PTSD and Thunderstorms

Overcoming fear of Thunder: PTSD and Thunderstorms

PTSD is a mental health disorder that stems from a traumatic event in the past that causes intense problems in our present lives, including depression, stress, flashbacks, anxiety, panic attacks, and much more. Someone who suffers from PTSD can find that their condition becomes worse during specific times, and storms can be one of those times. 

After all, a thunderstorm (or hurricane, blizzard, flood, or any other type of major weather event) can be extremely frightening; natural disasters can certainly be traumatic and they can disrupt lives dramatically. If you have PTSD and you are also afraid of thunderstorms, there are a number of things you can do to help reduce your stress and fear and protect your mental health.

Get Prepared

It’s important to be as prepared as possible when a storm is coming. Nothing can be done to change the weather, but some things can be done to change how you receive it when it happens.

The first thing to do is to create a plan. This plan, whatever it may be, will help you to reduce the level of fear you are feeling. You might have feelings of worry about the safety of your family but if you know what to do and where to go, you know that you and your family can be kept safe.

Make an evacuation plan and have safety kits prepared in advance. You may not need to use these (it will depend on the severity of the storm), but it is best to be prepared.

You should also make sure you keep informed so that you are not taken by surprise when the storm reaches you. Again, being in the known will help you to keep your anxiety levels lowers.

Talk to those around you about your fears. There is no point in keeping quiet and hoping for the best. If you let others know that you are afraid and that you are concerned your PTSD may be triggered, they will be able to help you and be better informed.

After The Storm

When the storm is over, hopefully, it won’t have caused much (if any) damage and you will be able to examine yourself and your home and be assured that all is well.

If the storm was more severe and there has been a lot of damage, look at ways you can help. It will help you to deflect your feelings about what has happened if you can get stuck into work. You can help neighbors to repair roofs and fences, for example, or remove debris from roads to allow vehicles to pass through. 

In extreme circumstances, you can give blood to help the wounded, or offer those without anywhere to stay a room for a few nights until they get themselves a more permanent arrangement.

The important thing to remember is that you shouldn’t do anything that doesn’t feel right and that won’t positively affect your mental health. If that means you need to go home and not think about the storm or anything else, then that is what you need to do. However, talking things through should always be done, no matter what your next steps might be. 

Overcoming your fear of thunderstorms and PTSD

Post traumatic stress disorder can be difficult to overcome due to the time and consistency it usually takes to start seeing the effects of therapy or medication. However, the stellate ganglion block is a new PTSD breakthrough injection that has been found to significantly reduce the symptoms of PTSD, including anxiety, panic attacks, anger, rage, and depression. 

The stellate ganglion block for PTSD is an injection of local anesthetic into the stellate ganglion, which is located on the right side of the neck. In those with PTSD, extra amounts of nerve fibers are found to sprout from the stellate ganglion, which is believed to cause an overactive ‘fight or flight’ response. This PTSD injection treatment works to numb the region of the stellate ganglion and overtime, decrease nerve growth factor, which is responsible for the extra nerve fibers sprouting. 

In the long run, the SGB for PTSD neutralizes the ‘fight or flight’ response and brings the abnormally high levels of adrenaline back to normal. The SGB injection for PTSD has recently been recognized as an effective way to treat PTSD. 

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