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Help & advice

What to do if you develop Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

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A traumatic event can have a huge impact on someone’s life. How one person reacts to a traumatic event can be different to how another person would react. It is important that if you are experiencing symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or another psychological reaction to a traumatic event, that you do all you can to help your symptoms and alleviate the feelings you are experiencing.

There are several things you can do yourself that may help your feelings and help you to make a recovery. These include:

  • Keeping to a normal everyday routine as much as possible.
  • Speaking to someone about your experience. Speaking to someone you trust can help you to come to terms with what has happened to you.
  • Trying to return to work when you feel ready and able to do so.
  • Eating regular meals and trying to get some exercise to keep fitness levels up.
  • Returning to the location of the traumatic event and trying not to avoid the area.
  • Making sure you keep in touch with family and friends; they can be an invaluable source of support in difficult times.
  • Taking extra care with driving and everyday tasks. Your concentration levels may be reduced so make sure you are paying the proper attention to tasks you are undertaking.
  • Speaking to a doctor about your symptoms. They will be able to refer you for specialist help and treatment.
  • Expect to get better. You will not have these feeling forever. Given time things will get easier and you will be able to get your life back on track. [/highlight]

There are also things that we recommend you try not to do, which include:

  • Seeing your symptoms as a weakness. PTSD and other psychological injuries to a traumatic event are normal reactions and you should not beat yourself up about them.
  • Bottle up how you are feeling and not speak to anyone about your symptoms. There is a lot of help available for people with PTSD and treatment can be extremely successful.
  • Avoid talking about the event and what has happened to you. Avoidance can make your symptoms worse.
  • Expect to recover immediately – these injuries take time to recover from and memories of the event will not just disappear overnight.
  • Do too much and expect too much from yourself. Take time to adjust to what has happened to you and how this has affected your life.
  • Become isolated and stay away from other people.
  • Use alcohol, nicotine or caffeine excessively.
  • Disturb your sleeping routine and become overtired.
  • Skip meals and not eat properly.

Your friends and family can also do things to help a loved one who is experiencing PTSD. Friends, relatives and colleagues should:

  • Be aware of any changes in someone’s behaviour – a change in the way they work, their motivation levels, being late, having lots of time off work etc.
  • Watch out for different emotional reactions to events including anger, irritability, depression, lack of interest and decreased concentration levels.
  • Listen to them – let them tell their story and speak to you about the event and their experiences.
  • Don’t interrupt the flow of the conversation and do not try to come back to their story with your own experiences.

Recovering from a psychological injury or PTSD can take time and it is important to be patient and seek the correct treatment paths to get you onto the road to recovery and help to alleviate the symptoms you, or a loved one, have been feeling.

At CFG Law, we are specialist serious injury solicitors with many years’ experience in dealing with psychological injuries and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). We work with a network of specialist medical experts who can help you if you are suffering with PTSD as result of a traumatic accident. We can put in place an early treatment plan, including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) to help you to learn new ways of thinking about the traumatic event, as well as other therapies proven to help people suffering from PTSD.

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