Baby Steps – WOMEN in RECOVERY

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a condition where an individual, who has suffered a traumatic experience, continues to suffer from anxiety and fear as a result of the trauma they endured.

The first step in recovery from PTSD is recognize it and be willing to do the work it takes to recover from it. Recovery is the ability to recall the events without any other cognitive, emotional or behavioral effects.

A lot of patients have a dual diagnosis of post trauma stress disorder and substance abuse because alcohol and drugs help them to cope with what they are going through. They may not realize that their headaches, irritability and difficulty with memory is because of this disorder.

With PTSD you are treating the emotional trauma. With a single event, recovery is pretty good. Combating it is really different because you may have a Soldier who has been shot at 10 times in an hour nearly every day or they have some other type of recurring traumatic event.

The reason group therapy is working so good, is that those who’ve “been there” can understand the rhythm and pacing of real time recovery and can offer hope to those of us engaged in the often frustrating learning process on how to live with PTSD. Survivors need to be approached in ways that do not trigger their symptoms, and they need to be healed enough to be able to allow themselves to be approached in healthy ways and to respond in positive ways.

Many people want to talk about their trauma with others who have had similar issues and events. In group therapy, this is what can happen, you talk with people who have been through a trauma. Sharing your story can help you deal with all the parts in your life. It also helps you build relationships and to walk through the shame, guilt, anger and rage that comes with trauma. It also helps built trust and to know you aren’t alone, which leads to self-confidence and learning to live in the present rather than the past.

Traumatic events capable of causing post-traumatic stress disorder include kidnapping, natural disasters (hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, floods, etc), physical and sexual abuse, combat, drug abuse, and near-death experiences. Sexual Trauma handled alone for years is very unfortunate because it means the child is adding isolation to their trauma during very critical development years. One of the problems with untreated PTSD is that it slowly expands.

Anyone with PTSD or think you may have it, find a support group in your area or even a Coach that has recovered from it to share and work with you. With a coach you can do this over the phone and not even be in the same area, just be sure and they have had your issues and have recovered from them, so they can give you definite tools to work with.

Here are a few baby steps that one can work through at home alone:

  • Take long walks, bring pet as conversation companion, if possible.
  • Take long baths, using this time to ‘not think’; only relax.
  • Take inventory of yourself by listing on a blank paper all the PROS & CONS about yourself, through your own eyes.
  • Take time out, with a cup of your favorite tea and simply breathe.

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