We’ve come to dread a holiday that feels as though it has been sucked of its meaning and tacked with the jolly message, “just be happy.”
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By Amanda Reimer
Imagine you’re going about your day—maybe you’re walking in the park with a friend. Suddenly you’re reliving your worst memories, fearful for your life.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder can affect anyone. Though stereotypes will say PTSD is caused by war, there are many other causes ranging from sexual assault, to a severe injury, to the threat of death.
Like its name says, PTSD can occur after anything traumatic. Nowadays, PTSD is even becoming common in children, as the number of school shootings elevates.
But the good news is that there are ways to cope with PTSD. In addition to the well-known therapy and medication options, there are many other resources for recovery and treatment.
For some, like Iraq veteran Roque Rodriguez-Urena, they find it in exercise. Exercise not only allows patients to get moving, but also releases endorphins that help improve moods.
In fact, Mental Health America recommends exercise as part of a self-care routine for PTSD patients to help improve sleep and relieve muscle tension and anxiety.
Others have found more creative recovery devices for PTSD from journaling to therapy dogs—the latter, which is becoming more common.
Therapy dogs can help by providing companionship and calming their owners, as well as by preventing crowds of people from moving too closely or quickly around their owner.
So, what can you do to help bring awareness to PTSD? The National Center for PTSD says the first step is to learn. Those wishing to learn more about PTSD can participate in the National Center for PTSD’s online PTSD 101 course, or other free in-depth professional courses.
From there, the next step is to reach out and share. June is a great time to connect because it is PTSD awareness month, but there are people looking for connections on any given day.
PTSD can feel like a living nightmare, but no one has to face it alone. It’s time to stand together.
Please visit nostigmas.org/anxiety-disorders to learn more about PTSD and other anxiety disorders.