Stress Management Consulting Program Blog on Helping Ease PTSD

PTSD or Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome is a serious condition where trauma is never processed.  In previous blogs, we have discussed its causes and symptoms.  In all cases, the memory is fragmented and unable to process due to its extreme nature.  When it is unable to become processed, it continues to haunt the individual through flashbacks, dreams, arousals, disassocation and emotional instability which leads to a variety of personal issues

Once known as Shell Shock from WWI, the horrid event is so traumatic, that those who experience PTSD are unable to come to grips with the magnitude of the event or loss.  This leads to multiple symptoms.  It is important to help treat people and guide them who experience PTSD from war, crime, or traumatic loss beyond one’s control.  Healing and treatment are a long road but there are first steps that can be taken as well as strategies to help manage symptoms.  These strategies can help someone cope till the fragmented memories are properly stored and allow the person to function without the adverse effects of PTSD.

Learning to cope with the symptoms of PTSD can lead ultimately to healing. Please also review AIHCP’s Stress Management Consulting Program


Healing begins when the person starts to apply skills to manage the ongoing symptoms and traumatic memory is slowly integrated.  Integration takes time and requires special therapies with a licensed specialist who can help someone process, assimilate and reframe the trauma.  In addition to utilizing skills to manage symptoms, the individual must confront the feelings and harmful coping behaviors such as drugs.   Others need to be willing to give up the secondary gains of their condition.  Some may earn government pay, others may feel the sympathy and pity of others would be lost if they sought help.  One needs to be able to give up these additional gains to become healthy and on one’s own.

One needs to also establish safe boundaries.  Only in a spot correlated with safety can someone with PTSD begin healing.  Someone who was raped may have a difficult time finding a safe boundary.  Establishing this is key as one faces the trauma.

Ultimately what is preventing treatment?  Is there a fear that treatment is a sign of weakness, especially if a soldier?  Is there a fear of discovery of the source of the pain?  Some may fear opening up to a therapist or anyone.   Others fear they may also lose the good memories with the bad.  Ultimately, a therapist can help guide the PTSD patient through the maze of feelings.

In addition, once an individual has learned to manage basic arousals, flashbacks or potentially dangerous outbursts, one may consider a support group.  Support groups have multiple benefits for PTSD victims.  The group and its autonomy grants a sense of control that one and one therapy sometime lacks.  It aids against alienation, provides security and a mutual acceptance beyond any preconceived stigma.  There secrets can be revealed, progress made and coping ideas shared.  Friendships can also blossom from the mutual pain and stories.

Many strategies during the healing process can be done alone and do not require professional treatment.   Professional treatment in aiding integration are still extremely important but learning to manage basic arousal, flashbacks and trauma are key in learning to retake one’s life.

Affect Management looks at controlling one’s own emotions by personally facing them.  In it, one names the feeling and recognizes and feels them without judgement.  The feelings are to be felt but also understood.  They are not to be deemed good or bad but experienced.  The feelings are to be seen as normal, but also in analysis constructive to understanding.  Feelings make sense if we hear them and try to better understand what they are trying to tell us.   Control of feelings is key as well.  Anger Management and its many useful strategies are key in understanding why one is angry and how to better utilize it in a constructive way.  Many individuals with PTSD are angry over what happened.  They may seek revenge, or they may feel misunderstood or jealous of others who are not victimized.  Anger at the world, the perpetrator or anything is very common.  This anger needs managed but it also needs to be allowed to vent in a healthy way and be heard in a constructive way.

When certain triggers cause arousal it is also important to learn to cope with these issues.  Breathing Retaining is a way to control one’s breath and avoid hyperventilating which is common during arousal and extreme anxiety caused by PTSD.   Other forms of relaxation and meditation can also be useful to manage arousal symptoms.  Progressive Muscle Relaxation is an excellent tool in gradually relaxing all muscles through contracting and relaxing muscles from head to toe.  Autogenic Training is also a mind body connection similar to self hypnosis that looks to calm the mind.  Another successful tool is eye movement.  Eye movement works by visualizing the trauma and not allowing to exceed an anxiety ranking about the SUD scale of 5 which is irritating but bearable.  After this is reached, one focuses on two objects and switches back and forth, moving the eyes slowly.  For many, 2/3rds to be precise, feel some type of relaxation after this procedure is experienced multiple times.

PTSD is trauma not processed. Please also review AIHCP’s Stress Management Consulting Program


In regards to flashbacks, many also utilize eye movement, but grounding is an equally effective method.  Grounding involves one touching something in the present, whether the arm of a chair or the soft touch of a carpet on one’s feet.  Stomping one’s feet, or even naming things in one’s surrounding can help one ground oneself in the present.  Another way to combat flashbacks is through safe place imagery.  Safe place imagery is a pre-arranged place one can go.  It first requires one to select an image that confirms safety and focusing on it and the feelings.  One should then find this safe place in their mind.  Another mental option is split screen, which one mentally portrays within one’s mind.  In it, one screen is the past and the other screen is the present.  Realizing that the past is the past can sometimes let one focus on the present screen.  Finally, a feeling dial imagery can also help some.  In it, one imagines a radio or numerical dial in which they visualize lowering from ten to one in regards to how they feel.

These are just coping strategies and it will take a far more deeper treatment plan to eventually help one with PTSD but these coping strategies open the door and help the person begin the long process to complete integration of trauma material into the long term memory.  They are useful in allowing the person to enter into society, face fears and find the healthy outcome they wish.

Ultimately, healing and treatment will  lead to less intrusive thoughts, flashbacks, dreams and distressful associations.  It will help individuals remember without detachment.  It will help one to recall feelings without arousal and detachment.  It will aid with anxiety, sexual discomfort and depression, as well with isolation from the company of others.  Ultimately, treatment will help one integrate the loss, reframe it and move forward into the future.  In future blogs we will review common treatments for PTSD

Please also review AIHCP’s Stress Management Program and see if it meets your academic and professional goals.  The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification in Stress Management.

Related source: The Post Traumatic Stress Disorder SourceBook by Glenn Schiraldi, PhD

Stress Management Consulting Certification Blog on PTSD

Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome is a severe reaction to a stressor so intense that it imprints upon the mind and brain its terrifying nature.  The long lasting effects can result in intense anxiety as well as for some dissociation disorder.  The effects can last months after or continue to haunt the person throughout life.   In previous eras, it was referred to as Shell Shock as experienced by WWI soldiers but while many soldiers experience PTSD, it can happen to any group of person.

Traumas can be related to war but also to any type of traumatic event than can happen in civilian life as well.  Among the type of traumas imposed upon the person include intentional traumas caused by other humans which are the hardest to overcome, as well as human caused accidents and acts of nature, which are usually easier to recover.  It is more difficult to overcome intentional acts of humans because these acts of trauma are most associated with evil itself.   War, abuse, rape, incest, torture, criminal assault, hostage, bombings, terrorism, suicide, kidnapping, riots, participating in violence, and death threats are a few examples of these severe types of trauma.

Human caused traumas not associated with evil intent still can cause trauma but they are not as mentally crushing to the individual.  These types of traumas include industrial accidents, fires, explosions, motor vehicle or plane crashes, nuclear disasters or collapses of buildings.   Less traumatic but still impactful or acts of nature, which include any type of storm or geological event, or sudden deaths not associated with evil intent.

Trauma so severe can cause anxiety and dissociation. Please also review AIHCP’s Stress Management Program


Many individuals suffer greatly in this world and the above stressors and trauma inducing events are well above one’s average bad day but are life altering events in many cases.  This can cause severe trauma and not allow the mind to properly process the event.  The exposure to this stressor leads to an intense fear or horror to the event itself.   In assessing PTSD, the events must be re-experienced via intrusive recollections, dreams, and hallucinations that can be activated due to similar cues.   The individual in turn will attempt to avoid numerous things to escape these intrusive reminders.   The individual will try to block thoughts, feelings, places,  and activities to avoid it.  They will disassociate in events and people and try to detach themselves.

In essence, the PTSD interrupts life in all aspects.  Individuals will have trouble sleeping, become irritable easily, not be able to concentrate, become hypervigilant, and have exaggerated responses to some stimuli.  This type of behavior can last acutely for one month, chronically for six months or more and can even be delayed, well after the event and re-emerge months later.

Those who suffer from PTSD face two major symptoms, high levels of anxiety and dissociation.

Severe anxiety leaves the person in constant distress even if the stressor is no longer present.  It can manifest physically upon the person through fatigue, tension, nausea, digestive track inflammation, hyperventilation, suffocating feelings, and a wide array of panic attacks.  Emotionally it can cause irritation, fear, exaggeration of emotions and loss of confidence.  Mentally, anxiety can cause confusion, lack of concentration, poor memory and inability to make decisions.  Spiritually, one may encounter hopelessness and despair.  Many look to avoid stressors that naturally cause these feelings and the person will become more reclusive.

In regards to dissociation, most healthy individuals possess an associated consciousness that engages in life, but when a trauma so terrible occurs, the mind does not process the terrible event in long term memory and it is trapped in short term memory.  Without proper processing, the trauma continues to haunt the person.  It is hence natural, during a horrible event to dissociate from it.  When something is so horrible to comprehend, the body for its own protection will tune out.  Unfortunately, the unprocessed and walled off trauma is highly unstable and very accessible.  It is also very emotional and non verbal and hence impressionable via our senses.  The trauma is very fragmented and associated with multiple triggers due to this.  The senses of sight, sound, smell, taste, touch, pressure and pain can all awaken these fragmented traumas and cause recollections.  The trauma can also be re-awakened by significant dates or seasons or events, as well as tied to strong emotions, thoughts and behaviors.   Sometimes the arousal is due to a combination of senses.

Dissociation looks to defend the individual from the horrific nature of the event itself.  During a horrible event, the person may depersonalize from the event itself, as if separating from oneself and watching.  Another form of this is derealization where the person real believe the event was not real but a dream.  Some individuals actually lose parts of the memory itself.  Amnesia and forgetting the event looks to help the person forget the horrific nature of it all together, while some may enter into a fugue where an individual has no memory whatsoever of how one got from one place to another during the episode.

The worst type of trauma is the type caused intentionally by other people. Please also review AIHCP’s Stress Management Consulting Program


The most severe form of dissociation is Dissociative Identity Disorder when a person actually creates multiple identities to deal with the trauma itself.  Also known as Multiple Personality Disorder, one creates other personalities with stronger characteristics to protect the host from the trauma itself.

Associated with dissociation and anxiety are a variety of associated features that can become attached to PTSD.  Many individuals who suffer from PTSD also exhibit a variety of these features in their behavior.

When severe trauma occurs, many have a death imprint that forever changes their outlook on life.   This leads to repeating within the mind how they wish they behaved or acted.  In this, they may feel extreme shame or guilt, or survivor guilt.  Others will develop a severe anxiety with any topic of death itself.   With severe trauma, others may also experience shattered world views.  One may doubt his or her faith or question how one exists.  Such an existential crisis is very common.

There are also a variety of mood disturbances that one may encounter fights with depression and also addiction. Impulsive behaviors can also occur  where individuals try to make sudden changes to escape the pain as well as over compensations in other roads of life.   Some will also try to relive their trauma and re-enact them in contrast to others The mind also can negatively affect the body and there are a multitude of physical ailments that occur from chronic pains to fatigue and exhaustion.

To escape the mental pain, many will turn to other forms of pleasure.  In addition to addiction, some become overtly sexual to find value, while others may turn to self mutilation.   These cries for help are attempts to express pain that cannot be visualized or seen.   In other cases, this type of behavior looks to cover mental pain with physical pain.

Ironically, it can paradoxically relieve pain and help individuals become addicted to self harm.  Others remark it helps them feel alive or makes them feel empowered and in control.  Others reiterate it can be used to make themselves less attractive to prevent further abuse or imitate what was seen or experienced.

Unfortunately, without guidance and help, these symptoms and unhealthy coping mechanisms will continue with individuals with PTSD unless helped.  They need to face the trauma and understand it.  Guidance is required to help process the horrible memory to the long term processing centers of the brain.

If you would like to learn more about AIHCP’s Stress Management Certification, then please review and see if it meets your academic and professional goals.  The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification in Stress Management.  AIHCP also offers programs in Crisis Intervention as well.  Remember, that even if certified, one still need to be a licensed professional in the mental health fields to work with individuals suffering from PTSD.

Related Text

The Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Sourcebook: A Guide to Healing, Recovery and Growth by Glenn R Schiraldi, Ph.D



Meditation Instructor Program Article on PTSD and Transcendental Meditation

PTSD is a severe reaction to trauma.  It haunts millions, especially veterans who have witnessed war at its worst.  Transcendental Meditation may be able to help individuals relax and process the trauma in more productive ways.  It has the possibility to heal the mind and soul through the process.

PTSD is a serious condition due to severe past trauma. Please also review AIHCP’s Meditation Instructor Program


The article, “Could transcendental meditation treat PTSD?” from MedicalNewsToday takes a closer look at how Transcendental Meditation can help veterans with PTSD. The article states,

“A common plot device in fiction finds a character overcoming past traumatic experiences by finally confronting their pain. In real life, recovery is not so simple. While therapies for people with PTSD typically focus on facing one’s trauma, a new study finds that the restful effects of TM may more readily help people with PTSD heal.”

To read the entire article, please click here

Please also review AIHCP’s Meditation Instructor Program and see if it meets your academic and professional goals.  The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification as a Meditation Instructor