How Long Does It Take To Heal Posttraumatic Stress Disorder?
We all want to know how long it takes to heal posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). I know you want to heal yesterday, but the truth about PTSD, according to its diagnostic criteria, is that it doesn’t clear up overnight like a bad rash. Instead, we each have our own healing journey that has its own timeline. Settle in now for the long haul. Be realistic about what you are attempting to do. Give yourself permission to take the time you need. Decide you will be patient. And remember, how long it takes to heal posttraumatic stress disorder varies.
How Long It Takes to Heal PTSD Varies
Both your history and your trauma have created PTSD circumstances that are unique to you. This means that how long it takes to heal PTSD in your case can only be determined by your own process. While we all want one, there is no crystal ball.
Factors that influence the length of healing time required include:
- Family of origin
- Support (both personal and professional)
- Resources (especially financial)
- Consistency of healing work
- Length of trauma
- Type of trauma
- Length of time struggling with PTSD
While all of these influences can make the process speed up or slow down, your potential for healing remains the same. That is, even if you have struggled with PTSD symptoms for over 25 years (like I did) your potential to heal still remains strong (Today, I'm 100% free of all PTSD symptoms.).
What It Takes to Heal PTSD
Obviously, healing PTSD means understanding PTSD symptoms, plus finding a treatment approach with which you feel comfortable. But there's another component that's incredibly important and that we don't talk about enough: Commitment. PTSD recovery always includes fear of the changes it requires. Fear is the number one thing that hijacks healing, which means you need to develop a way to move past the fear, plus continue with healing despite it. That's where commitment comes in.
Committing to the idea of healing means knowing you will:
- Have great successes that make you feel you are almost at the finish line
- Have terrific failures that make you feel you will never be free
- Face challenges that threaten to destroy you
- Be asked to do things you don’t think you can (or even want to) do
- Be required to face who you have been, are and want to be – and make difficult choices about each one
Not exactly a picnic. But committing to the idea of healing also means:
- Affirming your will to survive survival
- Confirming your desire for freedom
- Deciding you will triumph over trauma
- Choosing to take back your power
- Moving past trauma and getting on with your life
The pros outweigh the cons, don’t you think? Whenever your commitment wavers – which it will – stand still, take a deep breath and ask yourself this question: “Do I really want to live this way forever?” If the answer is, "Yes," then sit yourself down and really enjoy those PTSD symptoms. If the answer is, "No," then throw your shoulders back, hold your head up and walk forward with as much force and power as your body can stand.
How long it takes to heal PTSD varies but winning against PTSD starts with your attitude. Develop a strongly committed one.
Michele is the author of Your Life After Trauma: Powerful Practices to Reclaim Your Identity and Heal Your PTSD: Dynamic Strategies that Work. Connect with her on Google+, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and her website, HealMyPTSD.com.
Rosenthal, M. (2015, July 2). How Long Does It Take To Heal Posttraumatic Stress Disorder?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, January 24 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/traumaptsdblog/2015/07/how-long-it-takes-to-heal-ptsd-varies
Author: Michele Rosenthal
Everybody has their own journey and different ways of healing.
Myself, I was in a hole for a long time and only recently getting back to the surface.
The most important thing is to give yourself time, it’s not a race!
The mind is a very strange beast, just when you think you are on top of the world it can turn upside down on you. It’s very important to realise the symptoms of when you are feeling down and take ownership of those feelings and not letting them control your existence.
At the end of the day they are only thoughts.
Be kind to yourself above everything ?