What is PTSD?
PTSD is a mental health condition caused by traumatic incidents. This is especially common among war veterans and aid workers because of the harrowing experiences they have to endure over fairly long periods of time. Treating PTSD is a time-consuming process that involves both psychological treatments and medication. Several diving programs have already been developed in America as a recreational therapy method alongside PTSD treatments for those suffering from PTSD.
Development and Symptoms of PTSD
The severity of PTSD can vary greatly from person to person for several reasons. These include how long the traumatic event lasted, how emotionally the person was involved 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 from society and lead secluded lives. This can make the condition even more severe over time. While for some individuals, PTSD symptoms may begin right after a traumatic incident, there are many cases where symptoms may not 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 associated with the traumatic event, which has drastically changed your self-confidence and confidence, are some other symptoms. The feeling of illogical fear or shame going hand in hand with the first symptoms resulted in being paranoid or hyper-excited at any time.
7 Reasons Why Diving Can Help With PTSD
Scuba diving can be used as a positive side-activity associated with psychological treatments and drug programs designed to stabilize/ improve or restore health. First of all, diving encourages the individuals to go out of the seclusion 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 first responders who suffer from PTSD, diving provides a physical activity that is safe, enjoyable and boosts their 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 bearable with PTSD
Sunlight stimulates the production of serotonin in the body, which can stabilize/ improve or restore the recovery process both mentally and physically. Scuba diving is a skill that must be learned, and this learning process can keep the mind of the person concerned from thinking about the traumatic incident. Positive distraction is one of the most proven methods of treatment for PTSD. The more passionate you are about the activity, the faster you will stabilize/ improve or recover from the traumatic stress conditions.
3. Making new friends
Scuba diving courses are usually conducted in groups, allowing individuals with PTSD to meet peers who share the same passion as they do. Having a friend or companion they can converse with and share their experiences with can lead to openness about the circumstances they normally hide.
4. Group support
This could be another person suffering from 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 also more bearable than living in isolation. Another important benefit of diving as a stabilizing/ amending or recovery method for PTSD is the physical benefits that individuals receive. A traumatic condition can cause them to develop habits such as excessive consumption of food which can lead to obesity or its opposite, which can cause anorexia.
5. Active and Healthy Lifestyle
Both conditions can be prevented by participating in a positive physical activity such as diving. Trained muscles in the body provide better and healthier cardiovascular endurance that also helps stabilize/ improve or recover from PTSD.
6. Spectacular Therapeutic Views
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 in better control of the stress attacks you can get from PTSD.
7. New passion and perspectives
Most individuals who dive during stabilization/ improvement or recovery tend to continue the activity even after. Having a hobby or habit that they are passionate about gives new purpose to their lives, which will positively affect their lives overall.
While there are many ways and stabilization/ improvement or recovery processes for PTSD, diving is a great alternative with elements of fun with a group of like-minded people, great underwater therapeutic view, interacting with marine animals and adopting an active lifestyle and a new passion or hobby such as underwater video-/ photography.