On May 22, 2013, a powerful tornado ripped through the Oklahoma City area. The tornado was estimated to be about 2 miles wide and caused tremendous destruction. Currently, 24 people are confirmed dead, 9 of which are children. You can read more about the tornado at CNN.com.
It's perhaps an understatement to say that a large-scale tornado can result in heightened levels of stress. Not only can it bring about devastation to one's home and even entire communities -- disrupting social connections, work, and families -- but the uncontrollable nature and the far-reaching effects of a natural disaster can be very difficult to cope with. However, there are things you can do to increase resilience and minimize the impact of a disaster on your mental health. Learn some ways of coping with a tornado in this article. You can also learn ways of recovering from a natural disaster at the American Psychological Association.
When you go to your local bookstore, you probably can't help but notice the number of self-help books that are currently on the market for a variety of different disorders, including posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Self-help books can be very useful as a supplement to the treatment you are receiving for your PTSD or just on their own. They can provide you with information on the symptoms of PTSD. They can also assist you in learning healthy coping skills for managing your PTSD symptoms.
However, just because a self-help book has been published does not mean that it is a good self-help book. Unfortunately, there are self-help books out there that provide out-of-date information or may not teach skills that have been found to be useful for people with PTSD. As a result, it can be very difficult to know which self-help book is going to be the right one for you. This article provides a couple of tips that may help you find the best self-help book for your PTSD. The Association for Cognitive and Behavioral Therapies also has an excellent website that can help you find a quality self-help book.
Learning ways of coping with large crowds is important for people with PTSD. In today's society, crowds are difficult to avoid -- especially if you live in a city, or during certain times of the year, like holidays. Large crowds may be particularly stressful if you have PTSD, as they can trigger the hyperarousal symptoms of PTSD. When in a large crowd, people with PTSD may feel unsafe, or as though there is no easy way to escape the situation. They may also feel trapped or cornered. In addition, people with PTSD may have concerns that they could be caught off guard at any moment. As a result, when in a large crowd, people with PTSD may feel constantly on edge, fearful, or anxious. These negative emotions may prevent people from leaving their homes in the first place, increasing isolation and reducing quality of life.
Given this, it is very important to learn ways of coping with large crowds when you have PTSD. Listed in this article are some basic coping strategies that may help you get through a stressful situation involving a large crowd.
People with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have been found to be at high risk for engaging in a number of unhealthy impulsive and self-destructive behaviors; however, one behavior that has been examined less frequently is trichotillomania. Trichotillomania may sound like a strange word; however, it basically just refers to repetitive hair pulling. Why might someone pull their hair out? Well, research suggests that this behavior may function to relieve high levels of stress and tension. Consequently, it is not surprising that people with PTSD may be at higher risk for developing this behavior. You can learn more about trichotillomania, its symptoms, its relationship to PTSD, and its treatment in this article.
On April 15, 2013, two bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon in downtown Boston, Massachusetts. Direct (for example, being on-site as the bomb exploded) or indirect (for example, knowing someone who was affected by the event) exposure to the bombing have a high potential to lead to the development of PTSD symptoms.
Unexpected, unpredictable, and uncontrollable traumatic events such as a bombing catch us off-guard, interfering with our ability to prepare for such an event. The chaos and confusion that follows a bombing can also tax our coping resources, preventing us from adequately managing our distress associated with the event. An event such as this can also break down our assumptions of safety and security, leading to worry and anxiety about the occurrence of similar events in the future. Constant exposure to images of suffering and sadness as a result of the event may also linger in our thoughts for some time.
Although events such as this can be particularly difficult to cope with, there are some steps you can take to facilitate your recovery from such an event. Some healthy coping skills are presented in this article from About.com.
On April 15, 2013, two bombs went off near the finish line of the Boston Marathon in downtown Boston, Massachusetts. Currently, 3 people are dead and approximately 150 are injured. You can read more about the attack at CNN.com.
Unexpected traumatic events such as this have the strong potential to contribute to the development of PTSD. Traumatic events such as a bombing can shatter assumptions of safety, leading to persistent fears and worries. The repeated display of images about the bombing in the media, as well as confusion about what happened and who is to blame, can further increase distress and anxiety for those who were affected by the bombing. Therefore, it is very important to familiarize yourself with and use healthy coping strategies for managing your distress. Some healthy coping strategies for anxiety are presented here at About.com. You can also learn additional ways of coping with traumatic events from the American Psychological Association.
People with PTSD often experience frequent and intense negative emotions. Given that PTSD is classified as an anxiety disorder, it makes sense that people with PTSD would struggle with strong fear and anxiety. However, PTSD can also result in a number of other intense negative emotions, such as shame and anger. People with PTSD are also at risk for experiencing depression, characterized by pervasive and intense sadness, hopelessness, and despair.
Intense negative emotions can be particularly difficult to cope with. They may feel unpredictable, out-of-control, and unbearable. As a result, people may try to get away from them or suppress them as quickly as possible. This often takes the form of unhealthy behaviors. Therefore, it is important to learn some ways to manage these emotions. One such strategy that may be helpful is called "opposite action," an emotion regulation skill from dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). You can learn more about opposite action and how it can be used to help you cope with unpleasant emotions in this article.
Shame is often considered a "self-conscious emotion," and is generally very closely related to the emotion of guilt. In fact, many people have difficulty distinguishing between shame and guilt. Shame is an emotion that occurs when a person evaluates or judges himself in a negative light. For example, a person might experience shame if he views himself as worthless, weak, bad, or useless.
Following exposure to a traumatic event, people may experience a variety of emotions,including shame. When a diagnosis of PTSD is then thrown into the mix, this emotion can become even more intense, leading to a number of unhealthy behaviors. Shame is a particularly difficult emotion to cope with. Shame can be a dangerous emotion. With shame, people may be more likely to engage in self-punishment (such as through deliberate self-harm) or isolate oneself from others. This will do little to alleviate the shame in the long-term, and can even intensify the shame.
This article provides some information on shame, as well as some ways of managing shame.
The consequences of being exposed to a traumatic event, including PTSD, are more commonly studied among adults; however, traumatic exposure and symptoms of PTSD can also occur in children, showing the need for therapy for children with PTSD. Studies have found that a large number of children are exposed to traumatic events before the age of 16. Although the types of traumatic events children are exposed to and the effect they have on a child's well-being vary, one traumatic event that has a high likelihood of leading to mental health problems among children is the experience of sexual abuse.
When children are experiencing PTSD symptoms, what kind of treatment is best? There are a number of effective treatments for PTSD in adults. However, these treatments may not be as helpful for children for a number of reasons. Given this, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) was developed for children suffering with PTSD symptoms, primarily from the experience of sexual abuse. You can learn more about TF-CBT in this article from About.com. You can also learn more about TF-CBT from the website of the Medical University of South Carolina National Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center and the website of the United States Department of Health and Human Services.
Behavioral activation is considered a behavioral treatment that was originally designed to treat people with depression. It is focused on increasing your level of physical activity, with a particular focus on activities that you find rewarding and positive. Behavioral activation has been found to be very effective in reducing symptoms of depression.
Recently, it has been examined as a treatment for people with PTSD. This makes sense, as there is some overlap in symptoms between PTSD and depression, and many people with PTSD also suffer from depression. Several studies have found that behavioral activation on its own or combined with traditional treatments for PTSD can successfully reduce PTSD symptoms. You can learn more about behavioral activation and its relevance for people with PTSD in this article from About.com.