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The Damaging Effects of PTSD and How to Find Mental Clarity
Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is a debilitating mental disorder that affects people who have experienced shocking and traumatic events. It can affect anybody, no matter their circumstances.
Whether they’ve been in war zones and faced the constant threat of gunfire, suffered emotional abuse as children, or faced other extreme experiences, these individuals often experience symptoms like flashbacks, nightmares, anxiety attacks, and depression. While there are a number of treatments available for PTSD, many people still struggle to find clarity and live normal lives. Here are several of the damaging effects of PTSD and what you can do to find mental clarity.
Damaging effects of PTSD
PTSD can cause a number of debilitating symptoms, including the following.
Flashbacks are recurrent and intrusive memories of the traumatic event that can come on without warning and may cause intense distress. Sometimes flashbacks can be triggered by certain interactions, objects, or even smells or sounds.
Nightmares are recurrent upsetting dreams about the trauma that may include aspects of the event. Nightmares can be recurring or happen once in a while.They might not be the same dream, but they might also share similar qualities. For instance, you might dream of consistently running from something, whether it be a monster, a person, or a dangerous object.
Avoiding things, people, places, thoughts, or activities that remind the individual of the trauma. This could result in staying indoors more, interacting with friends and family less, or shying away from one’s responsibilities.
Feeling on edge, easily startled, and having difficulty sleeping and concentrating. You might find yourself in a situation where you are supposed to relax but can’t due to feeling on edge.
Negative changes in thinking and mood
A negative change in thinking and mood can result in a harsh opinion of yourself, the world, and the people around you. Thoughts like “I am no good,” “All people are bad,” or “Everyone in the world is worthless” might become more prevalent. Negative beliefs about oneself or the world can result in feeling disconnected from others, distorted feelings (e.g., fear is constant), and a loss of interest in things that were once enjoyable.
Finding mental clarity
If you are struggling with PTSD, there are some strategies you can use to find mental clarity and cope with these symptoms.
Seek professional help
Seeking professional counseling or therapy from a licensed mental health professional could be beneficial. You might also want to consider a veteran PTSD treatment center.
Find support groups
Joining a support group for people with PTSD can help you improve your mental health. It helps to be able to talk about your experiences with people who can relate.
Engage in relaxing activities
You should participate in activities that help you relax and feel good, such as yoga, meditation, or nature walks. These activities can help put you at ease and not think about your PTSD.
Avoid alcohol and drugs
You will want to avoid alcohol and drugs, which can worsen symptoms of PTSD. These substances can also be easily abused, which may lead to addiction.
How to find mental clarity: Journaling
Journaling can be a healthy outlet to write down your thoughts and feelings. It can help you cope with your trauma while not necessarily having to verbalize it. It’s important to understand what PTSD is and how it can harm you in the long run. Being aware of the condition is one of the initial steps in finding a solution to get better.
When struggling with PTSD, know that you are not alone. There are many people who have been through similar experiences and who understand what you are going through. Seek out professional help and support, and try some of the coping strategies listed above