Active coping is a key part of recovery. It enables a person to accept the impact of the event they have experienced, and take action to improve their situation.

The following can help achieve this:

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  • learning about PTSD and understanding that an ongoing response is normal and that recovery takes time
  • accepting that healing does not necessarily mean forgetting, but gradually feeling less bothered by the symptoms and having confidence in the ability to cope with the bad memories

Other things that can help include:

  • finding someone to confide in
  • spending time with other people who know what has happened
  • letting people know what might trigger symptoms
  • breaking down tasks into smaller parts, to make them easier to prioritize and complete
  • doing some physical exercise, such as swimming, walking, or yoga
  • practicing relaxation, breathing, or meditation techniques
  • listening to quiet music or spending time in nature
  • understanding that it will take time for symptoms to go away
  • accepting that PTSD is not a sign of weakness but can happen to anyone
  • participating in enjoyable activities that can provide distraction

A number of helplines and other facilities are available for people who are or who may be experiencing the symptoms of PTSD.

Here are some numbers that may be useful:

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK
  • National Domestic Violence/Child Abuse/Sexual Abuse: 1-800-799-SAFE
  • National Youth Crisis Hotline: 800-442-HOPE

If you are looking for a therapist, make sure you find someone who is qualified and experienced in the field of PTSD. The Sidran Institute, a non-profit organization that provides help for people who have undergone traumatic events, offers some tips on how to find a suitable therapist.