How to Help a Loved One with PTSD


 

It is possible to reestablish a healthy, whole life even with PTSD, but doing so is challenging. Here are a few things that will need to occur for this to happen.

Focus on Family-Centered Care for Your Loved One

Family-centered care is that wherein a woman's family (whomever she believes to be her support system) works together to provide her with support and structure. Educating these people, along with the patient herself, is important because stigma and lack of understanding at home will negatively impact her condition and her recovery. When they're knowledgeable about PTSD they're more likely to show compassion.



Help Your Loved One Overcome Mental Health Care's Stigmatization

It's important to understand that the way the nervous system reacts to stressors is automatic - beyond anyone's conscious control. A combination of factors are at play here (e.g. gender, childhood experiences, genetics, culture). Therefore you shouldn't consider it a "weakness" to develop PTSD. If your loved one says they feel guilty for needing your assistance, assure them that it's like any other health condition - it requires professional care and support.

Learn how PTSD Manifests in Your Loved One 

Things within the environment can bring back memories of the trauma. These are known as triggers. When they occur they'll transport your loved one back to the trauma, making them feel the intense emotions she felt when the trauma first unfolded. This will be different for everyone so find out what your loved one's triggers are and how you can support her when she encounters them.


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Learn About Your Loved One's Care 

Ask your loved one if they'll allow you to learn more about their care. You could possibly attend appointments with her. While there ask questions and get the answers you need so you can be supportive. Take some time to do your own research too. There are books and websites available to help you with this.

Create a Safe Environment for Your Loved One

It's important to remember that your loved one is learning how to re-establish a sense of safety in the world. Ask her what would make her feel safe in the different environments she encounters. Don't press for reasons why she's making these requests.


Always do your best to be compassionate. Your role is to be there to support her. Leave the rest in the hands of the professionals.


Comments

  1. I bet this is tough. I know my husband has PTSD so I do try to always be patient with him. I know it can't be easy.

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    1. It's a daily struggle. I'm sure your husband appreciates your patience.

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  2. These are some great ideas, it can be so hard to help someone who is suffering with PTSD, it is awful having to relive such moments.

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    1. Yes, it's hard but I know I'm thankful for the people who help me.

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  3. PTSD is so tough. Thank you for sharing tips to really help care for loved ones with PTSD.

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  4. Thank you for sharing this. My FIL has PTSD and I am always looking for ways to help him with it.

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    1. Your FIL is blessed to have someone who cares about him in his corner.

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  5. I am so blessed to not have anyone I know with PTSD. It sounds like it must be hard for both the person with it, and the family, but it's good to know there are ways to help.

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    1. It's definitely a struggle to live with. I tend to worry about my daughter as she's the one who I rely on most.

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  6. This is very helpful. I don't know anyone with PTSD at this time, but I have heard many people's stories online :(

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    1. Hopefully now when you hear their stories you'll be better equipped to support them.

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  7. These are great things to consider when helping someone with PTSD. I know it has to be a difficult thing to live with everyday.

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  8. I've developed it after a loss in March, and it's terrible. Thanks for offering these tips!

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    1. I'm so sorry to hear this. I hope you're able to find a good therapist to help you work through things.

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  9. Excellent advice! PTSD can be so complex and horrible when experiencing it. I have complex PTSD and I absolutely hate when it flares up. You've given us some excellent tips here to help loved ones cope.

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    1. Thank you. I hope you don't have too many flare ups.

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  10. Those tips would be very helpful to families who has a member suffering from PTSD. Great post! -LYNNDEE

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  11. Thanks for these advice. It's so important to know these things when you want to help someone with PTSD!

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  12. Oh I still feel bad for those who suffers from it. This post is really helpful, i hope it spreads more awereness to people who's not yet informed.

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  13. This post is really informative. Thanks for sharing these tips.

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  14. very informative, thank you! My husband and daughter both have PTSD and I take all the little extra steps I can to help them.

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