> Skip to content

Article  •  7 May 2017

 

PTSD survival tips

Ten coping strategies from Simon Gillard’s Life Sentence.

In his powerful memoir, former police officer Simon Gillard details his life in the force with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and how easily one man’s life can spiral so out of control. He is now working to create awareness about mental illness, and wrote Life Sentence to help other sufferers. Here are just a handful of Gillard’s suggestions to help navigate the darkest of times.

1. Early intervention
The earlier you get help the more chance you have of recovery. Putting your hand up and reaching out to seek help as early as possible is far braver than hiding your feelings.

2. Survivor
I love the word ‘survivor’. My daily mantra is: ‘I am strong, I am alive, I am a warrior. Most importantly, I’m a survivor! Nothing can defeat a survivor, not even my own mind.’

3. Naysayers

The disbelievers will always be there. Don’t let anyone stop you achieving your dreams or being yourself.

4. Accept
I have PTSD. I have depression. I have anxiety. I accept that. And so what? I’m human.

5. Small steps = big change
The big picture makes normal chores like housework, exercise and everything else seem insurmountable. Break it down into achievable bite sizes.

6. Mindfulness / Breathe

Mindfulness is about being in the present, and the power of controlled breathing is the best drug, and grounding technique, you will ever have. Your mind feels clearer, your body feels relaxed and your tense muscles loosen.

7. Be nicer to yourself
Don’t beat yourself up; take one day at a time.

8. Get fit

Healthy body, healthy mind. Get moving! Eat healthily.

9. Educate yourself – knowledge is power

I researched PTSD, depression and anxiety extensively. The more you educate yourself, the more you listen to your therapists and put their advice into practice, the more you can acknowledge and learn what is going on with you.

10. New beginnings come from the end of another beginning

I am on my way – I won’t stop! I am not cured and don’t profess to be, but I’ll give it my all.

 

 

If you ever need to talk, beyondblue offer a Support Service by phone (1300 22 4636) or online at www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support


Life Sentence Simon Gillard

How a dream job became a nightmare

Buy now
Buy now

More features

See all
Article
Did you know? Bill Gates reads 50 books a year

Bill Gates, the billionaire founder of Microsoft, credits his hefty reading list for his success.

Article
The Glucose Goddess’ number one trick for dessert without the sugar crash

If you love dessert but hate the sugar crash that follows, this trick is for you. Jessie Inchauspé – AKA The Glucose Goddess – shares her top tip for enjoying sweets, so you can have your cake and eat it too!

Article
Tap into your inner knowing with this super easy exercise

Have a big decision to make? Don’t know which direction to go in your life? Now might be the perfect opportunity to tap in to your inner knowing.

Article
Lynette Noni shares sage advice for developing lifelike characters

Lynette Noni, bestselling author of YA fantasy The Prison Healer trilogy shares how she creates unforgettable characters that feel like real people.

Article
Shirley Marr shares experience as child that inspired new book

‘That memory will stay with me for a long time, it was really touching and something I will always remember.’

Article
Why the Australian outback makes a perfect setting for crime novels

An intro to the bourgeoning genre of outback noir.

Article
We’re giving away a one-of-a-kind Penguin bookcase

... and more (including $1000 cash and $500 worth of books)!

Article
Article
Cop and Robber Reading Group Questions

If your mum was a cop and your dad was a criminal who needed your help to commit a crime, would you do it to save him?

Article
5 key ways to re-establish control of your body and mind after trauma

Bessel Van der Kolk provides some key guidance on how to reclaim your life after trauma in his insightful book, The Body Keeps the Score.

Article
The greatest middle grade books of 2022

Gripping new stories for ages 8–12.

Article
QUIZ: Which Emily Henry book should you read?

If you're a fan of contemporary romance with humour and wit, you've probably heard of Emily Henry - find out which of her novels you should pick up with this handy quiz!

Looking for more articles?

See all articles