Are you looking for a PTSD support group? Do you have a spouse or loved one living with PTSD? Are you looking for reviews or referrals for the best PTSD support groups? Do you need information about PTSD support groups? Do you have faqs about PTSD support groups? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you have come to the right place.
My name is Sean Galla. I am a group leader for online peer support groups for men, including PTSD support groups. If you are living with PTSD, one of the best ways to manage the condition is by joining support groups. These groups are resource centers for specialized care if you need it. They also offer a support network of people who have gone through PTSD and managed to beat the condition. Regardless of the cause of your PTSD, joining a support group is the first step to finding healing.
In this article, I will tell you everything you need to know about PTSD support groups.
Table of Contents:
What Is a PTSD Support Group?
When you go through a traumatic event such as an accident, military combat, assault, or a natural disaster, you can experience lasting effects on your mind that affect your mental health. While some people only experience short-term responses to these life-threatening events, others develop long-term symptoms that eventually lead to PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). The symptoms of PTSD can coexist with symptoms common in other conditions like anxiety, substance abuse disorder, and depression. It is important to get a comprehensive evaluation from mental health professionals before an individual treatment plan can be created. The treatment plan can include psychotherapy or other types of therapies.
Joining a PTSD support group is one of the recommendations you can get from your health care provider. A PTSD support group offers a safe place for PTSD patients to share, learn and be amongst other people going through PTSD.
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Why Should You Join a PTSD Support Group?
According to the national alliance on mental illness (NAMI) advocacy group, PTSD affects 3.6% of the adult population in the United States, making up at least 9 million people. At least 37% of the people diagnosed with the condition exhibit severe symptoms with women more likely to go through PTSD compared to men.
For most people, dealing with PTSD, like any other mental illness, is not something they can openly share with family members or loved ones. This is because it is extremely difficult for someone to understand what you are going through if they have never experienced the symptoms of PTSD. Joining a PTSD support group ensures you are amongst people who understand. This is because this group consists of people who are dealing with PTSD or have previously experienced flashbacks from the traumatic experiences in their lives.
Benefits of joining a PTSD support group include:
This is the main benefit of joining PTSD group therapy. When you are part of a group, you meet with other people going through the same issues, which reminds you that you are not alone. You get to be amongst people struggling with coping with PTSD. For instance, a PTSD support group for combat veterans gives you a safe space amongst other veterans with PTSD. This takes away the shame or judgment from your condition. If you are finding it hard to share with your family or friends your thoughts and feelings about a traumatic event you went through, joining a PTSD support group is the best decision you can make.
Learning from your peers
Learning from other people’s experiences is one of the benefits of joining a PTSD support group. You get to hear about different coping strategies for a common issue, which you can use as better coping mechanisms. You also get to meet people who have lived with PTSD for longer and managed to recover from the effects of this mental health condition. By being in the group, you learn how to foster relationships with the people around you without allowing PTSD to get in the way. You also get a chance to practice and learn new skills through group activities, which can be beneficial in the real world.
You get a chance to help others
Just as you can learn from the other members of a PTSD support group, you also have something to offer to the members. Your coping mechanisms and PTSD treatment plans can help other members of the group. Being able to be of service to other people is the best way to boost your self-esteem and enforce your belief in your abilities when coping with PTSD.
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You get social support
Group therapy is an excellent way of receiving and giving social support. Feeling the support of other people has a positive effect on your mental health when trying to overcome the effects of PTSD. Being in a group setting gives you the opportunity to grow trusting, supportive and healthy relationships with the members of the forum.
Coping Support and Living With PTSD
When you get a brain injury in form of trauma, the effects can be far-reaching and highly debilitating. PTSD symptoms can affect your work, physical health, mental health, and even your relationships. Some of the symptoms include feeling isolated, inability to trust people, difficulty maintaining a job, and difficulty expressing your emotions or thoughts.
Learning healthy PTSD coping mechanisms can make your treatment more effective. Being part of a PTSD support group is one of the best ways to learn coping mechanisms and forms of help available. Some of the most effective coping mechanisms include exercising, spending time with people, seeking counseling, practicing mindfulness, changing your lifestyle, and journaling.
Failure to seek help for PTSD can result in other mental health conditions such as eating disorder, bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety disorder, depression, and substance abuse disorder. According to research, people with PTSD are six times more likely to develop depression and five times likely to develop anxiety. PTSD also increases the chances of suicide by up to six times and a high rate of deliberate self-harm. It is paramount that one seeks help on the onset of PTSD.
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If you are struggling with PTSD, it is important to know your triggers. This way, you can avoid, people, places, or things that remind you of the traumatic experience. Triggers can be either internal or external.
Internal triggers include anger, muscle tension, vulnerability, sadness, loneliness, memories, and physical pain. External triggers can include news, anniversaries, people, places, holidays, smells, movies, or even TV shows. While it may be difficult to avoid all the triggers that cause flashbacks, it is important to learn healthy ways of responding to these triggers to be able to live a full life. Participating in a recovery program like a PTSD support group can ensure you learn of the best ways to deal with your triggers.
Recommendations for the Best PTSD Support Groups
The Counseling Center of Texas
The Counseling Center of Texas is a support group for people in Texas living with PTSD symptoms. It is open to anyone interested in benefiting from learning, looking for acceptance, understanding, and support through a group setting. They also offer specialized groups for family members and caregivers for people living with PTSD.
Innova Recovery Center
Innova Recovery Center support group offers a unique, beneficial, and flexible therapy model for PTSD patients. It works to make therapy accessible to people living with PTSD regardless of their locations or busy schedules. At Innova, you are connected with group members on the same path to recovery from PTSD as you. They offer support to people showing symptoms of PTSD or people already diagnosed with the condition.
Love Our vets
If you are a vet looking for support groups for vets with PTSD, Love our Vets caters to combat veterans going through PTSD. Through the book by the same title, families can get information about dealing with PTSD, joining a family support group, coping skills, and hope for recovery. This book is also ideal for vets living with PTSD, written by someone who has experienced PTSD firsthand.
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At Men’s Group, you will get all the support you need when dealing with PTSD. This is an online men’s support group with many other smaller groups, including PTSD support groups for men. Whether you are a young adult going through PTSD or a combat veteran haunted by your time in the war, mensgroup has the resource and help you need to manage your symptoms and live a better, more fulfilling life. Mensgroup recognizes the connections between other mental health issues and PTSD. If you are a trauma survivor looking for help to overcome your trauma and related symptoms, mensgroup as all the help you need.
Group therapy is an effective tool for overcoming any mental health challenge. PTSD can lead to isolation, making the conditions worse. Being part of a support group ensures you are always amongst people and that you have a free space to share and learn. As an online support group, you can be sure that there is an active session any time of the day. Mensgroup ensures you have a support network available, even in this COVID time where physical meetings are not recommended.
Living with PTSD can disrupt your life and that the lives of your family members. By joining a support group, you can get the help and support you need to as you face your symptoms and work on overcoming them. If you are interested in living a whole and complete life, joining a PTSD support group like mensgroup is the first step to recovery.
*Sources: 1. PTSD Facts and Statistics 2. PTSD statistics 2021 3. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: Evidence-Based Research for the Third Millennium 4. PTSD Research and Treatment Program 5. Posttraumatic stress disorder: from diagnosis to prevention