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PTSD and Trauma

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Trauma can take a huge emotional toll, whether it stems from a personal tragedy, a natural disaster, or violence.

There is no right or wrong way to feel after traumatic events. But there are many strategies that can help you work through feelings of pain, fear, and grief and regain your emotional equilibrium. Whether the traumatic event happened years ago or yesterday, you can heal and move on.

 
 

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Coping with PTSD and trauma

Helping others cope

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What is PTSD?

PTSD or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a psychiatric condition that can occur following a traumatic event that threatens your safety or makes you feel helpless and hopeless. The event could be military combat, a natural disaster, terrorist attack, serious accident, kidnapping, physical or sexual assault, or any shattering event that leaves you stuck and feeling emotionally stuck.

PTSD can affect those who personally experience the event, those who witness it, and those who pick up the pieces afterwards, including emergency workers and law enforcement officers. It can even occur in the friends or family members of those who went through the actual trauma.

 
 

Featured articles

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): It can seem like you'll never get over what happened or feel normal again. But by seeking treatment, reaching out for support, and developing new coping skills, you can overcome PTSD and move on with your life. MORE »

PTSD in Veterans: It’s hard living with untreated PTSD and, with long V.A. wait times, it’s easy to get discouraged. But you can feel better, and you can start today, even while you’re waiting for professional treatment. MORE »

Helping Someone with PTSD: Your support can make a huge difference in your partner, friend, or family member’s recovery. But as you do your best to care for someone with PTSD, you also need to take care of yourself. MORE »

 
 

Related topics

Suicide Prevention

The feelings of hopelessness that accompany PTSD may lead to suicidal thoughts or impulses. Feeling suicidal is not a character defect, and it doesn't mean that a person is crazy, or weak, or flawed. It only means that the person has more pain than they feel capable of coping with. But help is out there.

Suicide is one of those subjects that many of us feel uncomfortable discussing, but the risk of suicide is not increased by talking about it. So if you’re feeling suicidal, reach out. And if you think a loved one is at risk, talk to them. You could save a life. MORE »

Addiction

It can be tempting to turn to drugs, alcohol, and nicotine to numb painful feelings and memories and get to sleep. But substance abuse can make the symptoms of PTSD worse and compound your problems.

It takes courage and strength to face up to any type of addiction, but help is available. You can overcome your addiction by learning how to cope in ways that are constructive rather than destructive to yourself and others. MORE »