Distressing thoughts and memories are common for people with PTSD. These symptoms may arise suddenly. This is upsetting if they’re connected to a traumatic event. PTSD intrusive thoughts can trigger other PTSD symptoms, including arousal and awareness which may make a situation worse. There are ways to manage the flow of PTSD intrusive thoughts with some helpful tips.
People with PTSD often feel as though symptoms occur spontaneously. PTSD symptoms are typically triggerd from the environment. Learning to increase awareness of PTSD triggers and ‘manage them’ and symptoms is important.
Dealing with Flashbacks
Flashbacks are major PTSD intrusive thoughts and a common symptom. They are considered one of the re-experiencing symptoms of PTSD. If there is a flashback, you know it can feel as though your traumatic event is happening all over agian. You may even injure yourself or others before this flashback ends. Like others with PTSD, you may be looking for ways to reduce the risk of flashbacks. Learning more about triggers may help you prevent them.
Coping with Future Thoughts
There may be a feeling of ‘impending doom’ that settles into your bones. That sense of a foreshortened future is for people with PTSD: feeling, for no reason, that life is somehow cut short or you won’t reach important milestones, including marriage or a career. This is an avoidance symptom of PTSD. This may create a sense of hopelessness and helplessness, which may increase risk of depression.
With PTSD, it may seem easier to avoid certain situations or activities out of fear they will trigger unpleasant or uncomfortable PTSD symptoms. Avoiding trigger situations can increase isolation. This reinforces the idea you need to avoid PTSD symptoms. To reduce avoidance behavior, increase contact with positive events and activities. Consider something called behavioral activation that supports a positive situation.
People with PTSD experience intense arousal and anxiety which can interfere with memory and concentration. This can lead to problems at work and school. There are skills you can use to improve memory and concentration. Controlling symptoms is one of the best ways to learn how to navigate PTSD and maintain order and peace in your life.
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