Recently singer Ariana Grande released to CNN about suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder from witnessing a suicide bombing that killed 22 people at her concert in Manchester, United Kingdom in 2017.
PTSD – post-traumatic stress disorder is as the name says, a post event disorder that continues being experienced by any individual who has either directly or indirectly witnessed an traumatic event. An individual who has developed PTSD will likely experience flashbacks or recurrent thoughts about the traumatic event. The flashbacks happen because the traumatic memory could not be processed adequately, so our mind finds a way to keep us in “alert” mode to danger. This alertness becomes stressful to the mind/body due to the high amount of chemical released from the brain into the body, this puts the individual in a constant fight or flight mode.
Dissociation is another relevant feature in cases of PTSD. Our mind is there to protect us, and dissociation is a way that the mind finds to protect the individual who has trauma. We can say that dissociation is a coping skill, silently developed by the mind, to protect us from remembering the overwhelming feelings caused by the traumatic event. Often, people who dissociates will not remember parts of the trauma, will experience out of body sensation and body physical reactions, like finger tingling, body chills “out of the blue” and numbness. These sensations can be very scary at times and it is important that we look for the right help.
4 Tips on How to Manage our PTSD Symptoms so we can Free from Trauma
- Recognize your triggers – people situations that can remind you of the traumatic event. By recognizing our triggers, we gain better control over our body response to it.
- Trauma based CBT – has the main focus of intervention on traumatic event, where gradually the specialized mental health therapist will expose client to thoughts and sensations that reminds you of the trauma.
- Grounding techniques – breathing, relaxation, mindfulness can be extremely beneficial to help the individual to regain control over accelerated thoughts and ground body sensations.
- EMDR – Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing it is a intervention delivery by specialized mental health counselor. EMDR helps the mind to reprogram maladaptive (traumatic) thoughts and create a new meaning to process the trauma.
Dealing with scary thoughts in a long turn, can also develop anxiety and depression disorder. Please be aware of your mind functioning and body reactions and look for the adequate help. There are many ways to decrease PTSD symptoms just look for the right intervention for you.
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Author: Anna Vita, MS has her Masters Degree in Science in Counseling Psychology from Palm Beach Atlantic University and is a Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern at Total Life Counseling Center in Orlando, EMDR trained, where our child, teen, relationship and marriage experts specialize in depression & anxiety. For more tools on self-care check out our articles or for coaching or counseling give us a call (407) 248-0030.