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How Effective is Therapy For Overcoming PTSD? (4 Tips, Stories & Examples)

by Hugo

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Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a debilitating condition that haunts countless individuals, leaving them trapped in the shadows of their traumatic experiences. The relentless grip of PTSD not only disrupts daily life but also shatters the hope of a peaceful existence.

However, therapy has emerged as a beacon of hope for many, offering transformative strategies and real-life success stories that illuminate the path to recovery. We’ve interviewed 18 people struggling with PTSD. Out of those people, 13 said that therapy helped them overcome PTSD. Let’s see what helped these people most.

๐Ÿ‘‰ Share your story: Help thousands of people around the world by sharing your own story. We would love to publish your interview and have a positive impact on the world together. Learn more here.

Most recent stories

We’re constantly interviewing people about their journeys. Below are the 3 most recent interviews we’ve published with people who struggled with PTSD but learned to live with it with the help of therapy.

4 tips from the people we’ve interviewed

Therapy is an effective way to overcome PTSD. Here are 4 stories from others that will show you the different ways that therapy has helped others overcome PTSD.

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1. Erik overcomes PTSD & OCD through therapy and passion

Erik DaRosa shares his profound journey from the shadows of PTSD and OCD. Having spent a significant portion of his life in New York City, including the harrowing events of 9/11, Erik’s move to Snowmass Village, Colorado marked a turning point in his quest for mental well-being.

Diagnosed with PTSD in December 2021, Erik’s battle with the disorder and OCD had been a silent one for decades. From a young age, he was plagued by crippling anxiety, intrusive thoughts, and obsessive rituals that consumed his daily life. These challenges left him feeling isolated, different, and broken, with the weight of his struggles concealed from the world.

The pivotal moment in Erik’s journey came at the age of 33. Amidst a dissociative episode, he sought therapy, driven by the desire for a better life. His diagnosis with PTSD that December provided clarity, allowing him to address the root cause rather than just the symptoms.

Erik’s healing journey has been multifaceted. Regular therapy, medication, mindfulness practices, and reiki have played crucial roles in his recovery. A serendipitous introduction to skiing, suggested by his therapist, became a transformative experience. This newfound passion not only served as a therapeutic outlet but also paved the way for a fulfilling career as a ski instructor.

Erik emphasizes the importance of open conversations about mental health. His advice to others is clear: “Talk about your struggles with someone else.” By shattering the stigmas surrounding mental health and embracing vulnerability, individuals can find strength, support, and a path to healing.

Here’s a link to Erik DaRosa’s full interview for more insights and advice.

๐Ÿ’ก By the way: Do you find it hard to be happy and in control of your life? It may not be your fault. To help you feel better, we’ve condensed the information of 100’s of articles into a 10-step mental health cheat sheet to help you be more in control. ๐Ÿ‘‡

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2. Lydia’s journey of navigating autism, ADHD and PTSD with self-acceptance and therapy

Lydia comes from a small rural town. With diagnoses of Autism, ADHD, dyslexia, anxiety disorder, depression, and C-PTSD, her story is about acceptance and adaptation. Lydia faced challenges like forgetfulness, lack of emotional control, and dyslexia. The pressure to conform and misunderstandings from peers and educators amplified her feelings of isolation.

College was a transformative period for Lydia. It was then she recognized the need to understand and adapt to her conditions rather than trying to “cure” them.

Medication, especially Vyvanse, became a cornerstone of Lydia’s management strategy. She also developed coping skills, such as setting alarms, using whiteboards for reminders, and practicing “soup breathing” for anxiety.

Lydia emphasizes embracing oneself and seeking help when necessary. She suggests not fearing medication and finding coping mechanisms that work individually. She also points to platforms like the Reddit subreddit r/ADHD for support.

Read Lydia’s full interview for more insights.

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3. How Haeun overcame PTSD and rediscovered trust after trauma

Born with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Haeun’s life took a tumultuous turn when she faced sexual assault in her university years. This traumatic experience, coupled with a subsequent similar incident, led to the onset of PTSD. 

She began to harbor intense resentment towards people, especially men, feeling betrayed by the lack of assistance during her traumatic episodes. This anger manifested in various ways, from auditory hallucinations urging her to confront men to an inability to control her emotions around them. Even simple touches from her mother would evoke memories of the trauma, leading to feelings of disgust and anger. Nightmares became a nightly ordeal, and Haeun began to believe that her appearance made her an easy target for such assaults.

The #MeToo movement in her home country was a beacon of hope for Haeun. Through it, she discovered she wasn’t alone in her struggles and began to understand her symptoms better. This realization prompted her to seek therapy and counseling, which became instrumental in her healing process.

Haeun embarked on a journey of self-healing, starting with reading books about PTSD. She participated in group counseling with other sexual assault survivors, which provided a sense of belonging and understanding. This was further supplemented by Pain Exposure therapy and Dialectical Behavior Therapy under the guidance of a PTSD specialist. Over time, she also reconnected with her faith, finding solace and forgiveness through her spiritual beliefs.

Haeun emphasizes that one’s worth is not determined by the actions of an offender. It’s essential to remember that happiness and trust can be regained. She encourages others not to lose hope and to believe that they will one day be grateful for their resilience.

Read Haeun’s full interview for a deeper understanding of her journey and insights.

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4. Alana finds solace in self-reflection and mindfulness

Alana delves into her personal struggles with anxiety and the overwhelming pressures of life. Growing up in a world filled with societal expectations and the constant need for validation, she found herself grappling with self-worth and inner peace.

Dealing with anxiety, Alana found it difficult to navigate the complexities of life. The constant comparison with others, the fear of missing out, and the weight of societal expectations made her feel trapped in a cycle of self-doubt and unease.

It was during her time in college, amidst the chaos of assignments and social life, that Alana realized the need for change. She recognized that her happiness shouldn’t be contingent on external factors and began her journey of self-discovery.

With the help of mindfulness practices and self-reflection, Alana began to find clarity and peace. She started journaling her feelings, practicing meditation, and focusing on the present moment. These techniques allowed her to reconnect with herself and find solace in the midst of chaos.

Alana’s advice to others battling similar challenges is clear: “Focus on the present and practice self-reflection. It’s essential to understand yourself and find what truly makes you happy, rather than seeking validation from external sources.”

Here’s a link to Alana’s full interview for more insights and advice.

๐Ÿ’ก By the way: If you want to start feeling better and more productive, I’ve condensed the information of 100’s of our articles into a 10-step mental health cheat sheet here. ๐Ÿ‘‡

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Wrapping up

The journey of overcoming PTSD is deeply personal and multifaceted, as evidenced by the diverse experiences of those we’ve interviewed. While the shadows of trauma can be daunting, therapy stands out as a powerful tool in navigating the path to healing.

๐Ÿ‘‰ Share your story: Help thousands of people around the world by sharing your own story. We would love to publish your interview and have a positive impact on the world together. Learn more here.

Hugo Huijer AuthorLinkedIn Logo

Founder of Tracking Happiness, with over 100 interviews and a focus on practical advice, our content extends beyond happiness tracking. Hailing from the Netherlands, I’m a skateboarding enthusiast, marathon runner, and a dedicated data junkie, tracking my happiness for over a decade.

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