When you have managed to successfully get out of an abusive relationship, you may think that your troubles are all behind you. However, being the victim of emotional, mental, and/or physical abuse in a relationship can leave a mark in the form of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The traumas you sustained throughout the course of your relationship can lead to intense flashbacks, nightmares, anxiety, mistrust, and intrusive thoughts, among many other symptoms. If you are struggling with PTSD after an abusive relationship, get to know some of the treatment options available to you. Then, you can get the help you need to manage and overcome your struggles with PTSD.
One of the ways to address PTSD symptoms is to start to address the traumas that caused them directly. Rather than trying to suppress thoughts and feelings about your trauma, exposure therapy (often referred to as prolonged exposure therapy) involves talking openly about your traumas themselves as well as the thoughts and feelings you have about them. It also deals with situations, objects, or other things that are triggers from the traumatic memories.
Most people suffering from PTSD will avoid certain things that might trigger their traumatic memories. However, avoidance does not work all the time and can make those traumas become even bigger monsters in the minds of trauma victims. Prolonged exposure therapy encourages the trauma survivor to face those triggers in addition to otherwise talking about their traumas. This could include listening to a triggering song in a therapy session and discussing the thoughts and feelings that come up.
The therapist will help guide you through this process as well as teach you techniques for coping with and addressing these reactions. You will learn breathing techniques and other coping techniques to manage your symptoms and desensitize yourself to those triggers.
Hypnotherapy is often used as an adjunct or supplemental therapeutic technique when a person is struggling with PTSD. Sometimes, a person will repress (entirely or in part) their traumatic experiences. However, they will still suffer from the symptoms of PTSD and have trouble overcoming them because they cannot directly access those traumatic memories. In such cases, some providers will recommend hypnotherapy.
Hypnotherapy involves deep relaxation as well as focused thoughts and deep concentration. A hypnotherapist will guide you through breathing exercises and mental and physical relaxation techniques. Then, they will ask you to focus and concentrate your thoughts on the traumas in your past. With any luck, this will help to uncover the details of those traumatic experiences so that you can deal with them directly in your therapy sessions.
Now that you know a few of the ways that you can treat your PTSD, you can schedule an appointment with a therapist as soon as possible to get your recovery started.