Overcoming PTSD: Strategies for Reclaiming Your Life After Trauma


Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that develops as a result of experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event. It can happen to anybody, but it’s estimated that about 8% of Americans will develop PTSD at some point in their lives. People who have a family history of mental illness or who have had previous experiences with trauma are more likely to develop PTSD than those who don’t have these risk factors. The two most common causes of trauma are military combat and sexual assault, though many other types of incidents can lead to PTSD symptoms, including natural disasters like earthquakes or floods.

Who develops PTSD?

PTSD can develop in anyone, but it is more common among people who have experienced a traumatic event. The National Center for PTSD lists some of the following as risk factors for developing PTSD:

  • Being female
  • Being exposed to violence or other trauma during childhood
  • Having another mental health condition such as depression or anxiety that makes you more vulnerable to developing PTSD after a traumatic event

PTSD can also develop after experiencing traumas with other people, such as combat exposure or child sexual abuse.

What are the symptoms of PTSD?

PTSD symptoms fall into four categories:

  • Intrusive thoughts, images and memories of the traumatic event(s)
  • Avoidance of reminders of the trauma
  • Negative changes in beliefs and feelings about yourself or others (e.g., “I’m a bad person”)
  • Hyperarousal (e.g., feeling jumpy or easily startled)

Why are some people more susceptible to PTSD than others?

There are several factors that can make you more susceptible to PTSD. For example, women are more likely than men to develop the disorder after trauma. This may be because they’re more likely to experience sexual assault, which has been shown in some studies to increase the risk of developing PTSD (although other research has found no significant gender difference).

Also, older people tend to have higher rates of traumatic events than younger people do–and when they experience those events, they’re more likely than younger adults are to develop long-lasting symptoms from them. This might seem counterintuitive at first glance: why would someone who’s lived longer also have had more opportunities for bad things? But think about it from an evolutionary perspective: if you were born into a world where everyone around you was dying young and suffering from illness or injury all the time, then maybe being able to survive until old age meant something! And sure enough…

What can I do if I’m afraid that I have PTSD?

If you’re concerned about your mental health, seek help from a therapist or psychiatrist. A trusted friend or family member can also be an excellent resource for support. You may want to consider joining a support group for people who are experiencing similar symptoms as those of PTSD and/or other trauma-related disorders. If yoga is something that interests you, try taking classes at your local gym or community center; if not, try meditating on your own in the morning before getting out of bed (but don’t force yourself).

How is PTSD treated?

A variety of treatments are available for PTSD. Medications may be prescribed to treat symptoms of depression and anxiety, while talk therapy can help you learn new ways of coping with stress. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and exposure therapy can also be helpful in reducing feelings of fear and panic. Support groups provide emotional support from others who have experienced similar traumas, making it easier for people with PTSD to express themselves without feeling judged or criticized by others who don’t understand what they’ve been through.

Reclaiming your life after trauma is not an easy process, but it can be done by taking small steps toward building a healthier life.

Recovering from a traumatic event is not an easy process, but it can be done by taking small steps toward building a healthier life.

It is important to remember that overcoming trauma is not a one-time event. It’s an ongoing process that requires patience and perseverance on your part. There are many different ways to overcome trauma, so find what works best for you!


PTSD can be a debilitating condition, but it’s also one that can be treated and managed. If you think that you might have PTSD, it’s important not to wait until symptoms get worse before seeking treatment. Seek help from a mental health professional who specializes in trauma survivors and can guide you through the process of overcoming this disorder.

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