Step 3 Identify The Cause Of The Trigger
After youâve regained control of your mind and calmed yourself down the next step is to reflect and identify the cause of the trigger.
Most people never reflect on what triggers themâ¦
Therefore they never come up with a solution to their PTSD triggers.
They just get triggered over and over againâ¦
Maybe they make a little progress in their recovery, but then they get triggered and get bashed back down to zero.
Itâs this yo-yo game that causes most people to give up and feel completely hopeless.
They keep putting themselves in the same harmful situations that cause them to get hurt over and over again.
It can be painful to reflect back on what triggered you, but itâs essential in order to come up with a plan to overcome them for good.
If you donât look at what triggered your PTSD then youâll always be playing that yo-yo game and eventually youâll lose steam and give up all together.
So, do you know exactly what triggers you?
And do you have a game plan to deal with all those situations?
If not, then letâs get to work!
Helping Someone With Ptsd Tip : Provide Social Support
Its common for people with PTSD to withdraw from family and friends. They may feel ashamed, not want to burden others, or believe that other people wont understand what theyre going through. While its important to respect your loved ones boundaries, your comfort and support can help them overcome feelings of helplessness, grief, and despair. In fact, trauma experts believe that face-to-face support from others is the most important factor in PTSD recovery.
Knowing how to best demonstrate your love and support for someone with PTSD isnt always easy. You cant force your loved one to get better, but you can play a major role in the healing process by simply spending time together.
Dont pressure your loved one into talking. It can be very difficult for people with PTSD to talk about their traumatic experiences. For some, it can even make them feel worse. Instead, let them know youre willing to listen when they want to talk, or just hang out when they dont. Comfort for someone with PTSD comes from feeling engaged and accepted by you, not necessarily from talking.
Do normal things with your loved one, things that have nothing to do with PTSD or the traumatic experience. Encourage your loved one to seek out friends, pursue hobbies that bring them pleasure, and participate in rhythmic exercise such as walking, running, swimming, or rock climbing. Take a fitness class together, go dancing, or set a regular lunch date with friends and family.
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Tips On How To Deal With Ptsd Triggers
by Tyler Fordham | Jun 2, 2022 | Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder |
Post-traumatic stress disorder is estimated to affect between 7 and 8% of the U.S. population. Its not limited to those who have experienced military combat and could very possibly be affecting your friends, family, and coworkers. Whether you or a loved one has been diagnosed with this potentially debilitating type of anxiety disorder, its important to know how to deal with PTSD triggers.
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How To Recognize Ptsd Triggers
It can be a challenge to recognize your own triggers, but it is important to be aware of what may set off your symptoms. Some of the symptoms of PTSD can be very subtle, so it is important to pay attention to your body and mind.
There are a few key things to look for when trying to identify your triggers:
- Changes in mood or feeling withdrawn
- Avoiding people or places that remind you of the trauma
- Flashbacks or intrusive thoughts about the event
- Intense emotions, such as anger or fear
- Physical reactions, such as a racing heart or sweating
Some symptoms are very obvious and easy to recognize but others, like changes in mood, can be more subtle. If you are having trouble identifying your triggers, it may be helpful to talk to a therapist who specializes in PTSD.
Moreover, you should keep in mind that not all triggers are events or people that remind you of the trauma. For some people, anything that causes fear or anxiety can be a trigger. This might include things like loud noises, crowded places, or even certain smells.
Therefore, you should get to know your triggers and be prepared to deal with them when they come up.
How Can You Recognize Triggers
Some are obvious. Others are subtle. In fact, you may not realize something is a trigger until you have a reaction. It may seem like your PTSD symptoms come out of the blue. But theyâre usually caused by an unknown trigger.
Feeling as if youâre in danger is a sign that youâve experienced a PTSD trigger. A therapist can help you identify yours. They can also help you learn ways to cope.
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What Are The Different Types Of Triggers
Anything that reminds you of what happened right before or during a trauma is a potential trigger. Theyâre usually tied to your senses. You may see, feel, smell, touch, or taste something that brings on your symptoms. While triggers themselves are usually harmless, they cause your body to react as if youâre in danger.
A number of things can trigger your PTSD. Some of the most common include:
People: Seeing a person related to the trauma may set off a PTSD reaction. Or someone may have a physical trait thatâs a reminder. For example, if someone with a beard mugged you, other bearded men may bring back memories.
Thoughts and emotions: The way you felt during a traumatic event could cause symptoms.
Things: Seeing an object that reminds you of the trauma can cue your PTSD symptoms.
Scents: Smells are strongly tied to memories. For instance, someone who survived a fire might become upset from the smoky smell of a barbecue.
Places: Returning to the scene of a trauma is often a trigger. Or a type of place, like a dark hallway, may be enough to bring on a reaction.
TV shows, news reports, and movies: Seeing a similar trauma often sets off symptoms. This includes scenes from a television show or movie, or a news report.
Feelings: Some sensations, such as pain, are triggers. For survivors of assault, a touch on a certain body part may lead to a flashback.
Tastes: The taste of something, like alcohol, may remind you of a traumatic event.
Here Are The 3 Pillars Of Full Ptsd Recovery
Are you curious about how you can master all 3 of these pillars?
Do you want to learn the process I used to consistently heal and eliminate my symptoms permanently?
Iâm going to teach you the exact process that I used to heal 17 years of PTSD.
How I went from being miserable, unambitious, stressed and wanting to kill myselfâ¦
To being excited, happy, calm and obsessed with creating my dream life.
Everyone told me that I was broken.
That PTSD was something I had to cope with and deal with for the rest of my life. I am here to tell you that they are wrong.
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How Do You Develop Triggers
When faced with danger, your body gets ready to fight, flee, or freeze. Your heart beats faster. Your senses go on high alert. Your brain stops some of its normal functions to deal with the threat. This includes your short-term memory.
With PTSD, your brain doesnât process the trauma the right way. It doesnât file the memory of the event as being in the past. The result: You feel stressed and frightened even when you know youâre safe.
The brain attaches details, like sights or smells, to that memory. These become triggers. They act like buttons that turn on your bodyâs alarm system. When one of them is pushed, your brain switches to danger mode. This may cause you to become frightened and your heart to start racing. The sights, sounds, and feelings of the trauma may come rushing back. This is called a flashback.
Create A Trigger Prevention Plan
If you experience PTSD triggers, create a prevention plan that includes them. Also, create a plan for how you can contend with them if they do arise. You might want to have a person in place to call for support or carry a list of coping techniques to pull out at any moment. Or, utilize smartphone apps that have certain songs, meditations, or podcasts, which are useful to you. A safety plan can certainly help manage PTSD symptoms.
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Living With Someone Who Has Ptsd
When a partner, friend, or family member has post-traumatic stress disorder it affects you, too. PTSD isnt easy to live with and it can take a heavy toll on relationships and family life. You may be hurt by your loved ones distance and moodiness or struggling to understand their behaviorwhy they are less affectionate and more volatile. You may feel like youre walking on eggshells or living with a stranger. You may also have to take on a bigger share of household tasks and deal with the frustration of a loved one who wont open up. The symptoms of PTSD can even lead to job loss, substance abuse, and other problems that affect the whole family.
Its hard not to take the symptoms of PTSD personally, but its important to remember that a person with PTSD may not always have control over their behavior. Your loved ones nervous system is stuck in a state of constant alert, making them continually feel vulnerable and unsafe, or having to relive the traumatic experience over and over. This can lead to anger, irritability, depression, mistrust, and other PTSD symptoms that your loved one cant simply choose to turn off.
With the right support from you and other family and friends, though, your loved ones nervous system can become unstuck. With these tips, you can help them to finally move on from the traumatic event and enable your life together to return to normal.
Step 1 Regain Control Over Your Mind
Whatâs your first reaction when your PTSD is triggered?
For most people itâs to beat yourself up.
You start saying things in your head likeâ¦
âI shouldnât be feeling this wayâ¦â
âWhy does this always happen to meâ¦Iâm so messed upâ¦â
âMy life sucks, and I hate everythingâ¦â
All these negative thoughts spiral inside of your head, which trigger your PTSD even more and cause your anxiety, fear, panic, and everything else to get much much worse.
And if youâre not aware of how your internal thoughts trigger your PTSD, you can quickly find yourself spiraling out of control.
So, what do you do when you become aware of these negative thoughts?
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Regain Focus Through Physical Activity
Many people who have been diagnosed with PTSD say that finding an enjoyable physical activity that they can perform regularly has helped them to reduce their levels of stress and cope with their symptoms.
Rebecca Thorne, who was diagnosed with PTSD following childhood trauma, explains how running has helped her to cope with the symptoms that were impacting her life.
I am a runner and I suffer from , she says. One of the many things I think about while Im running, and also when Im not, is the relationship between the two.
I embrace running in all weathers , always with a considerable amount of ascent. As I fight my way up the climbs, I often imagine that the hill is my illness and I am going to slowly and steadily conquer it. Yet it never feels like suffering and, once at the top of the hill, I can reach out and touch the sky.
Researchers from Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge in the United Kingdom found that surfing can be an effective coping strategy for war veterans diagnosed with PTSD.
According to the team, this sport helps veterans to attain a focused mind state known as flow, in which they are so absorbed in the activity they are performing that all other thoughts and emotions are pushed aside.
Dr. Nick Caddick, who was involved with the study, compares this with the effects of mindfulness meditation, just that it is more active. He calls it a moving form of mindfulness.
Common Internal Ptsd Triggers
- Physical discomfort, such as hunger, thirst, fatigue, sickness, and sexual frustration.
- Any bodily sensation that recalls the trauma, including pain, old wounds and scars, or a similar injury.
- Strong emotions, especially feeling helpless, out of control, or trapped.
- Feelings toward family members, including mixed feelings of love, vulnerability, and resentment.
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What Is Flashback Halting Protocol
Triggers can make it feel like you are living the traumatic event all over again. The flashback halting protocol aims to halt the flashback and bring you back to the present moment. This can help your mind and body realize that the trauma isnt actually happening anymore.
Next time you find yourself faced with a flashback, try reading and answering these questions to yourself:
- Right now, I am feeling _____ .
- And I am sensing in my body_____ .
- Because I am remembering _____ .
- And at the same time, it is now _____ .
- And I am here at _____ .
- And I can see _____ .
- And so I know that _____ is not happening now.
Tip : Take Care Of Yourself
Letting your family members PTSD dominate your life while ignoring your own needs is a surefire recipe for burnout and may even lead to secondary traumatization. You can develop your own trauma symptoms from listening to trauma stories or being exposed to disturbing symptoms like flashbacks. The more depleted and overwhelmed you feel, the greater the risk is that youll become traumatized.
In order to have the strength to be there for your loved one over the long haul and lower your risk for secondary traumatization, you have to nurture and care for yourself.
Take care of your physical needs: get enough sleep, exercise regularly, eat properly, and look after any medical issues.
Cultivate your own support system. Lean on other family members, trusted friends, your own therapist or support group, or your faith community. Talking about your feelings and what youre going through can be very cathartic.
Make time for your own life. Dont give up friends, hobbies, or activities that make you happy. Its important to have things in your life that you look forward to.
Spread the responsibility. Ask other family members and friends for assistance so you can take a break. You may also want to seek out respite services in your community.
Set boundaries. Be realistic about what youre capable of giving. Know your limits, communicate them to your family member and others involved, and stick to them.
Support for people taking care of veterans
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Ptsd And Substance Abuse In The Military: Statistics & Facts
Veterans and active military members who were involved in a war or exposed to combat situations consistently show high rates of PTSD. Statistics show that these individuals are often dealing with both PTSD and substance abuse:
- Veterans with a substance abuse problem are 3 to 4 times more likely suffer from PTSD.
- About 1 in 10 soldiers from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were diagnosed with alcohol or drug use disorders upon receiving care at the VA.
- About 8 out of 10 Vietnam Veterans seeking PTSD treatment also have issues with alcohol abuse.
- War veterans with PTSD and alcoholism are more likely to binge drink.
- Active military members exposed to combat situations are at greater risk for binge drinking.
- Active military members with PTSD are more likely to develop alcohol-related problems.
- More than 2 out of 10 veterans with PTSD also have a substance abuse problem.
- Almost 1 out of every 3 veterans seeking substance abuse treatment has PTSD.
How To Cope With Ptsd Triggers
Avoiding triggers is the best way to cope with them, but you may not always be able to avoid them. The first step to overcoming PTSD triggers is to learn what they are. The more you are aware of them, the more likely you can avoid them or apply techniques to overcome them if they do arise.
For example, if you know attending a party will trigger your anxiety and anxiety triggers your PTSD, its best to avoid parties. However, if you must go, you can learn anxiety-reduction techniques that might keep PTSD symptoms at bay. Working with a therapist can be very helpful.
- Relaxation techniques and yoga
- Deep breathing techniques
Learning these tools takes time and commitment, so the more familiar you are with them, the less of an impact PTSD will have on you. In addition, the less likely you will be to turn to unhealthy coping choices, such as using alcohol or drugs.
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Coping With Ptsd Triggers In Social Settings Is A Necessary Skill
Recently, I joined some friends and acquaintances at a small gathering to discuss ideas for activities with our children. There was food, coffee, and I brought my knitting. While social gatherings can be stressful for me, I was anticipating a relaxed afternoon.
Then, someone spoke a completely innocent phrase and I immediately felt as if I had been plunged into ice water. This is always my first reaction when a PTSD trigger brings forward an unwelcome image from the past ” rel=”nofollow”> Recognizing and Managing Your Anxiety). I experienced rising anxiety, and an initial desire to leave the area as soon as possible. While I may still head for the ladies room, or shut down, I also have found some calming strategies that I can use without ever getting up from my seat.