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Traumatic stress is caused by the shock of seeing or being involved in an extremely disturbing event. Soldiers who have been in combat, law enforcement officers who frequently witness violence as part of their occupation, and emergency medical personnel are the most common groups of people who experience traumatic stress, but they are not the only groups. People who are survivors of natural disasters, violent crimes, or accidents in which one or more people are killed have also been linked to traumatic stress. Anyone who has undergone a traumatic event may experience both physical and emotional symptoms afterward, including nervousness, fatigue, stomach cramps or ulcers, difficulty concentrating, anger or irritability and emotional numbness. People who have experienced traumatic stress do not always recognize or understand the impact of the event, or they may tend not to acknowledge the symptoms. They may not make the connection between the changes in their physical and emotional health and the traumatic event that triggered the symptoms. An experience of traumatic stress can lead to the anxiety disorder known as PTSD, or posttraumatic stress disorder.There are various ways that someone who has experienced traumatic stress can cope. The individual may find it helpful to consult with a mental health professional, such as a counselor or a psychologist. The psychologist can help the patient understand that the reaction to the traumatic event is normal. As an alternative, or perhaps a supplement, to visits with a mental health professional, the patient can join a support group geared toward helping people who have suffered a traumatic ordeal. People who have undergone traumatic events should refrain from isolating themselves. It is important that they reach out to those around them. It is not always necessary that the traumatized person discuss the event in question. However, it has been shown that social contact reduces stress of all kinds and traumatic stress is no different. A traumatized person should take care to live a healthy lifestyle. They may be tempted to engage in unhealthy behaviors as more immediate relievers of stress, but this is not a good long-term solution. Engaging in exercise, getting enough sleep and eating a nutritious diet will reduce the stress and help them regain their mental and emotional equilibrium. It is important that the patient not try to wipe out the memories of the event with alcohol, drugs or by engaging in compulsive, self-destructive behavior. These behaviors merely cover up the trauma and over time will result in greater problems for the individual. The only way to cope with the traumatic event is to deal with it properly.
Helping Psychology is brought to you by Argosy University. Argosy University offers a wide selection of bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degree programs in a variety of psychology concentrations at 19 locations across the nation.References: http://www.ehow.com/how_2088508_cope-posttraumatic-stress-disorder.htmlhttp://www.mayoclinic.com/health/social-support/SR00033http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/post-traumatic-stress-disorder-ptsd/index.shtml
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