Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that develops after you experience or witness a traumatic event. Symptoms can develop weeks, months, or even years after the initial event, and unfortunately, they can persist for years as well.
PTSD symptoms can include avoiding anyone or anything that reminds you of the event, sleeping troubles, mood changes, irritability, difficulty concentrating, destructive behavior, sadness, hopelessness, anger, and intense fear or anxiety. Understandably, PTSD can be debilitating, but it’s important to know that with the right treatment, you can begin to heal.
Here are several ways to effectively manage your PTSD symptoms, courtesy of our team here at Texas Herbal Clinic.
As with any kind of anxiety disorder, deep breathing can play a big role in helping to shift your body out of flight-or-fight mode. When you’re anxious, you may start to take quick, shallow breaths. This is your body’s natural response to stress. Your sympathetic nervous system triggers shallow breathing. To counteract this response, you need to practice deep breathing. Deep, slow breaths trigger your parasympathetic nervous system, which helps to relax you.
There are many different types of deep breathing exercises. Square breathing and triangle breathing are two examples, but many apps have guided breathing exercises to help you learn how to practice deep breathing.
Journaling 一sometimes called expressive writing 一 provides many mental health benefits, and it’s especially helpful if you have PTSD. Journaling can:
According to a 2022 study, expressive writing sessions should last about 20 minutes. During that time, focus on your deepest thoughts and feelings. As your own personal journal, there’s no need to hold back. Think of journaling as one of the many tools that can help you on your healing journey.
There are many different types of therapy that can help you manage PTSD symptoms. Cognitive therapy and exposure therapy are two important types of therapy for PTSD. Exposure therapy is particularly helpful if you are dealing with night terrors or flashbacks. During exposure therapy, your therapist helps you safely face frightening thoughts or memories so that you can learn to cope with them effectively.
Continue to practice any strategies you learn during your therapy sessions. The more you practice, the more you can learn to cope and manage your symptoms.
When you’re dealing with any anxiety symptoms, including PTSD symptoms, it’s important to focus on healthy lifestyle habits. This includes exercising regularly, practicing good sleep hygiene, and eating well-balanced meals.
It’s important to note, however, that food or exercise alone won’t eliminate your symptoms. However, they do support healthy brain function. Salmon, for instance, is rich in omega 3 fatty acids, a nutrient that helps to regulate the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin. Vitamin D 一 found in fortified dairy products, canned salmon, cod liver oil, and beef liver 一 also helps reduce negative emotions.
Support groups are another important strategy in managing PTSD symptoms. You may find a local support group, but there are also plenty of virtual options too.
According to an article published by the Veterans of Foreign Wars, there is hope for those suffering from PTSD. Researchers involved in a year-long study determined that people diagnosed with PTSD who used cannabis experienced a decrease in the severity of their PTSD symptoms.
Medical marijuana doesn’t just reduce symptoms, but for some people, their symptoms were reduced to the point where they no longer met the diagnostic criteria for PTSD. Researchers noted that those who used cannabis were more than 2.5 times more likely to no longer meet the criteria (when compared to people with PTSD who didn’t use medical marijuana).
Darryl Camp, MD, recommends medical marijuana for those suffering from PTSD to reduce the symptoms, such as anxiety, nightmares, and insomnia. Our team understands how difficult PTSD is to manage on your own, and that’s why we strive to make our process as smooth as possible so you can get the compassionate care you need.
If you’re struggling with the many symptoms of PTSD, consider medical marijuana. To book your consultation, use our online form or simply give us a call at 713-955-3325.