How To Help A Loved One With PTSD

Your partner, your sibling, a friend or a colleague. If someone you know is suffering from PTSD then it’s a wholly overwhelming and difficult time for everyone involved. It can be difficult to know how to help your loved one, after all, you just want them to move on and be happy, but sadly with this serious mental health condition, it’s not that easy.

Of course, there are treatments and coping strategies that their doctor or medical health professional can provide and prescribe them with, and if you really want to help someone who is suffering from PTSD, then that should be your first step. PTSD can affect anyone from soldiers and military personnel – you can find out more about PTSD VA rating here, just click the link – to police officers, teens, young children, mothers, grandparents and everyone else in-between. 

Here we’ll look at some simple and straightforward ways you can help a loved one with PTSD.

Photo by Sydney Sims on Unsplash

Do lots of “normal” things 

There’s a difference between failing to acknowledge your loved one’s current mental state and working hard to ensure that things are as normal as possible for them. Despite their current battles, your loved one will benefit from doing “normal” things and not having everyone treading on eggshells when they’re around. So, enjoy brunch together, hit the gym, laugh, watch movies and sing songs, help them pursue the hobbies that they loved before their trauma. 

Don’t pressure them into talking about their trauma

You want to lend a helping hand, you want to help understand what they’re going through, but you feel that the only way you can do that is by having all the facts. Unfortunately, many PTSD sufferers find talking about their trauma stressful as it can often trigger flashbacks and traumatic memories. The best course of action is to let your loved one know that you’re there if they need you and you’re happy to talk and support them at any point during their treatment.

Boost your own knowledge 

What do you really know about PTSD? The symptoms, how to recognise a flashback or a trigger, the right things to say, breathing techniques and what causes PTSD? Keep yourself updated on the latest practices and health information. 

Be patient

The recovery and ongoing treatment of someone suffering from PTSD may take its toll on you too. The recovery process isn’t going to be straightforward and as soon as you think your loved one is making process; you may find that there are setbacks that leave you back at square one. You need to be patient, do your best to remain positive and support them as much as you can.  

Minimize stress at home

The home can be a stressful place, with so much going on it’s not easy to find somewhere that’s quiet and peaceful. Ensuring that your loved one has somewhere that they feel safe and can fully relax will certainly help them.

Communicate

If your loved one recognizes when they’re going to have a panic attack or they understand the triggers that set them off, speak with them to ask how you can help and come up with a plan where you can help them while the episode passes.

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