March 2, 2017, by Emma Sturgis – Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, is an extremely common psychological problem, especially among soldiers returning home from combat duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. PTSD is a direct result of the trauma that soldiers experience in battle, causing sudden frightening and uncontrollable flashbacks of their traumatic battle experiences. These flashbacks can occur at any time, in any situation and can cause severe mental and emotional anguish. It is estimated that 1 in 8 soldiers returning from combat missions will be diagnosed with PTSD, but the sad fact is that most PTSD sufferers never seek treatment, choosing instead to suffer in silence.
PTSD results in high rates of depression, substance abuse and addiction (especially to prescription opiates), and suicide. For this reason, it is important for former soldiers suffering from PTSD to find safe and effective coping methods.
Yoga and Mindfulness Meditation
Victims of PTSD experience a kind of locking up or freezing of their nervous system. They relive the traumatic experience over and over again in flashbacks and dreams, becoming unable to relax or sleep. Therapists have found that the practice of yoga and mindfulness meditation can help unfreeze the nervous system, allowing thoughts and feelings to flow freely again. Through the daily practice of yoga and meditation, PTSD sufferers will regain control of their minds without the harmful side effects of psychotropic medications.
Service animals are helpful to people who are trying to cope with PTSD in a number of ways. Service animals have a calming and soothing effect on those who work with them. This naturally increases the serotonin levels in the brain. Service animals may also lower a person’s blood pressure and relieve the sense of social isolation that returning service people often feel.
Seek Professional Counseling Services
PTSD has a high comorbidity with other psychological and neurological disorders, including TBI, drug addiction, and depression. Because of this fact, it is important to seek professional psychological service, like those offered at Comprehensive Behavioral Health Associates Inc. When you seek the services of a licensed psychotherapist, you will receive an evaluation that can identify any possible comorbid conditions that may be driving you to substance abuse and other self-destructive behaviors. Based on their findings, your therapist will implement a treatment plan that will help relieve your PTSD symptoms and help you deal with the underlying trauma in the most effective ways known to medical science.
When you are trying to cope with PTSD it is essential that you act quickly and seek treatment as soon as possible. When you suffer from PTSD, it is very easy to fall into self-destructive patterns of behavior. Before this happens to you, it is important to seek help from a licensed therapist. A therapist may recommend a number of different approaches to coping with PTSD symptoms including yoga, meditation, a service animal, group therapy and medical treatment. The good news is that there are many ways to cope with PTSD symptoms that are available to you.