Beyond Treatment: How Can I Help Myself
It may be very hard to take that first step to help yourself. It is important to realize that although it may take some time, with treatment, you can get better. If you are unsure where to go for help, ask your family doctor. You can also check NIMH’s Help for Mental Illnesses page or search online for mental health providers, social services, hotlines, or physicians for phone numbers and addresses. An emergency room doctor can also provide temporary help and can tell you where and how to get further help.
To help yourself while in treatment:
- Talk with your doctor about treatment options
- Engage in mild physical activity or exercise to help reduce stress
- Set realistic goals for yourself
- Break up large tasks into small ones, set some priorities, and do what you can as you can
- Try to spend time with other people, and confide in a trusted friend or relative. Tell others about things that may trigger symptoms.
- Expect your symptoms to improve gradually, not immediately
- Identify and seek out comforting situations, places, and people
Caring for yourself and others is especially important when large numbers of people are exposed to traumatic events .
Where Do I Go From Here
Your doctor or a mental health professional can help you decide which, if any, of the above treatments would be best for you. A doctor, including a doctor at a walk-in clinic, can refer you to more specialized mental health services. In addition, check out the resources below for more information on PTSD.
Visit www.anxietycanada.com or call 604-620-0744 for information, tools, and self-management guides like My Anxiety Plan for PTSD and the MindShift CBT app .
Call 811 or visit www.healthlinkbc.ca to access information, find local resources and services, speak to a registered nurse, or talk with a pharmacist if you have questions about medication.
Call 1-800-563-0808 at any time to speak to a trained victim support worker who can connect you with local resources and help you find support. For more information, visit www.victimlinkbc.ca.
BC First Responders’ Mental Health
Visit bcfirstrespondersmentalhealth.com for resources and supports for first responders in BC. You can learn more about mental health, take an assessment, learn about making a mental health-related claim, find local resources, and learn how you can reach out to support others.
BC Occupational Stress Injury Clinic
Visit www.bcosi.ca for information about the Vancouver-based BC Occupational Stress Injury Clinic. It’s available to any BC resident by referral to Regular and Reserve members of the Canadian Forces, veterans, members of the RCMP, and their family members.
Federal Framework On Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
The Federal Framework on Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: Recognition, Collaboration and Support connects and builds on existing federal efforts. It focuses on occupation-related PTSD, but also acknowledges other populations affected by PTSD.
The Framework was developed to help:
- improve tracking of PTSD and its economic and social costs
- promote and share guidelines and best practices for diagnosis, treatment and management of PTSD and,
- create and distribute educational materials.
The Framework will be used to:
- strengthen knowledge creation, knowledge exchange, and collaboration across the federal government, and with partners and stakeholders
- inform practical, evidence-based public health actions, programs and policies and,
- reduce stigma and improve recognition of the symptoms and impacts of PTSD.
A review of the effectiveness of the Framework will be prepared within five years of its publication. The review will include a progress update and highlight new initiatives and their results.
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Risk Factors For Ptsd
The National Center for PTSDsuggests that about 8% of people are affected by PTSD symptoms after some tragic, traumatic life event. It is not easy to determine how one will respond to some trauma. But certain factors may increase the chances of developing the symptoms.
- Women are more prone to developing symptoms.
- Family history or genes may contribute to PTSD risk.
- Experiencing traumatic and dangerous incidents early in life.
- Childhood history of sexual abuse, molestation, and physical hurt
- Witnessing physical torture of other people, deaths, etc.
- Drug abuse and other mental disorders.
What Risks Are Associated With Ptsd
Alcohol and drug use
You might use drugs or alcohol to help you to manage your symptoms.
Drugs or alcohol can make you more unwell and more likely to try and harm yourself or take your own life.
Mental health conditions
Symptoms of PTSD can be made worse by other disorders such as:
- substance abuse, and
- memory problems
Most people with PTSD will have at least 1 other mental health condition. The most common disorders are:
- depressive disorders,
- substance use disorders, and
- anxiety disorders.
Other mental health conditions have the some of the same symptoms as PTSD. This may be why PTSD is hard to diagnose.
Suicidal thoughts and behaviours
In severe cases PTSD can last long enough and have a large impact on day to day life. This can cause suicidal thoughts and behaviours.
Physical health issues
PTSD has been linked to physical symptoms such as dizziness, tinnitus and blurry vision.
It has also been linked to physical illnesses such as heart disease, high blood pressure and obesity.
You can find more information about:
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Diagnostic And Statistical Manual
PTSD was classified as an anxiety disorder in the DSM-IV, but has since been reclassified as a “trauma- and stressor-related disorder” in the DSM-5. The DSM-5 diagnostic criteria for PTSD include four symptom clusters: re-experiencing, avoidance, negative alterations in cognition/mood, and alterations in arousal and reactivity.
Identify The Signs Of Ptsd
You can learn how to help someone with PTSD by knowing the signs. Learning to recognize the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder in a friend or loved one means youll be able to understand when theyve been triggered and can take action.
Some of the main PTSD warning signs to keep an eye out for:
- General negative mood symptoms
- Lack of interest in previously enjoyed activities
- Feeling detached from family and friends
- Feeling emotionally numb
- Having difficulty experiencing any positive emotions
- Physical and emotional reaction changes
- Becoming easily startled
- Feelings of guilt
- Avoidance symptoms like staying away from anyone or anything that might strike memories of the past trauma
- Intrusive memory symptoms
- Vivid memories of a traumatic event
- Having extreme reactions in unwarranted situations
- Unable to be vulnerable with others
- Feeling stuck in one area of your life despite best efforts
Many people with untreated PTSD engage in alcohol use, drug use, or other self-destructive behaviors. They are commonly used because they offer short-term help by making you feel better in the moment, however, they ultimately create long term problems. Think of it as bandaid to a deeper wound that needs proper healing.
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How Our Helpline Works
For those seeking addiction treatment for themselves or a loved one, the PsychGuides.com helpline is a private and convenient solution.
We are standing by 24/7 to discuss your treatment options. Our representatives work solely for AAC and will discuss whether an AAC facility may be an option for you.
Our helpline is offered at no cost to you and with no obligation to enter into treatment. Neither PsychGuides.com nor AAC receives any commission or other fee that is dependent upon which treatment provider a visitor may ultimately choose.
For more information on AACs commitment to ethical marketing and treatment practices, or to learn more about how to select a treatment provider, visit our About AAC page.
Be Prepared For Things That Are Out Of Your Control
Even with the best of intentions, the most accurate information, and the most wholehearted intentions to help, be prepared for times that feel incredibly challenging. You have to expect the unexpected.
You should also be aware that the times you cant control a situation will feel daunting. You may feel like youre being disrespected or underappreciated. Dont be afraid to communicate how you are feeling, assuring them that you dont want to abandon them but explaining that you arent sure what the best way to support them is.
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Treatment For Children And Teenagers With Ptsd
For children and teenagers who are struggling to recover after a traumatic event, the recommended treatment is trauma-focussed cognitive behavioural therapy . This treatment involves:
- learning about the type of traumatic event experienced and common reactions to trauma
- teaching how to relax and manage anxiety
- helping to create a coherent story of the traumatic event, and correct any unhelpful beliefs about the event such as self-blame
- gradual exposure to trauma-related objects or situations that are feared or avoided
- helping to get back into everyday activities.
Getting Help For Post
About the author: This article is written by our team of researchers and writers. Our content is published only after the approval of editorial board.
This article covers:– What types of therapies are involved? – What types of professionals are involved? – The journey of recovery from PTSD- List of useful resources âWhat types of therapies are involved?Trauma-focused psychological therapies are important when treating PTSD. This can really help the child or young person to recover from the disorder. These therapies include trauma-focused cognitive behavioural therapy and eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing. These will be discussed below.
Trauma-focused cognitive behavioural therapy TF-CBT is a type of talk-therapy that focuses on how we think and act towards traumatic memories and how this affects the way we feel. Research shows that it is an effective treatment for trauma in children and young people.
The idea behind TF-CBT is to help people to change the way they think about past traumatic events and to respond to these memories differently.
The child or young person will learn to process certain memories, manage flashbacks, cope with anxiety and work with personal meaning related to the trauma.
In the case of complex PTSD, this process might take longer to achieve. The therapist will also help the child or young person to deal with other issues that may be a barrier to improvement.
List of useful resources To read our information on PTSD, you can .
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Why Do Some People Develop Ptsd And Other People Do Not
It is important to remember that not everyone who lives through a dangerous event develops PTSD. In fact, most people will not develop the disorder.
Many factors play a part in whether a person will develop PTSD. Some examples are listed below. Risk factors make a person more likely to develop PTSD. Other factors, called resilience factors, can help reduce the risk of the disorder.
Some factors that increase risk for PTSD include:
- Living through dangerous events and traumas
- Getting hurt
- Feeling horror, helplessness, or extreme fear
- Having little or no social support after the event
- Dealing with extra stress after the event, such as loss of a loved one, pain and injury, or loss of a job or home
- Having a history of mental illness or substance abuse
Some factors that may promote recovery after trauma include:
- Seeking out support from other people, such as friends and family
- Finding a support group after a traumatic event
- Learning to feel good about ones own actions in the face of danger
- Having a positive coping strategy, or a way of getting through the bad event and learning from it
- Being able to act and respond effectively despite feeling fear
Researchers are studying the importance of these and other risk and resilience factors, including genetics and neurobiology. With more research, someday it may be possible to predict who is likely to develop PTSD and to prevent it.
Tip : Be A Good Listener
While you shouldnt push a person with PTSD to talk, if they do choose to share, try to listen without expectations or judgments. Make it clear that youre interested and that you care, but dont worry about giving advice. Its the act of listening attentively that is helpful to your loved one, not what you say.
A person with PTSD may need to talk about the traumatic event over and over again. This is part of the healing process, so avoid the temptation to tell your loved one to stop rehashing the past and move on. Instead, offer to talk as many times as they need.
Some of the things your loved one tells you might be very hard to listen to. Its okay to dislike what you hear, but its important to respect their feelings and reactions. If you come across as disapproving, horrified, or judgmental, they are unlikely to open up to you again.
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What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Post
Symptoms of PTSD are both psychological and physical usually developing within first month of the traumatic event, although they can appear up to a year later. While the specific symptoms of PTSD vary from person to person, living with the condition can have a significant effect on your ability to function in everyday life, particularly when you have persistent and extreme symptoms.
The signs and symptoms most commonly experienced by those with PTSD include:
- Reliving the experience through nightmares and flashbacks
- Numbness and loss of deep feelings
- Difficulty in concentrating
- Suffering painful emotions such as guilt, anger and anxiety
- Avoidance of dealing with grief, anger and anxiety
- Experiencing anger issues
- Avoidance of activities that could trigger memories of the event
- Headaches, dizziness and chest pains
- Irritability and difficulty sleeping
- Withdrawal from work and social interactions
Information For Carers Friends And Relatives
If you are a carer, friend or relative of someone who hears voices, you can get support.
How can I get support?
You can do the following.
- Speak to your GP about medication and talking therapies for yourself.
- Speak to your relatives care team about a carers assessment.
- Ask for a carers assessment from your local social services.
- Join a carers service. They are free and available in most areas.
- Join a carers support group for emotional and practical support. Or set up your own.
What is a carers assessment?
A carers assessment is an assessment of the support that you need so that you can continue in your caring role.
To get a carers assessment you need to contact your local authority.
How do I get support from my peers?
You can get peer support through carer support services or carers groups. You can search for local groups in your area by using a search engine such as Google. Or you can contact the Rethink Mental Illness Advice Service and we will search for you.
How can I support the person I care for?
You can do the following.
- Read information about PTSD.
- Ask the person you support to tell you what their symptoms are and if they have any self-management techniques that you could help them with.
- Encourage them to see a GP if you are worried about their mental health.
- Ask to see a copy of their care plan, if they have one. They should have a care plan if they are supported by a care coordinator.
- Help them to manage their finances.
You can find out more about:
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Next Steps For Ptsd Research
In the last decade, progress in research on the mental and biological foundations of PTSD has lead scientists to focus on better understanding the underlying causes of why people experience a range of reactions to trauma.
- NIMH-funded researchers are exploring trauma patients in acute care settings to better understand the changes that occur in individuals whose symptoms improve naturally.
- Other research is looking at how fear memories are affected by learning, changes in the body, or even sleep.
- Research on preventing the development of PTSD soon after trauma exposure is also under way.
- Other research is attempting to identify what factors determine whether someone with PTSD will respond well to one type of intervention or another, aiming to develop more personalized, effective, and efficient treatments.
- As gene research and brain imaging technologies continue to improve, scientists are more likely to be able to pinpoint when and where in the brain PTSD begins. This understanding may then lead to better targeted treatments to suit each persons own needs or even prevent the disorder before it causes harm.
How To Recognize Ptsd
How to recognize PTSD without raising tensions is to look for avoidance symptoms, such as unreasonable guilt, fretfulness and depression. Observe if your loved one avoids the place, objects or events that pertain to the traumatic experience. Determine if a lack of enthusiasm for activities that were previously enjoyable is present. Also, be aware of hyperarousal symptoms. These can be outbursts of anger, sleep disturbances, tension or being easily startled.
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Where To Find Ptsd Treatment For A Friend Or Family Member
You can contact hospitals in your area or your doctor for advice. Check with local mental health facilities or support groups that can also supply you with information. University medical centers are good resources.
Were here 24/7 to help you. Please, dont hesitate to contact us at . Right now, its not too late to stop your loved ones illness from progressing call now.
Consider Getting A Service Dog Or Emotional Support Animal
Interaction with animals can help reduce anxiety and loneliness.
And for PTSD in particular, research suggests that a dedicated service animal may help reduce distress and make everyday life easier.
Depending on your particular needs, you may want to consider getting a service dog or emotional support animal to help with your PTSD symptoms. Consider this carefully, as adopting an animal is a big investment and commitment.
A service dog is a dog thats been specifically trained to help an owner with a disability. The criteria for emotional support animals are broader.
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