PTSD or Post Traumatic Disorder is a mental condition most commonly seen in people who have been through a highly disturbing or frightening occurrence. To put it simply, PTSD is the body’s natural way of responding to such events. PTSD can set in after experiencing or witnessing a disturbing event such as a war.
PTSD can cause anxiety, disturbing thoughts, flashbacks, frequent mood changes, and even reckless behavior. While it can last for months or years if left untreated, it has been noted that with time and proper care, patients can reduce the symptoms and feel better.
There are many proven ways to reduce the symptoms, but here are the 5 best options PTSD patients can try:
1. Natural supplements
Many PTSD patients, especially war veterans, have stated that Cannabis and products based on it have helped in relief from symptoms to a certain degree. While it was scientifically unproven until a while ago, new research has shown that there may be some truth to claims that cannabinoids like CBD and THC can help reduce Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Cannabis and its derivatives- (CBD) and Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), has been proven to help with PTSD symptoms. Research show there can be biological factors involved in the use of THC that can create a therapeutic effect for the user. It was found in a study that low doses of THC can suppress brain activity in the Amygdala, part of the brain in charge of responding to threats. Another study has shown promising advances in the theory that Cannabis-based products could help with the removal of traumatizing memories.
There is a rising amount of proof in the research communities that medical marijuana can help reduce symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. There are many cannabis products such as CBD and THC gummies, oils, and tinctures. These products differ based on compounds, dosage levels, etc. You can select according to your preferences or as advised by a doctor.
Therapy has always proven to be a great way to reduce mental wellness issues, including PTSD. It is a blanket term that includes various therapies such as cognitive processing therapy, aromatherapy, prolonged exposure therapy, etc.
Cognitive processing therapy is a 12-week process that allows patients to understand their thoughts on their trauma and find ways to deal with it effectively. Prolonged Exposure therapy is another process that helps patients that have been avoiding possible PTSD triggers. It focuses on reducing anxiety by focusing on exercises such as breathing techniques.
3. Mindfulness and related exercises
Mindfulness is another highly suggested way of coping with PTSD symptoms and their reduction.
Practicing mindfulness has shown to be great for people to stay connected to the present and not dwell on occurrences in the past. It includes skills such as awareness.
PTSD patients can work on being more aware of the present, which helps by bringing all the focus and attention to the current moment and their surroundings, thereby distracting the thought process from going back and thinking about the past trauma.
Mindfulness is an easy exercise that requires you to sit in a comfortable position and focus on your breath and how the body goes through the breathing process. Practicing mindfulness requires you to be aware of the moments when your attention is diverted and work on bringing it back to the present.
4. Physical activity and exercise
Like mindfulness, many people diagnosed with PTSD have stated that doing a physical activity that they enjoy helps a lot. Physical activities such as running, jogging, playing sports like football, etc., have been known to help reduce stress and anxiety while diverting the mind from wandering into the past.
Research has found that surfing can be a highly effective activity for war veterans by helping them get absorbed and focused in the activity. People with PTSD can work on finding one or more physical activities that they would enjoy pursuing regularly. This will allow them to feel happier and enjoy the moment. Apart from helping people stay fit, physical activities also go a long way in helping raise the levels of cognition and focus while helping reduce PTSD symptoms.
5. Getting a pet
The human and animal bond has always been a known influencer of happy or positive thoughts. Dogs, for example, are commonly referred to as “man’s best friends”. Many doctors who treat PTSD patients have suggested emotional support dogs as ways to help.
The human-animal bond is a great way to divert a person’s mind from anxiety and negative thoughts, bringing them back to positivity. It has been noted that dogs have the ability to provide companionship, offer emotional support, help relieve stress, and promote happy thoughts.
There are many ways to help with PTSD, and if you suspect possible symptoms in yourself or a loved one, it is best suggested to check in with a trained professional or an expert and work out which can suit you the best. Some ways are more popularly used than others, but each person has to figure out what works best for them.