The Power of Hope: Living with PTSD
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a set of reactions that can develop after someone has been through a traumatic event. Traumatic events are common and most people will experience at least one during their lives. However, not everyone who experiences trauma will develop PTSD, but about 5-10% of Australians will suffer from PTSD at some point in their lives.
PTSD can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender, culture or background. It can have a significant impact on a person’s mental and physical health, as well as their relationships, work and daily activities.
In this article, we interviewed a stakeholder at Maple Community Services, someone who has first handed, lived experience of overcoming PTSD.
I would like to share a personal story of resilience and recovery after living with PTSD. Following a car accident and the sudden loss of my mother during the pandemic, I was diagnosed with chronic PTSD. The aftermath was marked by nightmares, flashbacks, panic attacks, and overwhelming guilt. Avoidance became a coping mechanism, affecting my daily life and sense of purpose.
Fortunately, the support I received from my university’s teaching faculty and newfound friends helped me seek professional help. While traditional therapy and medication didn’t provide significant relief, I found a specialised trauma therapist and coach who utilised trauma therapy and NLP techniques. With their guidance, I gained a deeper understanding of PTSD’s impact and learned effective coping skills to manage my symptoms and emotions.
The journey was challenging, but ultimately transformative. I learned to accept the past and forgive myself, gradually regaining confidence and joy in life. Reconnecting with friends and pursuing hobbies became possible again. Although I still experience tough days, they have become less frequent and intense. I now possess the tools to navigate those moments with resilience, understanding that healing is an ongoing process that requires self-care and time.
Sharing this story is important to me because I want others to know that there is hope and recovery after trauma. You don’t have to endure it alone or in silence. With the right support and assistance, you can overcome and live a fulfilling life despite living with PTSD. Remember, your strength is greater than you realise.
Living with PTSD can be challenging, but recovery and renewal are possible. There are effective treatments for PTSD, such as counselling, medication or a combination of both. There are also self-help strategies that can help people cope with their symptoms and improve their wellbeing. Some of these strategies include:
– Seeking professional help when needed
– Finding support from family, friends or peers
– Learning about trauma and PTSD
– Practising relaxation techniques
– Engaging in enjoyable activities
– Maintaining a healthy lifestyle
– Seeking meaning and purpose
PTSD Awareness Day
PTSD Awareness Day is observed annually on June 27 in Australia and other countries. The aim of this day is to create awareness about PTSD and its effects on individuals and communities. It is also a day to acknowledge the courage and resilience of those who live with PTSD and their loved ones.
By raising awareness about PTSD and how to treat it, we can help reduce the stigma and barriers that prevent people from seeking help. We can also foster a culture of compassion and understanding for those who have been through trauma. We can all play a role in supporting people with PTSD and promoting their recovery.
If you or someone you know is living with PTSD, remember that you are not alone, and help is available. For more information and resources on PTSD, you can visit the following websites:
You can also call Lifeline on 13 11 14 for confidential 24/7 counselling and referrals.