mental health lawton oklahoma

Coping with PTSD


Each day can be a struggle when living with PTSD. PTSD is a psychiatric disorder that develops after a traumatic event that causes prolonged fear, emotional and physical stress, and vivid flashbacks. Many people associate PTSD to military members and veterans, specifically men above the age of 16. But PTSD knows no age or gender and impacts approximately 8 million Americans every year. 

There are ways to cope with PTSD that help make each day less of a struggle. Follow these suggestions to help manage your PTSD on a daily basis.


People with PTSD experience higher levels of stress and anxiety. It is very important for these individuals to find time in their day for prayer, meditation, or other mindfulness techniques. This can be helpful for the strength of our body and mind. If it seems daunting or impossible, remember there is no right way to perform these tasks. Just to find calmness within yourself.

Experts suggest beginning with one or two minutes per day of quiet mindfulness. The goal of that time is to stay focused on the present without any threat of fear or judgment. Gradually add more time as you go, offering yourself moments to experience a sense of calm and learn how to balance yourself if you begin to feel overwhelmed or anxious.


Moving our bodies and getting fresh air can be beneficial in coping with PTSD. Exercise helps regulate mood and emotions. Just as it is important to learn how to calm your mind, it is also important to get your body moving. Research shows that physical exercise helps our brains better cope with stress. Just a 10-minute walk per day can benefit our mood and help to relieve anxiety and depression. Here are some things to keep in mind as you get started:

  • Find an activity you enjoy
  • Set small goals
  • Be consistent
  • Listen to music or podcasts
  • Ask a friend to join you
  • Be patient with yourself
  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Make sure to dress for the weather

Participate in Counseling for PTSD

Talking with a professional such as a counselor or therapist can be very helpful when you are struggling with PTSD, even if it might feel a bit intimidating.

A key element to long term success is talking to a trained person who is available to offer support and guidance in your recovery. Find someone you feel comfortable with, that you find trustworthy and knowledgeable, and be consistent in attending your sessions.

Keep a Journal

Journaling is a helpful technique to help people relax and collect their thoughts. It offers a place to go back and reflect on past experiences. Research shows that people who keep a journal decrease occurrences of flashbacks, nightmares and intrusive memories. Journaling helps them slowly reconnect to people and places that they may otherwise want to avoid.

Other coping strategies include:

Flashbacks can be very distressing, but there are things you can do that might help. You could:

  • Focus on your breathing. When you are frightened, breathing  becomes abnormal. This increases feelings of fear and panic. It’s important to concentrate on breathing slowly in and out while counting to five.
  • Carry an object that reminds you of the present. Some people find it helpful to touch or look at a particular object during a flashback. Keep something that brings your calmness and peace in your purse or pocket to help when an unsettling thought appears.
  • Tell yourself that you are safe. It may be hard to think you are safe during a flashback. If so, write it down on a piece of paper and keep it close and read it while you are feeling unsettled.
  • Comfort yourself. Curl up in a blanket, cuddle with a pet, listen to soothing music or watch your favorite movie.
  • Keep a diary. Making a note of what happens when you have a flashback could help you spot patterns in what triggers these experiences for you. You might also learn to notice early signs as they are beginning to happen.
  • Try grounding techniques. Grounding techniques can keep you connected to the present and help you cope with flashbacks or intrusive thoughts. For example, you could describe your surroundings out loud or count objects of a particular type or color. (See our page on self-care for dissociative disorders for more information on grounding techniques.)

Ketamine Infusion Therapy for PTSD

Research shows Ketamine Infusion Therapy can help ease anxiety and depression linked to PTSD. Do you struggle with PTSD, or depression and anxiety related to your PTSD? We’d love to meet you and see if Ketamine Infusion Therapy may help you.



coping with depression

Depression: Taking it One Day at a Time

Depression. It drains you. Oftentimes, you know the things that will make you feel better, but you just can’t seem to find it in you to make yourself do it. Your drive, hope, energy- it’s all just nonexistent. The thought of even making the effort to get better is exhausting. 


No one wants to open up about something sad and heavy like depression, but you should not give in to the thought that you are all alone in how you feel. After all, it is estimated that 15% of the adult population experiences depression at some point in their lifetime.


Although recovery is difficult, you must know, even when it is hard to believe, that recovery IS possible! You are more capable than you give yourself credit for, even in cases where depression is severe and stubbornly persistent. 


Here are four ways you can combat depression each day. 


Mood-boosting activities 


So, what’s the secret to success? Every day, you must build on doing normal, mental health-boosting activities. You may not have much energy, so start small. Draw on all your reserves, and choose one activity, and commit to completing it daily for a week. The next week, try doing one activity in the morning and one in the afternoon or evening. Continue to increase from there. 


The first step is always the hardest one. What boosts your mood may not boost someone else’s as much. You may have other ideas for your personal mood-boosting list, but here are some suggestions to get you started:


  • Spend time outdoors walking, hiking, or just enjoying nature (even 15 minutes of daily sunlight is a great mood booster!) 
  • Dance to your favorite music 
  • Prepare a healthy meal
  • Call a family member
  • Meet a friend for dinner or coffee
  • Attend a class at the gym 
  • Pick up a new or old hobby
  • Express yourself creatively through writing, music or art


Keep stress in check


Depression worsens with stress or stress can trigger a new cycle of depression. So, in return, get a grip on stress by determining what triggers stress. Is your current job too overwhelming? Are you in a relationship that is not going well? Are you struggling with financial difficulties? 


What ways can you improve these problems? If it’s money, consider meeting with a finance coach or listening to some podcasts on finances to make a plan to budget or manage debt. Have a relationship problem? Is it time to move on or consider counseling? If it’s work, is it time to consider cutting back some hours or finding a new position? 


Another way to combat stress is to practice relaxation techniques. Yoga, deep breathing, and meditation are all ways to relax. There are dozens of apps and music playlists available that may help. 


Seek support and care for others 


When we aren’t doing well, we focus on our cloud of depression. When we feel needed, however, we are able to refocus and have a more positive outlook. Some activities that may help include volunteering, visiting a nursing home, or adopting a pet. 


Consider joining a support group for depression too. Not only will it help you step out of isolation, but there is great comfort in discovering you are not alone in your struggles. A support group helps you find and give encouragement, learn how to cope, and release the heavy feelings you carry through sharing your experience. 


Support your health


Those with depression tend to sleep too little or too much. Try to get the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep per day. Try to establish a good sleep schedule as well which includes a routine bedtime and waketime. 


Exercise is also a powerful tool in fighting depression. Research shows that regular exercise may be as effective as medication in relieving depression symptoms. It also helps to prevent relapses once you’re well.


Shoot for at least 30 minutes of exercise per day. Even ten minute increments can be very beneficial. Pair up with someone if you struggle with consistency when exercising. Having a partner to encourage and hold you accountable is powerful.


Last, but certainly not least, consider your diet. What you eat directly impacts the way you feel. Certain foods can negatively impact your mood such as sugar, alcohol, caffeine, trans fats, and foods with high levels of hormones or chemical preservatives.


Do you think you may have depression, but you’ve never been diagnosed? Is your current depression treatment not helping? We would love to visit with you. Learn more about the symptoms of depression and the treatment we provide at




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