When you are suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) you can become overwhelmed and not know where to turn for help. It is important that if you have PTSD you understand that there are people that can help and the sooner you get the help you need, the sooner your symptoms will start to ease and disappear.
There are several things you can do yourself to try to alleviate your symptoms. These include:
- Talking to someone close to you – this can help you to process what has happened and come to terms with the traumatic event. You should speak to someone you trust and feel comfortable talking to when you are ready to talk about the event.
- Talking to someone with similar experiences – opening up and discussing what has happened to you with someone who has been through something similar can help you to understand what is happening and learn ways to manage your symptoms.
- Give yourself time – symptoms of PTSD can take a long time to subside so it is important you don’t beat yourself up about it. Give yourself time to process what has happened to you and come to terms with it in your life.
- Contact an organisation for support – there are many organisations out there to help you with your symptoms such as ASSIST Trauma Care and Mind, the mental health charity. These organisations will be able to provide you with advice, information and support.
- Visit your GP – visiting your GP should be your first port of call if you are suffering from symptoms of PTSD. They will be able to refer you for a full assessment, where a treatment plan can be put into place to help you deal with your symptoms.
Treatments for PTSD can take many forms, but the most useful and beneficial are talking therapies. These therapies include Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR), group therapy and psychodynamic therapy.
Trauma-focused Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a talking therapy that focuses on changing the way you view things, and in particular the traumatic event, in order to move away from negative ways of thinking and become more positive about the event and how it has affected you.
Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a treatment which involves making rhythmic eye movements whilst remembering the traumatic event. This helps to stimulate the area of the brain that processes information. This should help you to process the traumatic event and speed up your readjustment and recovery.
Group therapy is a talking therapy in a group situation. Different people suffering with symptoms of PTSD will come together and talk about their experiences. This can help you to understand your symptoms and learn new ways of managing them.
Psychodynamic therapy is based on the idea that the past has an impact on how you are feeling in the present. This therapy focuses on emotions you experienced in response to the traumatic event and teaches you ways to manage these emotions.
Medication can sometimes be prescribed to you if you are suffering from PTSD, but this will usually only be if you are showing signs of depression, are having difficulty sleeping or you are not ready or do not wish to receive other types of therapy.
All of the treatments described above should be offered on a regular and continuous basis. These treatments should last around 8-12 weeks, by which point you should have seen a significant improvement in your symptoms. If your symptoms are still present, it may be necessary for you to continue with the treatment until they have improved.
Before you make a decision on what treatment you wish to undertake, you should be given all of the information about the treatments available to you so you can make an informed decision on what you believe will be most beneficial to you and what you feel comfortable with.
At CFG Law, we can help you to get access to early treatment and support to help you with your symptoms of PTSD after a traumatic event. We work with a network of medical experts with particular expertise in PTSD who could help you onto the road to recovery.