PTSD and strategies to cope with PTSD anxiety

 PTSD and strategies to cope with PTSD anxiety

A person may encounter or witness a traumatic or horrifying event where there was substantial bodily harm or threat, and this can result in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), formerly known as shell shock or battle fatigue syndrome. PTSD is a serious condition that can develop after such an event. Traumatic experiences that leave people feeling incredibly terrified, helpless, or horrified can lead to PTSD. A few situations that could result in PTSD include sexual or physical abuse, the untimely death of a loved one, an accident, a war, or a natural disaster. Emergency responders and rescue workers, as well as victims' families, are all susceptible to PTSD. 

The majority of people who suffer traumatic experiences go through a spectrum of feelings, including shock, fury, worry, dread, and occasionally guilt. These reactions are typical, and for most people, they pass with time. However, for a person with PTSD, these feelings continue and even increase, becoming so strong that they keep them from leading a regular life. People with PTSD have symptoms for longer than a month and have decreased function compared to before the trigger event.

It is a mental health disorder that is brought on by experiencing or seeing a horrific incident. Flashbacks, nightmares, severe anxiety, and uncontrollable thoughts about the incident are possible symptoms. Most people who go through traumatic experiences may find it difficult to adjust and cope at first, but with time and proper self-care, they usually recover. You may have PTSD if the condition worsens, last for weeks, months, or even years, and affect your daily functioning. After experiencing PTSD symptoms, it may be essential to get the right treatment to minimize symptoms and improve function.

Complex PTSD

When someone experiences a traumatic event, a professional may also diagnose C-PTSD, a mental health disease. Many symptoms of C-PTSD are similar to those of PTSD, such as re-experiencing, avoidance, and hyperarousal, as was previously mentioned. 

Problems with emotion control, such as having trouble managing one's feelings, are additionally a part of C-PTSD.

Issues with one's self-image, such as feeling wholly alien to others and/or having a poor opinion of oneself.

Interpersonal issues, such as a lack of trust in others.

Causes of PTSD

Veterans of war were the ones who first brought PTSD to the consciousness of the medical profession, giving rise to the terms shell shock and battle fatigue syndrome. However, PTSD can appear in anyone who has experienced a terrible event. PTSD is more likely to occur in people who experienced abuse as children or who were frequently exposed to grave dangers. Those who have experienced physical or sexual assault are most at risk of developing PTSD. If you have a background of other mental health issues, have blood relatives who have mental health issues, or have a history of substance or alcohol misuse, you may be more prone to experience PTSD following a traumatic event.

The cause of PTSD in some people is unknown to doctors. PTSD is likely triggered by a combination of the following factors, as is the case with most mental health conditions:

  • stressful situations, such as the volume and gravity of the trauma you have experienced.
  • inherited traits that make up your personality; temperament.
  • risks for inherited mental health, such as a family history of depression and anxiety.
  • how your brain controls the substances that your body produces in reaction to stress.

Symptoms of PTSD

Post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms can begin as soon as one month after a stressful experience, but they can also take years to show. These symptoms cause serious problems in social, professional, and romantic connections. Additionally, they could make it challenging for you to go about your daily tasks as usual. Intrusive flashbacks, denial, unfavorable changes in thought and attitude, and changes in bodily and emotional reactions are the four main categories of PTSD symptoms. The severity of symptoms may vary with time or from person to person.


  • Some examples of avoidance symptoms are;
  • Avoiding the locations, activities, or people that make you think of the traumatic incident.
  • Attempting to stay away from reflecting on or discussing the terrible experience.

Intrusive memories

These are some signs of intrusive thoughts:

  • Severe mental distress or physical repercussions when exposed to stimuli that bring back the painful memory.
  • Unwelcoming and recurrently upsetting memories of the terrible incident
  • Disturbing nightmares or dreams that involve a painful occurrence.
  • Flashbacks are the reliving of the terrible incident as if it were happening again.
  • Alterations in physiological and emotional responses
  • Arousal symptoms, often known as changes in physical and emotional responses, might include:
  • Being prone to be surprised or frightened.
  • Being constantly alert for danger.
  • Self-destructive conduct, like excessive drinking, speeding, etc.
  • Difficulty sleeping.
  • Difficulty concentrating.
  • Anger flare-ups, irritability, or violent conduct.
  • Overwhelming shame or guilt.

Signs and symptoms for kids aged 6 and under may also include:

Playfully reenacting the traumatic incident or portions of it and unsettling nightmares that may or may not contain elements of the traumatic event.

  • Negative shifts in attitude and thought
  • Negative shifts in thought and mood might manifest as the following symptoms:
  • Thoughts unfavorable to you, others, or the world.
  • A lack of optimism for the future.
  • Memory issues, such as forgetting crucial details of the traumatic incident
  • Keeping tight ties is difficult.
  • Feeling cut off from friends and family.
  • A lack of enthusiasm for past interests.
  • Feeling good emotions is difficult.
  • A sense of emotional numbness.

How to cope with PTSD anxiety

Anxiety symptoms that are both frequent and severe are common in people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). People who have PTSD frequently turn to inappropriate coping mechanisms, such as drug or alcohol addiction, as a result of these severe anxiety symptoms.

Intruding thoughts, flashbacks, nightmares, avoiding reminders, unfavorable thoughts, and a more sensitive startle response are some other signs of the illness. Such signs and symptoms might increase anxiety, making it challenging to carry out various daily tasks.

Thankfully, several constructive coping mechanisms for PTSD can lessen anxiety and other symptoms. These techniques might lower anxiety's frequency, lessen its severity, and make it more manageable. 

Meditation and Yoga 

According to research, regular mindfulness meditation and yoga sessions can considerably diminish PTSD-related symptoms of anxiety, despair, and restlessness. You can meditate mindfully by concentrating on your breath and observing your thoughts as they arise.

You can learn to notice your thoughts before they take control of your emotions by practicing yoga and regular meditation. Then, you can learn to pay attention to your breathing and swap out unhelpful thoughts for more positive ones.

Breathing Exercises

The stress response is significantly influenced by breathing. Unfortunately, a lot of people have breathing problems. Your diaphragm, a big muscle in your abdomen, is involved in natural breathing. Your belly should enlarge as you inhale. Your tummy should drop when you exhale.

People eventually lose the ability to breathe in this way and start breathing with their chest and shoulders. Breathing becomes shallow and quick as a result, which can make anxiety and stress worse. Fortunately, you can learn how to breathe deeply from your diaphragm again and give yourself some stress defense. To enhance your breathing and reduce anxiety, practice basic deep breathing exercises.

Consider Seeking Therapies

Consulting a mental health expert for assistance is one of the most crucial steps in learning how to manage PTSD symptoms. Various PTSD treatment options have all been shown to be successful in enabling patients to anticipate, recognize, combat, and lessen the effects of trauma. 

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy expose you, safely, to objects that you link with your prior trauma. It is widely regarded that EMDR is an incredibly successful method of treatment to address your traumatic experience. By learning how to handle PTSD triggers at the moment, you can start to navigate and recover from the traumatic event through that exposure. As a result, you might begin to advance in your life.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

A common talk therapy method called cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) shows you how to identify and then alter the unhelpful thought patterns underlying your PTSD-related pain and emotional harm.

Dialectical behavioral Therapy (DBT)

DBT is a form of cognitive behavioral therapy where the goal is to change negative thought patterns so that you can work toward more positive behavioral changes in your life. Dialectical behavioral therapy conducted online can treat self-destructive behaviors brought on by PTSD and trauma.

Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT)

Another form of CBT renowned for treating post-traumatic stress disorder well is CPT. The goal is to assist you in breaking the loop in which you feel trapped in your thoughts about the traumatic incident you went through.

Prolonged Exposure Therapy

Prolonged exposure treatment is yet another form of cognitive behavioral therapy that aids in gradually desensitizing you to the sights and memories of your trauma. Exposure treatment has been proven to be successful in treating PTSD. You can learn to confront the past and the trauma with the assistance of your therapist in a secure and controlled setting.

Stress Inoculation Training (SIT)

A highly particular kind of CBT is called stress inoculation training (SIT). After acquiring coping mechanisms, you can concentrate on developing new methods of managing and dealing with your problems.


It's critical to have coping mechanisms in place, for the times when you feel anxious. For instance, reaching out for social support might be a great approach to lift your spirits. However, the anxiety brought on by PTSD symptoms can occasionally come on suddenly, and it's not always easy to find social support.

Therefore, it's critical to develop independent coping mechanisms. These coping mechanisms, which are often referred to as self-soothing or self-care coping mechanisms, concentrate on enhancing your mood and lowering worry.

Self-calming techniques that can help your body relax include:

  • Aromatherapy
  • Expressive writing
  • Music therapy 
  • Self-touch i.e., massage or self-holding.
  • Distraction techniques such as exercise, spending time with friends and family, watching tv, creative activities, etc.

Consider Taking PTSD Medication.

Neurotransmitter imbalances in the limbic system of the brain, which controls our fight-or-flight reactions, are the cause of PTSD because their fight-or-flight reaction is out of balance, people with post-trauma stress are more prone to feel tense and nervous. Even when there is no genuine risk, they may feel extremely threatened.

The symptoms of PTSD can be managed with the aid of specific drugs. The following are some examples of PTSD treatments:

  • Anti-anxiety medications
  • Tranquilizers
  • Alpha-1 blockers
  • Sedatives
  • Antidepressants (SSRIs)

Veterans of war, first responders, abuse victims, or anybody else who witnesses or experiences horrific, traumatic events may develop post-traumatic stress disorder. Some people start self-medicating, using alcohol or narcotics to dull their uncomfortable feelings. Thankfully, therapy has a very high success rate in treating PTSD, and there are a variety of additional approaches you can try to help reduce symptoms naturally. Online talk therapy can teach you coping strategies for PTSD in the office, at home, and everywhere in between if you struggle with the recollections of traumatic occurrences. Learn useful skills to improve your quality of life and reduce the frequency of your symptoms. 

Trauma can exacerbate anxiety and other symptoms, but there is a variety of PTSD coping mechanisms that might help. You can try tactics like a distraction, deep breathing, mindfulness, and behavior activation, to name just a few. Consult a medical or mental health expert if you believe these methods fall short of providing adequate relief for your symptoms. You can process your experiences and learn new coping mechanisms with the aid of PTSD treatments.

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