You are impacted if a spouse, acquaintance, or family member suffers post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Living with PTSD is difficult, and it can have a negative impact on personal and family connections. You could find it difficult to comprehend your loved one’s behavior—why they are less affectionate and more volatile—or wounded by their remoteness and moodiness. You might experience living with a stranger or walking on eggshells. Additionally, you might need to handle a greater proportion of the household’s chores and the annoyance of a loved one who won’t talk to you. Even worse, PTSD symptoms can result in family-wide issues like substance abuse, job loss, and other issues. To learn more about the different ways to help someone with PTSD, seek Online Counselling at TalktoAngel.
It can be challenging to not take PTSD symptoms personally, but it’s crucial to understand that a person with PTSD might not always be in control of their conduct. As a result of their nervous system being “locked” in a state of perpetual alert, your loved one may constantly feel vulnerable and dangerous or be forced to repeatedly relive the terrible event. This can result in PTSD symptoms that your loved one can’t just decide to turn off, such as rage, impatience, despair, mistrust, and others.
However, with the proper assistance from you and other family members and friends, your loved one’s nervous system may “unstick.” With the help of these suggestions, you may assist them in healing from the terrible experience and allow your relationship to resume normalcy.
Ways to help someone with PTSD
- Offer them social support.
People with PTSD frequently isolate themselves from friends and family. They can be afraid of burdening others, feel ashamed, or think that others won’t understand what they’re going through. While it’s crucial to respect your loved one’s limits, offering them consolation and support might help them get through their grief, despair, and sense of powerlessness. In fact, trauma specialists think that interpersonal support from others is the key to PTSD rehabilitation.
It’s not always simple to know the best method to show someone you care and support them if they have PTSD. Although you can’t make your loved one feel better, by simply being there for them, you can significantly aid in their healing.
Do not force your loved one to speak. For those suffering from PTSD, talking about their terrible events can be quite challenging. Some people may even feel worse as a result. Instead, let them know that you are available to listen to them when they want to chat or to simply hang out with them when they don’t. For someone with PTSD, comfort doesn’t always come from talking; it often comes from feeling engaged and welcomed by you.
Spend time with your loved one doing “normal” activities that have nothing to do with PTSD or the traumatic event. Encourage the person you care about to make new acquaintances, engage in enjoyable hobbies, and engage in rhythmic activity like walking, running, swimming, or rock climbing. Join a dance class, attend a fitness class, or schedule a regular lunchtime outing with friends and family.
Instead of instructing your loved one what to do, let them take the initiative. Although each person with PTSD is unique, most people have an innate sense of what makes them feel comfortable and at ease. Find out from your loved one how you might be of most assistance and company.
- Do your own stress management. You’ll be able to assist your loved one more effectively the calmer, more at ease, and more concentrated you are.
- Be tolerant. Recovery is a lengthy process that frequently includes setbacks. It’s crucial to preserve optimism and support for your loved one.
- Find out more about PTSD. The more informed you are about the signs, consequences, and available treatments, the more able you will be to support your loved one, comprehend what they are going through, and maintain perspective.
- Accept and anticipate conflicting emotions. Be ready for a complex jumble of emotions as you go through the emotional wringer—some of which you’ll never want to confess. Just keep in mind that even if you have bad feelings towards a member of your family, you still love them.
- Be a good listener.
Although you shouldn’t force someone with PTSD to speak, if they do want to do so, try to listen to them without making assumptions or passing judgement. Be sure to express your concern and curiosity, but don’t worry about offering advice. Your loved one will benefit more from your act of listening intently than from anything you say.
A person with PTSD might need to repeatedly discuss the distressing incident. Avoid the urge to advise your loved one to stop reflecting on the past and move on because this is a necessary step in the healing process. Instead, offer to speak with them as often as necessary.
It could be difficult to hear some of the things your loved one tells you. Even if you don’t agree with what they say, it’s still crucial to respect their emotions and responses. They are unlikely to open up to you again if you come across as disapproving, terrified, or critical.
- Restore safety and trust
Trauma affects a person’s perception of the world, making it appear unendingly scary and deadly. Additionally, it undermines people’s capacity for self- and other-trust. If you can restore your loved one’s sense of security in any manner, it will aid in their rehabilitation.
Declare your dedication to the partnership. To make your loved one feel cherished and supported, let them know you’re in it for the long run.
Establish routines. People with PTSD, both adults and children, can regain a sense of comfort and stability with structure and consistent schedules. To establish routines, you may ask your loved one to assist with chores around the house or with shopping, eat at set times each day, or just “be there.”
If you or your partner is facing any issues on PTSD, feel free to seek Relationship Counselling at TalktoAngel.