PTSD Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Chat Support Group
Steps In Managing Traumatic Stress
The first step in managing styess is recognizing the signs of post-traumatic
stress. Trauma is so shocking that it causes memories which are impossible to
forget yet sometimes also impossible to recall. Trauma memories often repeatedly
come back when you aren't trying to think about them in unpleasant thoughts,
nightmares, or a feeling as if you can't stop reliving the event. The shock
of trauma also may create "blanks" in memory because it is too much
for the mind to handle, and so the mind takes a "time out."
Traumatic stress reactions are normal responses to abnormal events. Most people
experience post-traumatic stress reactions for days or even weeks after trauma.
Usually these reactions become less severe over time, but they may persist and
become a problem.
The second step is recognizing the ways of coping with traumatic stress that
are natural but don't work, because they actually prolong and worsen the normal
post-traumatic stress reactions. Some of these are avoiding social encounters,
trying to avoid "bad memories" or trying to be on the defense at all
Trying to avoid bad memories, to shut out feelings people, or to stay always
on alert seem reasonable, but they don't work, because trauma controls your
life if you run from it.
The third step is getting help from any of the several special VA services
for veterans (and their families) who are coping with traumatic stress reactions
or "PTSD" (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). Trauma memories cannot
be erased, but the stress they cause can become very manageable.
Find out more about PTSD resources for veterans and families by calling directly
or discussing the programs with your physician or nurse.
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