How To Help Someone You Love When They’re Living With PTSD
You may have heard of post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD. It’s a serious mental condition that is incredibly debilitating and often makes the sufferers’ life, almost unbearable. PTSD occurs after an event that was dangerous, frightening, shocking, terrifying or horrendously traumatic – this is what’s referred to as trauma. You may think that those who have served in the military or seen combat are the kinds of people who are more likely to suffer from this mental condition – for more information regarding 100 percent disabled veteran benefits for spouse, click the link – however that’s simply not true. PTSD can affect anyone who has suffered through a traumatic event, such as a crime, sexual violence, a natural disaster, a serious accident or an assault.
There are many varying symptoms of PTSD, and the condition is very complex with no two cases being the same, however, the most common symptoms can include:
- Vivid and often realistic flashbacks
- Panic attacks
- Intrusive thoughts and images
- Constant alertness and irritability
- Feeling emotionally numb or cut off from others
If you know someone who is currently suffering from PTSD, or you think they might be suffering then it’s important that they speak with a doctor as soon as possible. Here we’ll also look at some simple ways you can help someone you love who is living with PTSD.
Make sure you’re listening
When we see people we love who are in pain or struggling, we want to scoop them up and take care of everything. However, when it comes to those suffering from PTSD, it’s important that loved ones feel listened to. Give them time to talk about what’s happening to them and how they feel. Allow them to express and have their own emotions about what has happened and their PTSD diagnosis. Don’t make assumptions about them and never dismiss their trauma or their current mental state.
Don’t put pressure on them
You want them to get over their trauma and their problems and you just want your loved one to be happy. However, putting too much pressure on them to simply “get over it” can have the complete opposite effect. Don’t blame them, give them time.
Know what to do if they’re experiencing a flashback
If someone is having a flashback, it can be distressing to watch. However, there are simple ways you can help them get through the moment.
- Remain calm
- Encourage deep breaths
- Let them know that you’re present
- Avoid any quick movements
- Let them know that they’re having a flashback.
- Reassure them that everything is OK.
The best way to help someone with PTSD is to educate yourself on the condition and make yourself aware of how it affects your loved one. Stick to reliable medical sites or reach out to mental health charities for more advice.
In the meantime…
If you’re concerned about a loved one and their mental state, speak with a doctor as soon as possible.