Surprisingly Helpful Tips for PTSD

By: Janelle Schlueter, MS, LPC Intern, CCTP

If you have been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) you are probably already aware that PTSD results in severe and even debilitating anxiety. What many people don’t know is that with PTSD there is an underlying feeling of uncertainty and fear. This uncertainty and fear results in being in a constant state of alert and experiencing an exaggerated startle response (easily scared). Part of Trauma Informed Therapy involves finding “self-care” strategies that can address the fear and uncertainty as well as the anxiety.

You Can Make Simple Changes to Decrease Your PTSD Symptoms

Keep in mind that those with PTSD typically feel a heightened level of worry at all times. It is one of the goals of Trauma Informed Therapy that we take steps to lessen the overall level of uncertainty.

Follow a Routine

If you have PTSD, routines will be your new favorite thing! Creating a routine that you follow will help your brain and body learn that basic needs will be met. For example, you can go to bed at the same time each night, wake up at the same time each morning and eat around the same time each day. The body and brain begin to relax because it knows that these basic needs are being consistently met. Fear and uncertainty regarding the body’s basic needs is something that happens subconsciously, meaning you most likely do not know you are even experiencing this fear – but your brain and body show the effects that you are (the increase in PTSD symptoms). Most clients feel a significant decrease in PTSD symptoms in a few days to a couple weeks.

“If you see clutter, you feel clutter.”

If your home is cluttered, it is too much for the brain to absorb when you are simply looking around. Your brain is trying to recognize all the different colors, patterns, shapes, and so forth. It is difficult to find the energy to clean and organize so take it step by step, room by room, and begin with the rooms you spend most of your time. The goal is to limit the amount of things you see.

Limit Social Media/News

When you have a constant heightened level of fear, exposure to social media and news sources can make it worse. Social media allows you to connect with friends, see humorous postings and follow topics that interests you. However, it also increases unhealthy thinking, such as comparing yourself to others and seeing political or news comments that cause you to become angry or sad. This results in feeling helpless and can increase symptoms of anxiety. Try a several day social media and news cleanse and see if your PTSD symptoms improve.

See a Counselor Who Specializes in PTSD

PTSD can be treated through counseling. It is important you find a therapist you are comfortable with and who has experience in treating PTSD. A counselor can help you find tips like those in this blog and tailor them to your needs, help you communicate with your loved ones, find coping skills, do exposure therapy, and process traumatic memories.

Begin PTSD Treatment in Katy, TX

If you are ready to talk to one of the therapists at The Counseling Center at Cinco Ranch can help! We provide counseling and mental health services. To begin counseling in Katy, TX follow these three steps:

Other Therapy Services We Offer

Here at The Counseling Center at Cinco Ranch, we offer counseling services for people of all ages in areas including counseling for kids, counseling for young adults, teen counseling, couples counseling, eating disorder treatment, men’s issues, women’s issues, anxiety treatment, depression therapy, trauma counseling, family therapy, and group counseling. Our therapists strive to post blogs regularly. We provide helpful information on a variety of mental health topics. To learn more about our therapists and counseling services, please reach out to the Counseling Center today!

 

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