The above article documents initial experiments that show how if you experience a stressful and traumatic experience like rape or car crash or gun wound or assault, talking to someone about it in a safe environment can reduce the chance of PTSD symptoms developing later by 50%. The timing is important because you don’t want the fear and negative associations to settle into your mind and body long term, so before your mind and body convert those responses of fear to stimulus into long term memory, you want to relive the horrific experiences in a safe place to build up memories of safety to counter the fear.
Example: If you are assaulted in a car and you develop a fear of getting into your car, it is important to relieve the experience with someone who can serve as a therapist shortly after the event to persuade yourself that assault in a vehicle is the exception to the rule and not the rule, that way your body’s habit of triggering fear when you approach the car will not settle in permanently.
If you are dealing with PTSD long term, there is still hope: with help from multiple therapies available, over 80% success rate can be achieved in overcoming PTSD. But this article’s main message is for educating you on a life skill for if anything ever happens to you in the future: find a good friend/family member/therapist and recount the experience shortly after in order to process the event and not let it take over your life.
This post is part of AttemptedLiving’s Life Education Curriculum, a collection of core knowledge everyone should have.