Suffering from any kind of crisis can produce a great deal of post-traumatic stress, and it’s not always easy to treat. Many people find themselves numb with an inability to cope with life, or struggle with healthy ways to cope in general. Whether you’ve experienced post-traumatic stress from the passing of a loved one, an accident, a family divorce, serving in the war, sexual abuse, physical abuse, any form of neglect, or even a break-up, there are some healthy ways to deal with post-traumatic stress that have been proven highly effective. Consider some of the options below, and if you have one way you’ve handled post-traumatic stress, I’d love to hear about it in the comments section below.
DBT, or Dialytical Behavioral Therapy, is one of the most popular ways to handle post-traumatic stress used today. DBT involves a special form of counseling where patients basically sort through their situation with a professional therapist, and specific life skill classes are given. This is highly effective today for helping people return to a normal sense of life they feel they once lost. You can find DBT classes online, self help tools online, and even local nearby clinics that offer this form of treatment. By definition, it combines cognitive and behavioral therapy, incorporating methodologies from various practices including Eastern mindfulness techniques, according to the official DBT Self Help Website. To learn more you can visit dbtselfhelp.com.
2. Trauma-focused Cognitive-behavioral Therapy
This form of therapy involves carefully and gradually “exposing” a person to thoughts, feelings, and situations that might remind them of the trauma. It’s a way to help them face their fears instead of ignoring the issue altogether. It also helps them express themselves and learn to cope with life again after treatment. Trauma-focused therapy can help them come to terms that life is not completely traumatic, which they may feel after a terrible occurrence. It naturally brings them back into everyday living, when they feel paralyzed with subconscious thoughts regarding the trauma. This form of therapy is also available wherever counselors specialize in post-traumatic stress. You can learn more at helpguide.org.
3. Eye Movement Desensitization Therapy
This might be a new form of therapy to you, as it was to me when first learning of it. EMDT is another form of therapy that involves using cognitive skills and rapid eye movements. The reason this is effective is because it stimulates nerves in the brain that can help trigger unreleased memories in a certain part of the brain that might be causing the post-traumatic stress. Specialized local clinics with this option can provide you with more information, which you can learn about at emdr.com.
4. Family Therapy
It’s always a good idea to involve loved ones of someone suffering from post-traumatic stress. Not only is the person suffering affected, but so is their family. It can be difficult for members of the family to understand, especially if they aren’t fully aware of what happened. Family therapy can help the person suffering from post-traumatic stress, and can help the family learn how to help them cope at home. It also provides support for family members to express their concerns, frustrations, and feelings about what they are experiencing.
5. Natural anti-Anxiety Supplements
Many people are put on prescription drugs for post-traumatic stress, which is an option. Yet, there are also some more natural supplements targeted at anxiety that can help when combined. Fish oil can fight depression, GABA can relieve anxiety, melatonin can help a person sleep if they are having nightmares, and Relora has been found effective for stress. Other natural remedies include herbs like rhodiola, schizandra berry extract, and Valerian that all fight anxiety. You can find all these in a health food store, or online.
6. Resuming Normal Life
Outside of therapy options, it’s truly best for individuals to try to maintain their normal life, however possible. This will not cure the post-traumatic stress, but can help them heal faster if they regain normalcy in their life. It may also trigger former happy memories that help them cope with the bad memories they have from whatever happened.
7. Talking with Others
The number one recommended thing for someone with post-traumatic stress is to have an open relationship with someone they can talk to about their issues. Even though they may be hesitant at first, an open ended relationship with discussion about their fears, worries, and feelings is vital to their healing.
If you or someone you love has suffered post-traumatic stress, don’t lose hope. There are many options available to get help and most have been proven to be effective. Understand that someone with post-traumatic stress may not be acting like the person you know and love. This is normal, and with good therapy, they can resume their normal life again. Do you know anyone with post-traumatic stress? What helped them?