Munson Health
Reducing Your Risk of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

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by Scholten A
Because PTSD is usually a delayed responses to events over which you had no control, it is nearly impossible to reduce your risk. However, you can reduce your risk for negative psychological consequences after experiencing trauma with a variety of lifestyle and psychiatric techniques.

Join a Support Group

Many communities have support groups for survivors of trauma. Groups can provide emotional support and understanding to help you cope with your feelings. It may feel awkward to meet new people and talk about yourself, but with regular attendance most people eventually feel more trusting and open.

Join an Alcohol or Drug Treatment Program

Many survivors of trauma use alcohol or drugs to help them deal with or forget their feelings about the trauma. While this may seem to have some benefits in the short-term, it always makes things worse in the long-term. If you are using alcohol or drugs to cope with trauma, get help so that you can stop. A treatment program or group program is often the most effective way to stop using alcohol or drugs. Ask your doctor for referrals for treatment.

Begin a Regular Exercise Program

Exercise can provide a healthy outlet for your emotions, distract you from worries and disturbing memories, and help increase your self-esteem and feelings of control. Walking, jogging, swimming, weight lifting, and other forms of exercise can help reduce physical tension. Talk to your doctor before you start an exercise program.
For more information on starting a regular exercise program, click here.


National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder website. Available at:

Anxiety Disorders Association of America website. Available at:


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