STUDENT ESSAY: Helping people cope with PTSD
Anyone can suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
PTSD is a psychiatric disorder that can occur in people who have seen and experienced a traumatic event such as rape, abuse, car accident, and war. Veterans and children are at higher risks of forming PTSD because of their vulnerability.
It’s important to recognize that those with PTSD could feel sadness and loneliness for long periods of time. They will feel sadness, fear, anger, hopeless and helplessness.
When dealing with PTSD, especially when feeling low and depressed, it’s important to use positive tools to help cope such as creative art therapy, music therapy, medication, hospitalization, counselling, or therapy.
Music therapy was found to be especially helpful over the years, beginning in the early 1800s. According to musictherapy.org, Music is used as a coping tool to help people struggling with PTSD. The psychological effects of music can be enormously powerful and wide-ranging.
Some people use negative coping mechanisms such as alcohol use, drug use, suicidal and self-destructive behaviour. The problem is these actions will only make things worse in both the short and long term, while not solving the main emotional and psychological issue.
To help a family member or friend through their battle with PTSD, it’s important to learn more about what they’re dealing with. Let your loved one talk about their feelings and don’t discourage them. Only engage in conversations if you can give them all your attention and listen with an open heart and open mind.
Be sure not to interrupt or compare your trauma to theirs as this will only serve to make them feel judged and belittled. It’s also important to remember not to problem-solve for your loved one; this is their healing journey, and they must get to the destination on their own.
By Koreelynn Fisher, a Muskoka Unlimited media co-op student from Huntsville High School