How To Support A Loved One Struggling With A Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a form of anxiety disorder that occurs in response to traumatic events/situations. This mental condition is difficult to cope with and may take a toll on families and relationships. With PTSD, understanding the disease, symptoms, and management is crucial in living successfully with individuals having it. Let’s look at how you can support your loved one battling Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Learn About PTSD
You cannot help your loved one out of something you have no idea about. So, start by doing in-depth research on PTSD and learn about the condition, what causes it, how it occurs, and its symptoms. It’s essential that you also learn about what triggers the condition and how to avoid triggers. You can read books, research online, or talk to families with PTSD individuals on their strategies and how they are coping with the situation.
Don’t Be Judgmental
PTSD comes from past traumatic events like sexual abuse, physical abuse, and experiencing violence. These events are usually not pleasant, and many people fear and are ashamed of discussing them. So, if your loved ones gather the courage to pour their hearts out to you, telling you how it’s been like dealing with trauma, never judge them. Doing so can lead to stigmatization, making them coil their tails again. Instead, be there for them, provide a judgment-free and safe place to share their struggles, and never get tired of lending them your ears.
Assist them in Seeking Treatment
While you cannot force someone to look for treatment, you can encourage them in that direction if they want to. Sometimes people battling PTSD feel ashamed of their suffering, especially if they lost their close allies to the condition. If that’s the case, assure your loved ones that anyone can suffer from the condition, and seeking treatment denotes strength and not weakness. You can even explore institutions offering the best treatment programs and help them book appointments. Then accompany them to their treatment clinics every time they are going. This way, your loved ones would feel loved, and their well-being matters.
Since PTSD occurs differently in people, learning about your loved one’s symptoms and triggers can help ease them. Triggers can include anything, specific people, smells, locations, dates, sounds, or weather patterns. For example, your loved one may have violence as one of their triggers. So, watching an action movie together can result in them having trauma flashbacks or panic attacks. Thus, learning about your loved one’s triggers enables you to help them cope with situations that can affect them.
PTSD patients have challenges handling stress. Try to keep your home environment as relaxed and stress-free as possible. Your home should offer comfort, which can help them with recovering. Also, avoid bringing home or inviting people who may upset your loved one undergoing PTSD. Remember not to place huge responsibilities or demands on your loved ones as that can make them feel pressured or increase their stress levels.
Living with a loved one having a long-term yet challenging condition like PTSD is not a walk in the park. So, remember to take care of yourself while caring for them. Don’t be guilty of taking time off and recharge your batteries. Your loved one needs you to be sound, healthy, and not tired or worked up.