Anxiety Home > Successfully Dealing With Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Joining a PTSD Support Group
It may be difficult to take the first step and join a PTSD treatment group. Survivors may say to themselves, "What will happen there? Nobody can help me anyway." In addition, people with PTSD find it hard to meet new people and trust them enough to open up. However, it can also be a great relief to feel that you have taken positive action. You may also be able to eventually develop a friendship with another survivor.
Increasing Contact With Other Trauma Survivors
Other survivors of trauma are probably the best source of understanding and support. By joining a survivor's organization (for example, veterans may want to join a veteran's organization) or by otherwise increasing contact with other survivors, it is possible to reverse the process of isolation and distrust of others.
Reinvesting in Personal Relationships
Most survivors of trauma have some kind of a relationship with a son or daughter, a wife or partner, or an old friend or work acquaintance. If you make the effort to re-establish or increase contact with that person, it can help you reconnect with others.
Survivors with PTSD usually feel that the world is a dangerous place and that it is likely that they will be harmed again. It is not a good idea for people with PTSD to live in a high-crime area, because it only makes those feelings worse and confirms their beliefs. If it is possible to move to a safer neighborhood, it is likely that fewer things will set off traumatic memories. This will allow the person to reconsider his or her personal beliefs about danger.
Refraining From Alcohol and Drug Abuse
Many trauma survivors turn to alcohol and drugs to help them cope with PTSD. Although these substances may distract a person from his or her painful feelings and, therefore, may appear to help deal with symptoms, relying on alcohol and drugs always makes things worse in the end. These substances often hinder PTSD treatment and recovery. Rather than trying to beat an addiction by yourself, it is often easier to deal with addictions by joining a treatment program, where you can be around others who are working on similar issues.