Lifestyle Changes to Manage Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
PTSD symptoms usually do not completely disappear. Therefore, you will likely need to continue coping with the symptoms and the problems they cause. Recovery is an ongoing and gradual daily process. The following lifestyle changes can help reduce your symptoms and improve your quality of life:
Join a PTSD Support Group
Many communities have support groups
Make Contact With Other Trauma Survivors
You need the companionship of those who can provide support and understanding. Increase your contact with other trauma survivors, possibly by joining a group of trauma survivors or a veteran’s organization. Increased contact with other survivors can help you to feel more trusting, more satisfied with your life, and can help reduce your symptoms.
Keep in Touch With Family and Friends
Work at improving your relationships with your partner or spouse, family, and friends. The mutual support will aid in your healing. You will feel more “normal” as you increase your social support.
For more information on increasing your social support, click here .
Relocate to a Safer Neighborhood
After surviving a trauma, you are likely to feel that the world is a dangerous place and that your chances of being harmed are high. If you live in a high-crime area, your beliefs and fears will be even worse. If possible, move to a quieter and safer neighborhood.
Join an Alcohol or Drug Treatment Program
Many survivors of trauma use alcohol or drugs for relief of PTSD symptoms. While this may seem to have some benefits in the short-term, it always makes things worse in the long-term. If you are using alcohol or
Begin a Regular Exercise Program
For more information on starting a regular exercise program,
Get Involved With Your Community
Get involved in a community activity such as volunteering, especially if you’re not working. Whether you choose to work with youth programs, the elderly, literacy programs, or hospital services, or to take part in community sports, it’s important to feel that you are making a contribution.
National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder website. Available at: http://www.ncptsd.va.gov/ .
Last reviewed March 2009 by
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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