PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) is a mental health condition that can develop in people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event. It can cause a range of symptoms, such as depression, anxiety, adhd, phobias, startle reflex, flashbacks, nightmares, and avoidance behavior. I plan on writing a detailed list of symptoms in a following article.
The best ways to treat PTSD may vary depending on the severity of the symptoms and the individual's specific needs, and some of the common approaches are not helpful, like talk therapy and medications.
Initially, talk therapy can be helpful, to 'get it out', but ongoing talk therapy is only reinforcing the neurological brain wiring/programming.
Medications can be helpful if used temporarily but I do not encourage long term use of psychotropic medications as they are merely a bandaid to the problem. I believe in getting to the core of the problem and addressing the healing there.
Trauma affects people's mind/body/spirit. They are all interconnected. Some modalities address one, or a combination. Some are termed 'top down' approach, some are 'bottom up' methodologies. Everyone is different and I believe you should seek treatment that feels right to you. Trust your internal guide, your intuition, because you know best the direction to go for your healing journey.
The Gateway Process is the most effective method that I have come across. Please let me know if you have found anything equally as good. I don't believe my way is the only way, and I just want to end suffering globally. I am happy to share other modalities that may help others. What I love about The Gateway Process, is that it is simple and so effective. All other modalities take weeks or even years to make a dent in the PSSI-5 (ptsd test) score.
First and foremost, the basics:
Get enough rest! Having PTSD is exhauuusssting. When your body is in fight/flight, you end up feeling drained and depleted the majority of the time, because YOU ARE. It's important to get enough rest and sleep to support your body's healing process. Take time to care for your physical body by practicing self-care. Self-care and self love are *vital* to your healing and well-being. This can include taking a warm bath, getting a massage, or practicing relaxation techniques like meditation.
Eat a healthy diet: Eating a healthy, balanced diet is essential for supporting your physical body during healing. Focus on whole foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. Really try to avoid caffeine and alcohol. I know alcohol serves as a 'coping' method, and I get it, I was there too. When I was healing I switched from alcohol (toxic) to plant based alternative (healthy) and it really helped me. Alcohol is a depressant and when it is finally processed out of your body, the result is anxiety. Not a great combo. Alcohol is also addictive, and plants are not. Please check your states laws on these before obtaining them. It's shameful that our government has made something that is natural, illegal, and they state claims that are not accurate.
Listen to your body: Pay attention to the signals that your body is sending you. If you feel tired or run down, take a break and rest. If you feel energized, take advantage of that energy to engage in physical activity or spiritual practice.
Stay hydrated: Drinking plenty of water is important for flushing toxins out of your body and supporting your physical health.
Here are some other helpful approaches:
You can start with one, or incorporate as many as you feel comfortable with, but I encourage you to research all of them and see what resonates with you.
Sensorimotor Psychotherapy: This approach is a form of somatic therapy that emphasizes the connection between the mind and body. It involves focusing on physical sensations and movements, and working to release tension and trauma held in the body.
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR): MBSR is a form of meditation that involves paying attention to present-moment experiences without judgment. It can help individuals develop greater awareness of their thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations, and cultivate a sense of relaxation and calm.
Yoga: Yoga involves physical postures, breathing exercises, and meditation. It can help individuals develop greater awareness of their body and reduce stress and anxiety. My favorite is Yin Yoga. It's slow and meditative movements, addressing mind, body and spirit. It's important to take the time to 'listen' to your body, the sensations you feel while in the Yin positions. You'll be surprised how the sensations change as tension is released in the fascia network (connective tissue that holds trauma/emotion). Practicing yoga and other physical exercises can help to release tension and support the flow of energy through your body. Other physical methods that are helpful are Qi Gong and Tai Chi. You can find so many classes for free on YouTube.
Acupuncture: Acupuncture involves inserting thin needles into specific points on the body to promote healing and balance. It can help reduce stress, anxiety, and other symptoms of PTSD.
Equine Therapy: Equine therapy involves interacting with horses in a therapeutic setting. It can help individuals develop greater self-awareness and build a sense of trust and connection with another being.
Lifestyle changes: Engaging in healthy activities, such as exercise, yoga, and meditation, can help reduce stress and improve mood. Avoiding drugs and alcohol, which can exacerbate PTSD symptoms, is also recommended (worth repeating). If you are in a stressful work or home life situation, remove yourself from the situation. You do not have to have stress as a part of your daily life. Choose a stress-free lifestyle. It is worth it. YOU are worth it!
Other Alternative therapies: Some people find relief from PTSD symptoms with alternative therapies, such as journal-speak, dance, massage, or art therapy.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), are effective treatments for PTSD. These therapies help individuals process their trauma and develop coping skills to manage symptoms, although this therapy is more long term, it does help some people.
Again, it's important to note that everyone's experience with PTSD is unique, and each path to healing is different. Find what works for you, for your individual needs. YOU are important and so worthy. As each person heals, we all heal. The world gets a little bit better as each person heals. I honor each and every one of you that makes your mental well-being a priority. This is vital. My hope is that everyone finds healing and well-being. I am here for you when you are ready. Until then, may your journey of healing lead you to the best life ever 🙏🏼💝