PTSD, or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, affects thousands of people across America who have suffered from stressful accidents, terrorist activity, or abuse, and it also often affects those who have served in the military. For many, the idea of going back to their former activities or jobs following a traumatic experience is daunting or even impossible due to the stress of anxiety. Social situations often become difficult to endure because people or places can trigger bad memories, leading to isolation and even depression.
There are many wonderful ways for PTSD sufferers to ease back into social situations, however, and many of them can even prove to be therapeutic. Here are five of the best jobs for those living with PTSD who want to make a smooth transition back into social situations.
Walk or Pet Sit Dogs
Working with animals can be relaxing and can greatly assist with rehabilitation after a traumatic event. Dogs are especially great animals to work with and can form a bond with their caregiver that lasts for years. Fortunately, sites like Rover.com offer pet owners and responsible animal lovers a place to find one another, set up face-to-face meetings, and work out payments. So many pet owners these days need someone to come and let their pet out during workdays, take them for walks, or act as pet sitters in their home or yours. This sort of job can be greatly effective for PTSD sufferers who want to ease into more social situations by giving them a chance to work with a flexible schedule and the responsibility of taking care of another living being.
Work With Horses
Like dogs, horses are known for their calming, therapeutic effect on sufferers of anxiety and PTSD. Because these animals have similar social behaviors to humans and will give immediate reactions to direction and emotion, they are often used to help sufferers of ADD, mental disorders, dementia, and emotional disorders. Many states have programs that promote these types of therapies, including some that are specifically for veterans.
Tutoring in a subject you’re passionate about, such as art, math, or music, can be a great way to become more social without committing to a potentially stressful, full-time job outside of the home. Not only does it have the potential to help keep the brain stimulated, it affords PTSD sufferers the ability to keep their own schedule and earn some money while dealing with one or two people at a time. It’s also a quiet job, which can be helpful to those who require stress-free environments.
Counseling teens or victims of abuse can be highly rewarding for PTSD sufferers, who may be extremely sympathetic due to their own experiences. While it requires quite a bit of interaction with others, limiting counseling sessions or clients may help keep things low-key until you’re ready to move on to more social situations.
Working in a high-pressure environment like a busy restaurant isn’t always the best option for someone who suffers from PTSD, but there are quieter environments that allow for a cook to work at a slower pace, such as in a small hotel, cafe, or bookstore with an eatery inside. There are also jobs available for prep work, which usually requires early hours and allows for the employee to come in, prepare ingredients, and work mostly on their own with limited interaction with others.
Suffering from PTSD can be overwhelming for some, but for those who want to orient themselves into a more social life, there are options available that offer flexible schedules and the ability to potentially work in a healing environment.
Julia Merrill is a retired board-certified nurse practitioner. Over the course of her 30-year career, she strived to bridge the communication gap between those seeking the best medical care and those working to provide it. She created BefriendYourDoc.org with the goal of sharing tips and insights into finding the right medical care, dealing with insurance companies, and ways for everyone to better maintain their own health and wellness.