Learning to live with Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is challenging, but there is hope. You must work treatment sessions into your everyday life and relearn how to cope with being in public. Unfortunately, many PTSD sufferers are at risk for social isolation, depression, addiction, and suicidal thoughts. This is often the result of improper or lack of treatment or inability to cultivate positive coping mechanisms.
The best way to combat these potential negative effects is to seek professional treatment and learn good habits for mental health. Here are a few things a person with PTSD should consider working into their daily life.
Meditating Improves Overall Mental Health
Meditation as a hobby or as part of a daily routine has become mainstream. This is because science has shown that meditation vastly improves mental health. It reduces stress, improves mood, and fights disorders such as anxiety and depression.
Of course, learning to meditate effectively takes time and practice. You can certainly learn by yourself at home but attending meditation groups can also be very helpful for PTSD sufferers by fighting social isolation.
Yoga is a Good Way to Get Exercise at Home
Exercise, in general, is helpful for managing the symptoms of an array of mental health disorders. The endorphins that come for exercise help eliminate stress and depression while improving mood. Of course, maintaining physical fitness is also important when looking at mental health.
Yoga, in particular, is beneficial because it lends itself to people of all abilities and ages. The low impact workouts promote balance, flexibility, and endurance. It is also helpful because it utilizes meditative thought to soothe the mind during the workout. In a way, yoga is killing two birds with one stone.
Eating Well Can Help Balance Mood and Emotions
Nutritional gaps in a person’s diet can cause or exacerbate mental health issues. Eating a wholesome, well-rounded diet is part of feeling good; something many sufferers of PTSD struggle with.
You may want to consider working with a nutritionist to analyze your diet and brainstorm ways it could improve. Be sure to treat any deficiencies with supplements for the time being and do your best to rework the missing nutrients into your diet.
Sleeping is Critical When Avoiding Stress and Negativity
People who do not get enough sleep are more stressed, more agitated, and less likely to cope well with mental health problems. With the common symptom of nightmares in PTSD, it is very typical for sufferers of PTSD to experience insomnia. There are many ways to work around insomnia including nightly meditation, melatonin-rich foods and drinks, or even letting your dog hop into bed with you.
Find a nightly routine that works for you and develop a plan for the nights when bad dreams keep you up. It is critical that you do not turn to alcohol as many insomniacs do. Alcohol causes shallow sleep and puts you at greater risk for addiction.
Learning how to live well with PTSD can be a challenge. You need to seek the help of a trained professional who can recommend treatment and guide you through the process. However, it is also important that you learn how to help yourself feel better. By cultivating healthy habits, you can improve your quality of life and help fight the symptoms of PTSD. Living with a mental disorder does not mean life ends. It simply means you need to readjust.
The Soldiers Project offers free, expert counseling sessions for American veterans and their families.
Mobile apps for help with Post-Traumatic Stress
Alternative Therapies for PTSD
How to Help Someone with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255) is free, open 24 hours a day/7 days a week, and always confidential.
Addictions and Suicide in Veterans
Julia Merrill is a retired nurse on a mission. She wants to use information to close the gap between medical providers and their patients. She started BefriendYourDoc.org to do just that. The site offers an abundance of information from tips on finding the right medical care to help with dealing with insurance companies to general health and wellness advice and more.
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