Positive Coping Actions


When survivors learn to recognize what upsets them, they are in a better position to cope with PTSD. Understanding that PTSD is common and knowing that there are hundreds of thousands of others going through the same thing shows survivors that they are not alone or weak.

Talk to another person for support

With support from others, survivors may feel less alone and more understood. They may receive concrete help for a particular problem. Survivors must carefully choose their support people and clearly ask for what they need. It is often better to talk to a professional counselor because they are more likely to understand trauma and its effects than family or friends. A support group may lessen the feeling of isolation and reinforce trust.

Talk to your doctor or professional medical person

Your doctor will be better able to care for your physical health if aware of PTSD and may refer you to specialized help.

Finding A Therapist

When looking for a therapist, ask family and friends if they know anyone they would recommend who has expertise in trauma treatment. You can also:

Practice relaxation methods

Relaxation methods include breathing exercises, stretching, yoga, meditation, swimming, jogging, spending time in nature and listening to quiet music. On the other hand, relaxation initially may increase distress by focusing on disturbing sensations or reducing contact from external forces. Continuing with relaxation techniques in a way that is tolerable, such as interspersing it with music, walking, or other activities, helps reduce negative reactions to thoughts, feelings, or perceptions.

Increase positive distracting activities

Positive work or recreational activities help to distract a person from their memories. While it is not a long-term solution, it is effective as a first step or short-term remedy. Artistic endeavors are also a great way for those suffering from PTSD to express themselves in a creative way.

Contact a counselor

If PTSD symptoms start to worsen, and coping doesn't seem to help, it is important to contact a counselor.

Take prescribed medication

Prescribed medication can be extremely helpful in improving sleep, and decreasing anxiety, depression, anger, irritability, and urges to drink or take drugs.