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Managing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder - The Importance of a Support System!

PTSD stands for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and it is a disorder brought about after a traumatic event was experienced by an individual. It is when that individual still gets stressed out and re-experiences the traumatic event months or even years after the traumatic event occurred. PTSD is usually triggered by an event (or series of events) which is drastic, tragic or traumatic.

Examples are war experiences, rape and other life-threatening or life-changing events. PTSD may be experienced not only to those who actually in the event but also to the immediate family and friends and even to those who are just piecing together the order of events such as reporters or aid workers.

PTSD is evidenced by the person having flashbacks of the event or re-experiencing the event including the emotions and feelings that were experienced during the time. These may be intense fear, anxiety or panic. Individuals with PTSD often avoid situations of places that might remind them of the traumatic event.

There may be a depression side where they feel that there is no future, so compelling are the thoughts of the past traumatic event. Increased anxiety and emotional sensitivity may lead to a person having difficulty in sleeping, having nightmares, experiencing irritability and sometimes even paranoia.

There are a number of treatments and management approaches for PTSD however here, we will discuss how a support system helps in the management of PTSD. A support system is essential and effective in managing PTSD because it provides someone to comfort and be there for the person experiencing the disorder. An effective support system may be composed of one or more professional therapists, a trusted individual or group of people who are reliable, constant, comforting and compassionate.

Professional therapists play a vital role. They provide dedicated time and attention to an individual experiencing PTSD and share techniques or therapies that are best suited to the client.

Support groups may be available for those in need where the group is composed of people who have experienced and/or are experiencing the disorder. In this situation, the person can get ideas and help from those who have effectively managed and overcome the disorder as well as share your experiences for others to learn from.

Being in a support group provides a sense of belonging, being understood and relating to others. This is very important as there is a high tendency to isolate themselves.

Family and friends can also help in managing the disorder. Although they did not experience the event, they are the ones who are closest and who care most about the person involved. These support systems aid the person in coping and adapting by demonstrating that they are not alone. They can also help the person realise that life still goes on, that there is a future to move towards and that there are still people who love them.

An effective support system helps in the progression of recovery of the person who has PTSD. It provides an environment for learning, practising and mastering techniques of coping and adapting, and demonstrates that a person is not alone, that they are loved and accepted.

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