Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) develops after traumatic experience(s) involving physical harm, the threat of physical harm or an experience of intense fear, horror or helplessness.

    Most individuals with PTSD repeatedly relieve their trauma through flashbacks during the day, or as nightmares in their sleep. These flashbacks are triggered by ordinary occurrences, and the person may lose touch with reality, believing that the traumatic event is happening all over again.

    This evokes intense feelings of distress, and individuals with PTSD would often avoid situations which would trigger their memories of the traumatic experience(s).


    GETTING HELP

    If you or someone you know is still experiencing strong feelings of distress after a previous trauma, or are feeling unsure, seek professional help by contacting CHAT for a mental health check.


    PRACTICAL TIPS FOR MANAGING PTSD

    • “This is Normal”
    When experiencing a trigger, say quietly and firmly “This is normal. I will experience this from time to time. And it will pass.”

    • Confront the flashback, head-on
    There are 4 simple steps you can follow when experiencing a flashback. They are:
    1. Pinch yourself, or press one foot on top of the other
    2. Breathe normally, over-emphasising the out-breaths and in-breaths
    3. Breathe out to the count of 11, and breathe in to the count of 7
    4. Get back to the present by using the five senses:
    a. I can see 5 things. They are…
    b. I can hear 5 things. They are…
    c. I can feel 5 things. They are…
    d. I can smell 5 things. They are…
    e. I can taste 5 things. They are…

    • “Let it Go, Let it Go, Let it Go”
    When you experience unwelcome thoughts, acknowledge these thoughts, accept that they are unwelcome and unwanted and say to yourself quietly and firmly, “Let it go…Let it go…Let it go.”


    Tips extracted from “beating Combat Stress: 101 Techniques for Recovery” by Jon Henden.