When you have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), it will not take too long to get diagnosed with anxiety as well. In truth, the latter is one of the significant symptoms of PTSD. I have heard of patients who cannot even open their windows in fear of someone watching their actions through that. Other individuals who have come from the war zone tend to jump whenever they hear a loud bang, regardless if it’s from a pot knocked off the counter or a book that actor smacked on the table on a TV show.
Life is undoubtedly tricky for people with post-traumatic stress disorder, especially when it comorbid with anxiety. The examples given above are still considered mild. In worst cases, there may be too many unrealistic ideas running through the patients’ mind, to the extent that they no longer know what’s real or not. That is when their behavior becomes erratic, and some even end up harming others before killing themselves. According to Kathleen Smith, Ph.D., LPC, “Traumatic events often include physical violence, an accident, a natural disaster, war, or sexual abuse. Children or teens may have experienced these events themselves, or they may have witnessed them happen to someone else. A child or adolescent with PTSD feels that they are unable to escape the impact of the trauma.”
Nevertheless, the fact that you are in this blog, reading this article, tells me that you don’t want yourself or a loved one with PTSD to have the same fate as those people mentioned above. Because of that, you should learn a few practical techniques to beat the manifestation of such mental illnesses.
- Take A Deep Breath
Zachary Taylor, LPC, explains that “In addition to overwhelming feelings of fear, panic attacks are usually marked by shortness of breath or trouble breathing and a rapid heartbeat. Other physical symptoms can include sweating (without physical exertion), a tingling sensation throughout the body, feeling like your throat is closing up or feeling that you’re about to pass out.”
The first thing to realize is that panic attacks occur when you are dealing with anxiety. It typically means that you lose control of yourself and even forget your ability to breathe. Before it happens again, therefore, you need to teach yourself to take deep breaths to make sure that your brain and lungs get a steady supply of oxygen. That may allow you to think more clearly and realize that your fears are all in mind.
- Try Meditating
Meditation is always recommended for anyone who has mental health issues. The reason is that the diseases target your brain and rob you of your cognitive skills. Even if your eyes can see the reality, to be specific, your mind cannot process that. Feel free to try different meditating techniques until you find the most suitable one for you.
According to Charmaine J. Simmons, a Licensed Professional Counselor, “Meditation offers practitioners powerful benefits, yet many people are confused as to what exactly those benefits are. In a nutshell, meditation focuses attention in a deliberate manner, taking you from a state of noisy mental chatter to calm and quiet inner peace. And isn’t that something most of us could use?”
- Keep Tabs On Yourself
It does not hurt to maintain a record book or chart that will help you to monitor your condition. It can be a daily log of the symptoms you have experienced, what you have done to overcome them, or how you have prevented a panic attack from coming. Keeping tabs on yourself this way gives you an actual idea of what’s happening with you.
- Don’t Stay Alone For A Long Period
Considering your friends or family members offer to stay with you throughout this ordeal, you should let them do that. Now is not the time to act too proud, as if you don’t need help. It is not good to be too shy either and think that you may get in their way. These people will not be offering to keep you company if you are a burden to them. Besides, it matters for you to have others to depend on now because you can’t trust your brain right now.
In The End
There is no cure for PTSD or anxiety. It may not be easy to detach yourself from either or both at once as well, especially if you have been living with the mental illnesses for years. However, if you are determined to beat them, who’s to say that you cannot do that in the long run?