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What Helps Cherie, 54, With Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

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Editor's Note

Any medical information included is based on a personal experience. For questions or concerns regarding health, please consult a doctor or medical professional.

With our ongoing “What Helps Me” series, The Mighty is leaning into what sets us apart from other health sites: We aim to provide real health advice from real people who live it.

• What is PTSD?

In this spirit, we asked our community for the best insights and tips they’ve developed for managing their conditions. As always, they responded with their unique health stories and we are happy to pass along their well-tested resources to you.

Responses have been lightly edited for clarity.

Today, we meet Mighty member Cherie. She is 54 years old and lives with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Cherie, what helps you?

THE MIGHTY: What helps you most when your condition affects your physical health?

CHERIE: My cats, eating veggies, putting my bare feet in the grass, and getting a hug from my son or husband all help me. These are all things that ground me when my PTSD makes my brain feel as if wild horses are running around in it. If I am unable to focus, I try to remind myself to ground myself.

What helps you most when your condition affects your mental health?

If I feel sad, anxious, or frustrated with myself, listening to music helps me. Writing, showering, reading, or doing a mundane task, like handwashing dishes, helps distract my brain.

How do you cope when your normal self-care isn’t working?

I will text my sister, my son, my husband, or one of my friends. Also, coloring or taking a drive on a back road is helpful to me. If I start to have a panic attack, distraction is helpful. I distract by playing Solitaire, taking a walk, or gardening. Sometimes crying is good for me too.

Thank you to Cherie for her contributions to our community. Did you find this helpful? Add your gratitude in the comments.

Originally published: May 25, 2022
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