PTSD, or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, is a mental condition that has many different symptoms and many different causes. It is a condition that is a result of experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event. That event may be sudden like a car wreck, or it may have been sustained trauma, like domestic abuse, or serving time in a war zone. PTSD is different for everyone and the triggers, or stimulation that causes PTSD symptoms, vary from person to person.
PTSD Symptoms have four main types:
Intrusive memories: This type refers to thoughts that you cannot control regarding the trauma. This includes flashbacks, which can be so vivid it is like reliving the event. This also includes dreams and nightmares about the event and can result in severe emotional and physical distress.
Avoidance: Meaning that the person avoids thinking of or speaking about the traumatic event. They may also avoid people, places, and activities that remind them of the trauma.
Negative changes in thinking or mood: Some may experience negative thoughts about themselves, other people, or the world. They may feel hopeless about the future or feel emotionally numb. Some feel detached from family and friends and experience difficulty maintaining close relationships. Some people may experience memory problems and not remember important aspects of the traumatic event.
Changes in physical and emotional reactions: A person may be easily startled or frightened. Some are always on guard for danger. They may engage in self-destructive behavior. Some people have difficulty sleeping or concentrating which can result in irritability and aggressive behavior. It is not uncommon for people to wrestle with crushing guilt or shame.
Coping with PTSD
One of the most debilitating aspects of PTSD is that symptoms vary in intensity depending on a person’s level of stress or by exposure to triggers. Managing symptoms of PTSD is like rafting down a river. Gentle flowing water can turn into rapids in a moment and you need the right paddle or people to navigate the flow.
Cannabis can help you handle your symptoms.
CBD for calming. CBD is not psychoactive. It is reportedly beneficial for calming anxiety both physically and mentally. CBD can be a good substitution for THC since THC can sometimes intensify anxious reactions. Highly potent CBD strains like Charlotte’s Web, Harle-Tsu, and Ringo’s Gift can quickly reduce a PTSD symptoms when inhaled by vaping, pipe, or hand-roll.
Utilized terpenes for focused symptom relief. There are a few key terpenes, found in our dried flower, that are beneficial for PTSD symptoms.
- Myrcene: Myrcene is found in mangoes and is a great help in alleviating mental chatter and thought loops that can increase anxiety.
- Limonene: Limonene is found in citrus rinds and is beneficial for reducing symptoms of anxiety, depression, and stress.
- Linalool: Linalool is found in lavender and is beneficial for reducing anxiety and stress. Especially combined with a high CBD strain like Charlotte’s Web.
- Terpinolene: Terpinolene is found in lilacs and can ease anxiety and stress making it a wonderful aid to maintaining a positive mindset.
All of our flower varieties are labeled with their most prevalent terpenes so shopping is easy!
Other ways of managing PTSD symptoms:
Meditation. Many have found that meditation can help to control intrusive thoughts by learning to focus your mind. There are meditation apps, like Headspace, that will guide you through different meditations if you don’t know how to start.
Physical Activity. Moving your body and getting active have been proven to help curb emotional distress, maintain a positive mindset, and keep you motivated.
Art Therapy. Creativity is a great way to help your mind process trauma and start to move beyond it.
Service animals. Trained PTSD service animals are beneficial for helping to cope with symptoms. Though any animal, trained or not, that you love will be beneficial to you emotional health.
If you’re overwhelmed by your PTSD symptoms—get help.
Verdes Foundation knows that Veterans who selflessly served our country are disproportionately affected by PTSD. We are here to offer our education and support to you as you navigate your symptoms.
You should also seek counseling and care from a medical health provider, counselor, or spiritual guide.
Remember, you are not alone.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. Press option #1 for the Veteran’s Crisis Line.