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PTSD, or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, can make you feel helpless. For those who experience bitterness or anger at their experiences, having a dog can help draw out feelings of love and acceptance. PTSD can make you feel all alone, and a dog can make all the difference when it comes to your healing.

Understand Your Feelings are Real

Your feelings after a traumatic event are real and nothing to be ashamed of. Be kind to yourself, as self-forgiveness can take you far when you are trying to cope with PTSD. Your feelings are legitimate. To get through difficult times when you are diagnosed with PTSD, you have to find ways to accept the love and kindness that is around you.

You Deserve Love

When you begin to see that you deserve love, your PTSD symptoms will be easier to manage. It’s hard not to be angry or bitter because of what has happened to you. Know that your response to the trauma is logical, but sitting with the anger and bitterness won’t heal you. For those who experience bitterness or anger at their experiences, having a dog can help draw out feelings of love and acceptance.

Practice Self-Care Techniques

Beyond finding the unconditional love of having a dog to help with your PTSD, it’s also important to practice self-care techniques. Many individuals who have been traumatized don’t feel worthy of self-care. In order to figure yourself for things that weren’t your fault, practice self-care. Take yourself out to a movie you’ve been wanting to see, get a pedicure, or visit with a friend. Find ways to take care of yourself so that you begin to heal from your trauma.

Kindness to Yourself Matters

You have to practice forgiveness, and that starts with yourself. When you have suffered a trauma, you may feel that you are to blame for the trauma. No matter what happened, you are probably not the cause of your own trauma. Everyone makes mistakes and sometimes a wrong decision is only apparent in hindsight. Start by being kind to yourself and forgive yourself for mistakes. You will feel better when you are able to recognize that you deserve forgiveness.

PTSD can be complicated to deal with. Start by being kind to yourself and recognizing that you deserve to heal. Find the love of a pet, and don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.

References:

National Center for PTSD | Self-Help and Coping

Low VA Rates | How Dogs Can Help Combat Vets with PTSD

VeryWellMind | PTSD and Self-Compassion