recognise your risk and know the signs
Having a good support system and looking after your physical and mental wellbeing makes sense, but may not be within your control. Your workplace should offer training, support and risk management. Trauma Risk Management (TRiM) is a peer support system developed by the army and widely used in workplaces where personnel are exposed to a high risk of trauma.
debriefing can do more harm than good
People with mild symptoms of PTSD may get better within a month without treatment. But if the initial response to the trauma is severe, treatment should start sooner rather than later, otherwise it becomes harder to treat. Everyone who has experienced trauma should be given practical support in an empathic manner by health and social care-workers, but offering everyone one-to-one debriefing that focuses on the event isn't recommended and may do more harm than good.
The recommended treatment depends on the kind of trauma you have experienced and how the symptoms of PTSD affect your life, says Boyd. There is no one-size-fits-all approach, but recommended therapies include trauma-focused cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), eye-movement desensitisation and reprocessing treatment, which focuses on helping your brain to process the trauma. Medication can be used alongside other treatments. Some people find exercise, mindfulness and art therapies helpful. Your GP should be able to refer you for specialist help if necessary.
Dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) is a modified form of CBT developed by te US psychologist Marsha Linehan. CBT focuses on helping to change unhelpful thinking and behaviours, but DBT also focuses on accepting who you are and puts a lot of emphasis on your relationship with the therapist. The goal is emotional self-regulation, which means you can keep your emotional responses tolerable and within your control.