What you can do when someone you love has PTSD
When a loved one has it post-traumatic stress (PTSD), it is important that you know how to help and take care of yourself. According to the National PTSD Center, at least 7 or 8 out of 100 people will have PTSD at some point in their lives. A debilitating situation occurs after a trauma, such as military combat, violent crime, or natural disasters.
Many who suffer a trauma have symptoms that can relive the event; avoiding situations and places that remind them of the event; being on the edge, angry and angry; and not being able to get depressed and enjoy life. Most of the time, those who survive the trauma will start to feel better in a few weeks or months, but if they continue to have such symptoms after a while, they may have PTSD.
Here are the tips that experts should know about relatives and friends of people with PTSD.
1. It can be treated. “It’s PTSD mental health a situation that requires professional attention, ”says Shaili Jain, MD, a psychiatrist In the VA Palo Alto Health System in California, which is affiliated with the National PTSD Center, which is headed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. “It’s important to do everything you can to help your loved one look qualified mental health The National Center for PTSD has a “found therapist” resource on the network, as well as many other support tools such as PTSD treatment decision support, apps and videos.
“While it is possible for people to improve on their own, family members can play a vital role in getting the support they need from someone with PTSD,” she agrees. “Some treatment programs involve the family and partners in the process.”
2. It’s not something that “happened in the past”. For someone with PTSD, the trauma that could have been there a few months or years ago is still happening. “Some may say,‘ That happened a long time ago, it’s time to get over it, ’says psychologist Autumn Gallegos Greenwich, PhD, an assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Rochester Medical Center, who examines mental and physical interventions. on posttraumatic stress symptoms. “But no matter what the traumatic event happened, it is still happening physiologically and psychologically for that person. Someone who has not suffered such a trauma can hear a loud knock on the roof and be amazed, but can imagine the context and move forward. Someone with PTSD will be in danger. he will react as if he is still trying to process something that is sensibly difficult and needs help. “
3. It’s happening to you too. If you love someone with PTSD, that will affect you too.
“People who are close to someone with PTSD also need to take care of themselves,” says Gallegos Greenwich. “That is often forgotten, ignored or diminished. You may think, ‘My beloved experienced this trauma, not me, so why do I feel that way?’ But to some extent, that’s what you’re experiencing and you need to take care of yourself. “
“Living with someone with PTSD, especially if you’re a family caregiver, can be mentally and physically tiring,” says Schnur. “Take care of yourself, be kind and forgiving with yourself, and give yourself time to do things that help you recover. If your partner is nice, pair it up family therapy it can also be very helpful. “
The National PTSD Center also provides links to help families and friends, including a guide to understanding PTSD and an app called PTSD Family Coach.
4. Don’t protect yourself too much. “You want to reduce the stress of your loved one, but in this case, exposure to stress is part of the therapeutic process,” says Schnur. For example, if your partner has experience stress when accessing open public spaces where there are many things that cannot be controlled, you are willing to ask them to make those requests. “But it’s therapeutic to learn how to get to those places and to have enough time to be there and to learn that it’s safe to be there. Some of the anxieties are part of that process, because people cultivate thoughts and feelings about trauma.”
5. Set your limits so that PTSD does not control your life. When you live with someone with PTSD, you feel like you have to walk on eggshells to avoid stress. “The strongest thing you can do is learn to deal with the symptoms together, instead of enabling or strengthening them,” Jain says. “Say your partner has PTSD and that’s why people don’t like it and don’t want to go out to the grocery store, parties or a concert. So no one is going anywhere. “
Instead, understand that isolation is a symptom of PTSD and that support is available, and in the meantime, look for a commitment that will work for your family and allow you to continue doing the things you want to do.