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How To Support Someone With PTSD

Did you know that one out of every three people will experience a traumatic event at some point in their life? And, did you also know that about 8 percent of Americans (or 24.4 million people) have PTSD at any given time? If someone you love is dealing with PTSD, it’s important to understand how to support them. Here are a few tips!

Factors To Note in Helping Someone With PTSD 

  • You cannot care for them all by yourself
  • They may often be unwilling to open up about their experiences
  • They need time to become comfortable speaking about their trauma
  • Healing is a gradual process
  • You must be patient with them
  • Be as understanding and tolerable as possible 

What You Must Not Do To Someone With PTSD 

  • Don’t make them feel like they deserve what’s happening to them. In some instances our society encourages to ask what a person has done to bring a tragedy upon themselves. This is not the time.
  • Don’t make them feel you are frustrated with them. Pouring out your frustration on them will only make them feel worse and further alienate them.
  • Don’t make them feel less of themselves because of what they are going through. Avoid demeaning words and condescension that will make them feel less important. 
  • Don’t cut them short or interrupt them when they talk about their experience. 
  • Don’t make them feel like what has happened to them is not enough reason to feel how they do. Your perception and understanding of things differs from other people’s own, you don’t tell them what should hurt them and what not. 

Providing Support For Someone With PTSD 

Seeing a loved one go through post traumatic stress disorder can be tasking and difficult to deal with. However,  your loved one needs all the support and care they can get to be able to pull through. The following are ways to provide support for Someone with a post traumatic stress disorder:

Seek therapy and support treatment: Seeking therapy and support treatment for your loved one can be one of the safest and fastest ways of getting them to recover from post traumatic stress disorder.  A therapist is a specialist in the management of difficult psychological states and life situations. 

A therapist knows the best treatment to place your loved one on. These individuals are specially trained on treatment options, fostering a safe emotional space, and helping individuals relate their experiences to those important to them. The therapists also help your loved one confront the fears associated with what has happened to them, gradually allowing them to deal with those fears and reconnect to people and life.

Most times, people with post traumatic stress disorder feel uncomfortable talking to their family and loved ones about what has happened and how they feel.  Feelings of shame and fears of being condemned by family or being a burden to family can inhibit a person’s recovery from PTSD.  In cases like this, they feel more comfortable with a therapist.

Don’t be too busy to listen: In most cases, people with PTSD will have the unwillingness to talk to their family or loved ones. Resist every urge to force and pressure them to talk to you. However,  whenever they decide to talk, give them the attention they need and listen without interrupting them, judging them, expressing boredom about what they are saying, or walking out on them to get other things done.

Pay attention to what triggers them: It is important to pay attention to things, persons, or events that trigger memories or flashbacks of what had happened to them. Triggers can be events, music,  sounds, places or any other thing that was significant when the thing happened to them, thus these things can have a negative impact on their healing process.

Bottom line 

Post traumatic stress disorder has a huge effect on how a person suffering from it relates to people. PTSD can completely upend a person’s perception of life, leading to great instability.  This stress disorder is the result of a traumatic event in which a person was directly affected or witnessed a tragedy. Supporting someone experiencing PTSD isn’t easy, but a big part of that is encouraging them to seek help. Contact us today to learn more about the help that’s out there.

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