Posttraumatic Stress Disorder – steps toward healing

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas partners with Lucet to make sure our members and employees have access to the behavioral health resources they need.

How someone reacts to trauma depends on a number of things. These include the person’s age, personality, and any exposure to trauma in the past. Any person, of any age, can develop PTSD after a traumatizing event. The following actions can help you recover from Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD):

  • Get professional help right away. The longer a person with PTSD goes without treatment, the harder it can be to heal. The best place to start is to see a psychiatrist or other mental health provider. They can confirm the diagnosis and evaluate your need for medicine.
  • Be patient with yourself. Realize this will be a hard time in your life. Allow yourself to mourn the losses you’ve experienced.
  • Talk about it. People who have gone through tragedy need to work through their pain. Often this means telling the same story over and over for days, weeks or even months. But depending on the event that triggered your PTSD, it may be best to talk with a therapist about issues related to the event itself.
  • Spend time with others. Attend a place of worship, book club, exercise class or other gatherings as often as you can.
  • Eat a healthy diet, exercise and try to get enough sleep. When you’re stressed, you’re more open to illness. Eating a well-balanced diet and getting enough sleep can help you stay well. Regular exercise can relieve depression and stress.
  • Try relaxation methods. These can include full-body relaxation or breathing exercises, meditation, stretching, yoga, listening to quiet music and spending time in nature settings.
  • Join a support group. Being in a group with other people who have PTSD may help reduce isolation. It can also help rebuild your trust in others.
  • Stay away from negative coping actions. These include using drugs or alcohol, workaholism, violent behavior and angry intimidation of others. These may seem to help by giving quick relief. But they worsen the illness and make recovery more difficult.
  • Get involved. Volunteer to help at a charitable organization of your choice. Helping others can give you a sense of purpose.

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