Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition caused by traumatic incidents. This is especially common among war veterans and first responders because of the harrowing experiences they endure over fairly long periods of time. The treatment of PTSD is a time-consuming process that involves psychological treatments as well as medication. In America, several diving programs have already been developed as a method of recreational therapy in addition to PTSD treatments for those who suffer from PTSD.
Diving with PTSD
What is PTSD?
Development and symptoms of PTSD
The severity of Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can vary greatly from person to person for several reasons. These include how long the traumatic event lasted, how emotionally involved the person was in the event that happened, the level of control the person left when they were at that event and also how much support and support the person has had after the traumatic event!
More often than not, individuals with PTSD tend to alienate themselves from society and lead secluded lives. This can make the condition even more serious over time. While for some individuals, PTSD symptoms can start right after a traumatic incident, there are many cases where the symptoms sometimes don’t appear until years later, making it difficult for them to understand the cause.
Having recurring memories and frequent nightmares of the event are two of the most common symptoms of PTSD – these are called flashback or re-living symptoms. The tendency to strictly avoid people or places related to the traumatic event, which has drastically changed your self-confidence and confidence, are some other symptoms. The feeling of illogical fear or embarrassment going hand in hand with the first symptoms resulted in being paranoid or hyper-aroused at all times.
7 Reasons why diving can help
Scuba diving can be used as a positive side activity accompanied by psychological treatments and medication programs aimed at stabilizing/ improving or restoring the state of health. First of all, scuba diving encourages individuals to go from the solitude of their homes to the most picturesque destinations for diving. Getting together with peers helps them not only see new places, but also have positive social interactions.
1. Build trust
Especially for war veterans and rescue workers suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), scuba diving offers a physical activity that is safe, enjoyable and boosts their self-confidence. The exposure to sunlight and healthy vitamin D is also known to reduce mental disorders in a healthy and harmless way.
2. Making life with PTSD bearable
Sunlight stimulates the production of serotonin in the body, which can stabilize/ improve or restore the recovery process both mentally and physically. Diving is a skill that must be learned, and this learning process can take the person’s mind away from thinking about the traumatic incident. Positive distraction is one of the most proven methods of treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The more you are passionate about the activity, the faster you will stabilize/ improve or recover from the traumatic stress conditions.
3. Make new friends
Scuba training is usually conducted in groups, allowing individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to meet fellow sufferers who share the same passion as them. Having a friend or companion they can converse with and share their experiences with can lead to an openness about the circumstances they normally hide.
4. Group support
This could be another person suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or someone who has lived a very different life from the person. Having a friend to share your experiences with as you stabilize/ improve or recover from PTSD makes it not only easier, but more bearable than living in isolation. Another important benefit of scuba diving as a stabilizing/ improving or recovery method for PTSD is the physical benefits that individuals receive. A traumatic condition can lead them to develop habits such as excessive consumption of food that can lead to obesity or the opposite of it which can cause anorexia.
5. Active and healthy lifestyle
Both conditions can be prevented by participating in a positive physical activity such as scuba diving. Trained muscles in the body provide better and healthier cardiovascular endurance which also helps to stabilize/ improve or recover from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
6. Spectacular prospects
Scuba diving also involves interacting with the beautiful underwater life including many sea creatures. Observing and interacting with animals lowers and stabilizes a person’s heart rate, which helps with better control of the stress attacks you can get from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
7. New passion and prospects
Most individuals who dive during stabilization/ improvement or recovery tend to continue the activity even afterward. Having a hobby or a habit that they are passionate about gives a new purpose to their life, which will positively affect their life overall.
While there are many ways and stabilization/improvement or recovery processes regarding post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), scuba diving is a great alternative with elements of fun with a group of like-minded people, great underwater therapeutic view, interaction with marine animals and adopting an active lifestyle and a new passion or hobby such as underwater video/photography.