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7 Amazing Benefits of Overcoming PTSD with Scuba Diving

7 Amazing Benefits of Overcoming PTSD with Scuba Diving

PTSD or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a mental health condition caused by facing traumatic incidents such as battling in combat, facing sexual assault, accidents, natural disasters or similar.

This is mostly common among war veterans due to the distressing experiences they have to face over rather long periods of time when they serve in active war zones. Treating PTSD is a process that takes a long time which includes both counseling and medication along with guiding them to engage in soothing activities that help in recovery.

For a long period of time, there have been many scuba diving programs as a recreational therapy method alongside PTSD treatments for those who are suffering from PTSD.

The aim of this article is to take you through the process of overcoming PTSD with scuba diving.


Development and Symptoms of PTSD

The severity of PTSD can be vastly different from one person to another for a variety of reasons.

These include how long the trauma lasted, how emotionally close the person was to the event that occurred, the level of control the person left when they were on that occasion and also how much of a support and help the person has had after the traumatic incident.

More often than not, PTSD patients tend to alienate themselves from the society and live a secluded life. This can make the condition develop even more severely with time.

While for some people PTSD symptoms can start right after a traumatic incident, there are many instances the symptoms do not show until sometimes years later the incident, making it difficult for themselves 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 connected to the traumatic event, having your self-esteem and confidence negatively changed drastically are a few other symptoms. Feeling illogical fear or shame go hand in hand with the initial symptoms resulted in being paranoid or hyper-aroused at all times.

7 Reasons on How Scuba Diving Can Help PTSD

Scuba diving can be used as a positive side activity that goes along with counseling and medication programs that treat PTSD.

First of all, scuba diving encourages the patients to get out of the seclusion of their homes to the most picturesque destinations in order to do scuba diving. Traveling long distances with company helps them to not only to see new places but also to have positive societal interactions as well.

1. Build Up Confidence

Especially for war veterans who are suffering from PTSD, scuba diving offers a physical activity that is safe and enjoyable which instills their confidence.The exposure to sunlight and healthy vitamin D is also known to reduce psychological disorders in a healthy and harmless way.

2. Speed Up Recovery

Sunlight stimulates the production of serotonin in the body, which can speed up the recovery process both mentally and physically.Scuba diving is a skill that you should learn, and this learning process is able to keep the mind of the patient away from thinking about the traumatic incident.

Positive distraction is one of the most proved methods of treatments to PTSD. The more you feel passionate about the activity, the faster you will recover from the traumatic stress conditions.

3. Meet New Like Mind Friends  

group scuba diving

Group Scuba Diving. Photo Credits: Klaus Stiefel

Scuba diving programs are usually done in groups, which enables the patients of PTSD to meet people who share the same passion as them. Having a friend or a companion with whom they can converse and share their experiences can lead to opening up about the conditions that they naturally tend to hide.

4. Group Support

This could be another person going through PTSD, or someone who has lived a completely different life than the patient. Having a friend to share your experience with as you recover from PTSD does not only make it easier but also known to give faster results than continuing to be in seclusion while getting treatments. 

Another important benefit of engaging in scuba diving as a recovery method for PTSD is the physical benefits that the patients get. A traumatic condition can lead them to develop habits such as excessive consumptions of food which can lead to obesity or the opposite of it which can cause anorexia.

5. Adopt Active and Healthier Lifestyle 

Both these conditions can be avoided by engaging in a positive physical activity such as scuba diving. Toned muscles in the body caused to a better and healthier cardiovascular endurance which helps in a speedier recovery as well. 

6. Spectacular Therapeutic Views

Scuba diving also includes interacting with the wonderful life under the sea including many sea creatures. Observing and interacting with animals lower and stabilize the heart rate of a person, which helps in having a better control in the stress attacks that you get due to PTSD. 

7. New Passion and Outlook

Most of the PTSD patients who engage in scuba diving while going through recovery tend to continue the activity even after. Having a hobby or a habit that they are passionate about gives a new aim and a purpose to their life, which will positively affect their life in general.


Conclusion

While there are many ways and recovery processes to help PTSD, scuba diving is a great alternative with elements of fun with a group of like minds, great underwater therapeutic visual, interaction with marine creatures and adopting an active lifestyle and a new passion or hobby such as underwater photography.

What's your opinions or experience on PTSD? 

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