
  • Become aware of your triggers by practicing mindfulness
  • Medication and deep breathing
  • Do yoga to try and reconnect with the body
  • Consider getting an animal companion/ support animal or get a plant to take care of
  • Practice self-care
  • Avoid any mind-altering substances, including alcohol
  • Carry headphones with you in case you need a distraction

 

Medical interventions:

  • “Trauma-informed” Counseling
  • EMDR therapy
  • Seeing a Psychiatrist
  • Naturopathic Medicine
  • Exercise & Stress Reduction Exercises
  • Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction
  • Group therapy

These techniques do not replace medical advice. Speak with your healthcare practitioner if you think you are suffering with depression. The DSM-5 strives to conceptualize an illness as a spectrum, with a domain that should be construed as normal.

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