Positive and Negative Ways to Deal With PTSD

Increasing Positive Distracting Activities
Positive recreational or work activities help distract a person from his or her memories and reactions. Artistic endeavors have also been a way for many trauma survivors to express their feelings in a positive, creative way. This can improve your mood, limit the harm caused by PTSD, and help you rebuild your life. It is important to emphasize that distraction alone is unlikely to facilitate recovery -- active, direct coping with traumatic events and their impact is also important.
 
Calling a Counselor for Help
Sometimes, symptoms of PTSD worsen and ordinary efforts at coping don't seem to work. Survivors may feel fearful or depressed. At these times, it is important to reach out and call a counselor, who can help turn things around.
 
Taking Prescribed Medications to Tackle PTSD
One tool that many people with PTSD have found helpful is medication. By taking medications, some survivors of trauma are able to improve their:
 
  • Sleep
  • Anxiety level
  • Irritability
  • Anger
  • Urges to drink or use drugs.
     

Negative Coping Actions for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Negative coping actions only perpetuate problems. They may reduce distress in the short term, but they derail more permanent and beneficial change. Some actions that may be immediately effective, like smoking or drug use, may also cause problems in the future. These habits can become difficult to change. Negative coping methods can include:
 
  • Isolation
  • Use of drugs or alcohol
  • Workaholism
  • Violent behavior
  • Angry intimidation of others
  • Unhealthy eating
  • Different types of self-destructive behavior (for example, attempting suicide).
     
Before learning more effective and healthy coping methods, most people with PTSD try to cope with their distress and other reactions in ways that lead to more problems. A few of these negative coping actions are explained in more detail in the following sections.
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