Soldiers experience and witness many traumatizing events while out in the battle field. This results in post-traumatic stress disorder, which is a serious mental condition. Soldiers and veterans usually have traumatizing memories, thoughts, and nightmares that are linked to the negative experiences. This may also make such people avoid people and places that bring back memories of the events.
PTSD can be managed effectively so that the suffering soldier recovers well. Here are 7 tips on how to deal with the condition:
1) Take it Slow
PTSD cannot be treated quickly or immediately a soldier returns from war. It takes time and should always be thought of as a process. That will help you think positively about the condition and reduce the feeling of hopelessness. Because of this, a patient will be less likely to turn to alcohol, drugs, and other unhealthy habits.
Also, it will help you resist PTSD medications. These medications are not always recommended for PTSD patients. Just like other leisure drugs, these medications treat the symptoms of the condition without tackling the core of the problem. With these drugs, patients will generally be more upbeat and less depressed. Nightmares also occur less frequently with these drugs. Also, you will have to use them all the time since the root of the problem will not disappear.
As a suffering soldier, you need to approach the problem with patience and take control of the situation.
2) Talk to People about your Diagnosis
People with PTSD may feel helpless and vulnerable and may want to hide the condition from others. That may be good with distant people who you don't trust. However, the diagnosis needs to be shared with people close to you since they are best placed to offer you social support. People who you live with will notice how the condition is affecting you and will help you recover.
It has been observed that people who share their problem recover much faster than those who keep it to themselves. Before telling people about your problem, it is important to make sure you understand the condition well so that people can know what symptoms to expect. This will also help you figure out what you need to tell. Of course, some of the unnecessary details can be
PTSD patients experience a lot of anxiety. The physiological manifestations of the condition can be managed through relaxation. If traditional approaches to the problem have not yielded success, you can turn to relaxation techniques to address the problem.
It is important to note that relaxation might be uncomfortable at first. Your mind will be more focused and might turn to traumatizing thoughts about past events. With patience, you should be able to experience positive results. There are lots of relaxation techniques that can help treat PTSD.
Breathing exercises are among the most common and easy relaxation techniques to perform. Also, you can try meditation and yoga. Trough this site, you can learn how to perform relaxation exercises.
4) Engage in Hobbies
It is also helpful to distract yourself with activities you enjoy. Enjoyable activities can help in boosting your emotional state. If you can, engage in art. Veterans and suffering soldiers have been known to recover faster from PTSD because of engaging in artistic work. This helps them express their emotions and thoughts in a positive way. If you don't feel like doing anything, watch television programs that interest you. In other words, you need to distract your mind from your problem.
At the end of the day, you will feel better and will be able to sleep comfortably.
5) Reduce Avoidance
Suffering soldiers will often avoid events, places, or people who bring back unpleasant memories. This is counter-productive. If you don't face your fears, you will not have an opportunity to prove that you can handle them. When you come in contact with such people or places, you may experience a surge in adrenaline levels.
You will feel your heart pounding faster and will get sweaty. You muscles may also get tensed since adrenaline prepares you for fight or flight. People also tend to experience rushing thoughts when they are in such states and these may make you feel like running or fighting.
These symptoms should not worry you since they are not dangerous. They will fade the when you interact with the said environment for a prolonged period.
6) Handling Insomnia
Insomnia is very common in PTSD patients. If you suffer from any of this problem, it will be helpful to develop a regular sleeping schedule so that your body can adapt to it. Also, you should avoid heavy workouts just before going to sleep.
If you have unpleasant thoughts just before going to bed, get up and try some relaxation exercises. It is also prudent to avoid alcohol, caffeine, and other drugs just before going to bed.
7) Dealing with Nightmares
PTSD patients also experience frequent nightmares that are connected to their experiences. If you wake up from a nightmare, it is important to remind yourself that it was only a dream. You are not in a war zone, and there is no real reason for you to panic.
If possible, you should talk to someone when you wake up from a nightmare. In case the problem is very serious, you may have to consult your doctor for medications that will end them. If you have to use these medications, follow the directions of your doctor since you can easily get dependent or suffer some side effects.
Post-traumatic stress disorder is a common condition with soldiers and war veterans. The condition can be treated successfully if you follow the tips described above. It is very important to be patient since PTSD does not go in a short period. It will take time for the symptoms to disappear completely.
You will also have to ignore certain symptoms such as adrenaline surges if you want to get through the problem as soon as possible. Your trusted friends and family members should be aware of your condition since they can provide you with the necessary social support.