Be An Anchor In Your Storm
With Independence Day approaching Victor Counseling Practice would like to thank each and every person who has served or is serving in our Military. Choosing to join was truly selfless. You gave up everything to serve obediently and bravely fight for our country. Please know, we appreciate you and your time, effort, and energy put towards making our country safer and better.
Sometimes, fighting may come with battle scares. Whether physical or emotional, being exposed to a traumatic event involving actual or perceived threat of death or serious injury takes its toll. A soldier in active duty or a veteran no doubt has heard the term “PTSD” or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. PTSD not only occurs for soldiers, but can occur for anyone in any situation that has been traumatic.
PTSD can cause;
- Intense fear, persistent thoughts and images of the traumatic event long after it has occurred (Anxiety)
- Reliving the event (flashbacks)
- Significant stress in daily life due to the event
- Avoiding talking about the traumatic event
- Avoiding people, places, or things that remind the person of the traumatic event
- Decline in engagement in activities you used to enjoy (depression)
- Feelings of guilt
- Difficulty concentrating
- Being alert all the time ready to fight, not being able to shut that mode off
- Startling easy
- Irritability or Anger outbursts
- Impairment in social functioning
- Nightmares of the traumatic event
You can overcome this! PTSD can be treated! Here are some strategies or steps to do so:
- Frequently practice calming skills on a daily basis. Get yourself in a peaceful environment, chaotic people or events around you may overstimulate you and create panic. Relax your body, if you feel tension tell yourself to let go of that tension and imagine yourself in a more peaceful place.
- There is power in what we say to ourselves. Use positive self-talk; repeat to yourself that you are safe, you have the strength to overcome this, you can trust the people in your support system, and that you will be able to feel close to people again. Reassure yourself that you are not in danger anymore.
- Create a safe space in your home with proper locks on windows and doors and if necessary an alarm system or cameras. This also reassures safety.
- Evaluate toxic relationships; Physical, Emotional, or sexual abuse will perpetuate PTSD and continue to re-traumatize you. Either improving or eliminating these relationships can be very helpful.
- Use grounding or Anchoring techniques; during a flashback your mind may feel as though it is literally in the past again, or re-experiencing the traumatic event. Use your five senses (site, sound, taste, touch, smell) to keep yourself in your present time, in your present room, in the present reality.
- Lastly, Talk to someone. Telling your story to a trusted family member, friend, or professional is most helpful. Studies prove therapy can heal shame, guilt, and lesson your symptoms that prevent you from being happy.
If you have been through a traumatic even please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Victor Counseling. We can teach you these skills more in depth. We can be your safe place; we can be your trusted person. It’s time to be your anchor in the storm that is going on around you. It’s time to feel strong, stable and firmly planted in your life.