I’ve been diagnosed with PTSD. What do I do?

I’ve been diagnosed with PTSD. What do I do?

If you have recently been told you have post-traumatic stress disorder (or PTSD) then you might feel worried or frightened by what this diagnosis means. Perhaps having a name for how you have been feeling up until now has given you some comfort. No matter how you feel, the biggest thing to know is that you aren’t alone. We’re right here beside you – as are many other people and organisations.

In the UK, it is estimated that one in four people experience a mental health problem each year, with 4.4 in 100 being diagnosed with PTSD. According to the NHS, post-traumatic stress disorder affects 1 in 3 people who have a traumatic experience, such as a car crash, be sexually abused, physical assault, near death involvement, time in military combat, witnessing a serious event, being involved in a natural disaster, or many other types of events.

In order to help you cope with your post-traumatic stress disorder, there are many hugely beneficial organisations set up to work with you and offer support, both emotionally and physically. From the NHS to SAMH and Mind, PTSD UK (that’s us!) to the Samaritans – whoever it is you need, you’ll hopefully feel supported through your diagnosis towards a pathway of rehabilitation and recovery.

Your Emotions

After your initial diagnosis, it is completely normal to feel a wave of emotions; from relief that your problem has a name and you know why you’re not feeling yourself, to hope that you might be able to find a way of coping with your symptoms, to fear of what your diagnosis means and how it might affect your life, to shock and denial about the fact it is happening to you – there’s a lot to process. Perhaps you feel ashamed or confused, angry about why it has happened to you or a sense of being out of control. It may be that you feel guilty it has happened or a sense of grief for your old life.

Keep talking

No matter how you feel, the best thing to do is stay open with your communication. Share how you are feeling with loved ones, friends, family or a trained professional such as your therapist or doctor. Whoever you choose to talk with it about, you need to be able to trust them. It might also be worth having a confidential chat with your work so they understand what you are going through and can give you any time off you may require. They may also be able to make accommodations for you, such as giving you a quiet office space or moving your desk so you don’t have your back to people.

Treatments and help

Hopefully by now you will have been told about the many available recommended treatments such as EMDR and CBT. There are a lot of medical and natural options, including some less discussed options, including kundalini yoga, equine therapy, ketogenic diet, running, and ocean and surf therapy. You might want to give some of these a go while you wait for the next stages of your treatment to begin. You can take a look on the PTSD UK blog to find out more about the multitude of ways for reducing your symptoms and dealing with your diagnosis – and we even have some practical help with hypervigilance from PTSD. There’s also a lot of other information available to educate you about post-traumatic stress disorder. Knowledge is power and it can help you to feel more in control.

The good news is that with the right treatment and support, PTSD is entirely treatable, and you will eventually start to feel better. It might feel like a long road ahead, and there will potentially be pot-holes for you in that journey, but the good news is that you are on the right path for where you want to be; and we’re here, with you, for the long haul.


REFERENCES: Nebraska Department of Veteran Affairs, NHS, Mind

Treatments for PTSD

It is possible for PTSD to be successfully treated many years after the traumatic event occurred, which means it is never too late to seek help. For some, the first step may be watchful waiting, then exploring therapeutic options such as individual or group therapy – but the main treatment options in the UK are psychological treatments such as Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprogramming (EMDR) and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).

Traumatic events can be very difficult to come to terms with, but confronting and understanding your feelings and seeking professional help is often the only way of effectively treating PTSD. You can find out more in the links below, or here.

PTSD UK Blog

You’ll find up-to-date news, research and information here along with some great tips to ease your PTSD in our blog.

Music Therapy for PTSD

Music Therapy for PTSD Music can connect us to strong memories (good and bad). It can move us and create a swell of strong emotion. It has been used for centuries to soothe or enchant, as well as to create

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How TRE can help people with PTSD

Tension and Trauma Releasing Exercises (TRE) for PTSD There are multiple ways to tackle the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. Which means even those people with complex and persistent PTSD can find a therapy – or combination of therapies –

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How writing can help people with PTSD

How writing can help people with PTSD An empty notebook can suggest limitless possibilities. It’s also one of the simplest and best tools to improve your mental health, including when you have a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder. Many people

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Narrative Exposure Therapy

Narrative Exposure Therapy and PTSD Among the techniques used to support people with PTSD is Narrative Exposure Therapy (NET). It can be a group work option or used for one-to-one counselling and support, as a short term intervention. NET is

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Decluttering, Organising, and Exercising

Guest Post: My Story, My Essentials: Decluttering, Organising, and Exercising for PTSD From yoga to acupuncture, surfing to forest bathing, there are a huge amount of activities and therapies that can help ease PTSD symptoms. In this guest post, Katie

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Case Study: EMDR Treatment – Sophie

Case Study: Sophie’s EMDR Treatment Sophie* underwent EMDR treatment after being diagnosed with PTSD following a trauma. Here, Sophie explains more about her EMDR treatment, what happened in her sessions, and how she feels EMDR ‘saved her life.’ (*Please note, names

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Are you looking to fundraise for PTSD UK?

THANK YOU!!  We are a small charity so our main goals at the moment are to increase awareness that we exist (so people can get the support and information they need) and to maximise fundraising to allow us to achieve our mission of supporting everyone in the UK affected by PTSD, no matter the trauma that caused it.