Healing from Trauma

by Mental Health

Question from Quora: 

Can one heal from PTSD without using medications? I hear PTSD doesn’t just apply to war veterans. It could be affecting anyone and we wouldn’t know it ourselves unless someone brought it to our attention.

Photo by Dan Meyers on Unsplash


Absolutely you can move forward in life into personal growth, greater expression in experiences and healthy relationships. If that isn’t healing, I don’t know what is. And none of these things require medication, no matter what label has been applied to a set of maladaptive behavior. 

PTSD is not, as you correctly point out, solely happening within our women and men in military service. Any traumatic event has the potential of generating behavior classified as PTSD. Importantly, this trauma nor the later behavior says anything about your worth as a human being. Nor does this say anything about your level of “strength.” Who you are is not limited to any label, whether such is a healthy one you’ve chosen for yourself or one given to you through diagnosis.

Medications can help heal from trauma but they are not required for living healthy lives. Further, sometimes they may be helpful for a short time and then later removed. Also, like the label, whether you use them or not says nothing about who you are or the “strength” of your character.

Moving through PTSD involves looking at your resources, particularly your relationships, both with others and yourself.

Identify Support

  • Are you accepted for who you are and engaged with by others and yourself in ways that allow for personal exploration, challenge and growth?
  • Are you comfortable with identifying what you Value and finding new ways to express your support for them?
  • Do you have a community that encourages new experiences, lets you explore interests in new ways and includes people who share these interests?

The reason these previous questions and determining support systems is so important is that PTSD, like other issues related to anxiety/trauma, often results in isolation and removal from self-exploration. In the, totally understandable, desire to avoid feeling the anxiety, terror and discomfort, we build walls that eventually block us into a smaller and smaller space. The horrible irony is that ultimately this process results in us having only the terror itself as our companion.

Thankfully healing from trauma is possible; the world and each one of us, is bigger and filled with possibility, no matter how debilitating and limiting a label leads us to initially believe.

Related Posts


Question Your Feelings, But Don’t Dismiss Them

Question your feelings. This is how we start the exploration of the 2nd Untruth, "always trust your feelings." We will define affect, the wholeness of our emotional experience, labels as a short-hand for communicating a physiological experience to others, and the...


Self-Care Instead of Self-Harm

The stories of our life frame our potential for self-care or self-harm, resilience or fragility, and set us up for an array of behavior that can life affirming or diminishing. The original saying was, "whatever doesn't kill us, makes us stronger" but no more....


Sharing Humanity Within Conflict

Raised voices. Increased heartrate. Narrowed vision. All the physical hallmarks of a discussion that devolved into argumentation and conflict. That these same physical experiences can also be seen when participating in a game with a team or during intensely...


Setting Goals within Your Values

Setting goals and not achieving them too often leads us to shame and self-doubt. I want to encourage you to possibly stop goal-setting for a moment and focus on what you care about. Start with livable goals that begin with what you're already doing, succeed from a...

Mental Health

Putting Consequences in their Place

Working with clients going through difficult times, many questions come up concerning fairness, justice, and responsibility. The world, it becomes painfully obvious, doesn't respond to our thoughts the way we'd like. Our pictures/stories of 'what should be' rarely...