5 Ways to Manage PTSD Triggers


A well-known psychiatrist and renowned author named Bessel Van Der Kolk has done decades-long research on post-traumatic experiences. His remark, “Trauma comes back as a reaction, not a memory,” holds true in all respects.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental condition that involves some trauma-induced psychological stress. The trauma can be due to any accident, either experienced or witnessed, leading to some emotional loss and damage. Pain specialists in the St Louis region believe that there has been a rise in such cases.

The tendency of a brain to recall extreme memories relates to PTSD. During any traumatic experience, one either fights, flies, or freezes. This moment is then captured by the mental, emotional and physical memory. If the mind or body recollects any such moment, the person experiences a similar trauma. It seems as if the trauma happens all over again within themselves.

The symptoms of PTSD can vary from moderate to severe. The person tends to react in different emotional and physical ways that can also manifest as pain. Hence, pain management becomes an integral part while managing PTSD.

Do The Symptoms Occur All The Time?

With time, one tries to let go of the trauma and returns to everyday life. However, certain conditions or situations act as the trigger for the person, and the flashback begins all over again. The result can be agony, irritation, emotionally overwhelming, physical reactions, etc. 

What Can Trigger PTSD?

Usually, a person would not be affected by regular activities. However, there might be the following senses and events that could trigger the trauma all over again:

  • Sounds And Visuals:

Some sounds, words, or visuals are associated with a traumatic experience. Any such repetition triggers the person’s psychological response and leads to stress.

  • Places And surroundings:

There is always a memory of where a particular incident occurred. When any similar view or surrounding is viewed again, there is a trigger to the trauma and its associated emotion. 

  • Time And Event:

Some occasions, like anniversaries, birthdays, etc., might have a more intense emotional association if some trauma happened on that day. That part of the year can act as a trigger for the person. 

  • Emotional Distress:

Specific emotional and psychological ailments such as anxiety, depression, and loneliness can make a person vulnerable to stress and anxiety. 

How Can PTSD Be Treated?

Once recognized and diagnosed, it is vital to find a way to tackle it. It might not always be necessary to suppress the overwhelming emotion; instead, learn to channel it into something less harmful. The following techniques could prove handy:

  • Breathing Control And Channelization :

When any traumatic experience triggers the person, the emotions become uncontrollable and distressed. However, this is the point of intervention. The quickest and most efficient way of doing so is to control one’s breath. 

However, one must practice it regularly and develop control to make it prompt. So, your brain knows what to do when PTSD is triggered the next time!

  • Getting A Pet:

The dog is said to be a man’s best friend. Similarly, many other pets have been proven to help alleviate the emotional health of humans. 

Pets, especially dogs, can sense any emotional distress, and having a playful friend helps. Touching them gives a sense of security to one’s mind and body. This way, the triggers are calmed. 

  • A New Hobby:

Our neural network is designed in a way that seeks newer and more curious things. Developing a relaxing hobby calms the mind and allows one to find unique ways of looking into existing situations. For example, painting and artistic hobbies can become channels of expression through which one can express emotions more healthily. 

  • Physical Control :

It is a well-known fact that a healthy mind resides in a healthy body. Hence, a physical workout routine is vital in keeping psychological expressions in check. Hitting a gym or going for a run can express the short emotional trigger in a better way.

  • Psychiatric Support :

Traumas are present in almost everyone’s life and have a significant existence. Hence, ignoring them can only make the condition worse. It is, therefore, better to seek medical help if you find it difficult to manage the distress on your own. 

  • Medications:

Physical and behavioral therapies can be combined with the use of medications. Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) are one of the most commonly prescribed drugs.  As PTSD symptoms include depression as well, SSRIs can act as antidepressants.  Benzodiazepines are a class of drugs that are occasionally used as supplementary, short-term treatments. Benzodiazepines are efficient, fast-acting drugs, but they can also lead to addiction.

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy:

By altering your thoughts and behaviors, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) seeks to help you handle challenges. A variety of psychological approaches are employed in trauma-focused CBT to assist you in processing the traumatic incident. For instance, your therapist might advise you to confront your unpleasant memories by elaborating on specific details of your event. Your therapist assists you in managing any distress you may be feeling throughout this process while pointing out any unhelpful ideas you may have about the event.

The Bottom Line

PTSD is pretty much like any other disorder that demands attention and care. However, the handling must be sensitive and careful when associated with emotional and mental conditions. One can look for Interventional Pain Management Clinics for assistance in coping with PTSD. 


Leave a Reply