Understanding the recovery process of PTSD

Understanding the recovery process of PTSD

PTSD is entirely possible to recover from, however, it’s not always straightforward or simple.

Sometimes you may be putting obstacles in the way of your recovery. Understanding the blockers you’re putting in place (usually unconsciously) is the first step to eliminating them.

  • You feel unworthy: No matter what anyone says, your feelings are valid. Don’t listen to those ignorant of PTSD, or those voices in your head saying ‘it won’t work’- it can, and with belief, it will.
  • You’re moving too fast: Your brain, emotions and mind need to work together, so don’t rush the recovery process. Take the time you need.
  • You’ve lost your way: You may have approached one element of recovery which has taken you further away from the main trauma you needed to address – this may happen more with those with C-PTSD, but take time to recognise this feeling for what it is, and don’t lose motivation towards the end goal of full recovery.
  • Control: It’s normal to use control as a way of ‘staying safe’ however, in order for recovery to work fully, you need a free and open environment to work with. Trust that things can, and will, get better.
  • You’re overwhelmed: Going through treatment for PTSD can seem a daunting task – you feel lower than you’ve ever felt before, and so recovery seems like a long road ahead. Knowledge is power with PTSD – knowing what is involved in treatment can be a big comfort.
  • The emotional and physical cost: Your PTSD-led thoughts can make recovery seem like a costly process in terms of your feelings, relationships, money and time – understanding that you can return to the ‘old you’ will hopefully make it seems worthwhile.
  • Self-trust: You may not feel confident enough to take the right path of recovery, to choose the right treatment or to do what’s necessary to rid you of PTSD. Just follow the advice of the professionals, and trust yourself when it comes to you well-being.
  • Recovery isn’t balanced: If you concentrate too much on recovery, and don’t give yourself the space to breathe, it can be detrimental to treatment. Similarly, if you don’t focus enough on recovery, it may stop the progress. Make sure you give yourself the right time that you need.
  • Commitment: You need to emotionally ‘buy into’ your treatment and the recovery – without this, you’re disconnected from the purpose and can negatively affect the process – be dedicated to trusting that the treatment can be successful. It’s important you get the most from your therapist that you can.
  • Self-trust: You may not feel confident enough to take the right path of recovery, to choose the right treatment or to do what’s necessary to rid you of PTSD. Just follow the advice of the professionals, and trust yourself when it comes to you well-being.

If you recognise any of these feelings in yourself, sometimes it’s best stop trying to move forward and instead resolve the conflict of the obstacle in your way, then allowing your recovery process to move forward once more.


“For a long time I’d resisted professional help because I didn’t want to talk, period. The craziness in my head, the pain in my body, the fear in my soul. I saw it all as my personal burden and something that would destroy me if I tried to actually work with it.”

  • Being afraid of losing control
  • Feeling weak or ashamed
  • Not wanting to burden others
  • Feeling they may dishonour or forget about those they’ve lost through the trauma
  • Believing that others won’t understand
  • Wanting to avoid thinking about what happened
  • Fear that others will judge or pity them

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.


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

Case Study: CBT Treatment – Abby

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Case Study: EMDR Treatment – Rachael

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Case Study: EMDR Treatment – Emily

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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.