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How to Help a Loved One Struggling with PTSD

how to help someone with ptsd

If you’re looking for tips on how to help someone with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), most resources will tell you to provide support while researching PSTD treatment for your loved one. While professional treatment should come after an assessment and a diagnosis, some people exhibit some PTSD signs that are just begging for a psychological assessment to be done.

When a partner, close friend, or family member has PTSD, it can also significantly affect you and your relationship with them. PTSD isn’t easy to live with, and it can take a heavy toll on someone’s relationships and responsibilities. You may be hurt by your loved one’s distance and moodiness or find it difficult to understand their behaviors. You may feel like walking on eggshells or even dealing with a stranger. You may also have to take on your loved one’s responsibilities while being frustrated by them.

It’s hard not to take the symptoms of PTSD personally, but it’s important to remember that someone struggling with PTSD may not always have control over their behaviors. Your loved one’s nervous system is on what seems like a permanent state of constant alert, making them continually feel vulnerable and unsafe. This situation can lead to anger, depression, irritability, mistrust, and other symptoms that your loved one can’t turn off. Searching for PTSD treatment in Jonesboro, Arkansas? Reach out to Alleviant Jonesboro today by calling 870.657.0337 or contacting our team online.

What Is PTSD?

PTSD is a psychiatric disorder that may occur in people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event. The latter can include the following:

  • A natural disaster
  • A serious accident or injury
  • A terrorist act
  • Death threats
  • Sexual assault or violence
  • War or combat

PTSD has been called “shell shock” during World War I and “combat fatigue” after World War II, but the condition doesn’t just affect combat veterans. PTSD can develop in people of any age, culture, ethnicity, or nationality. PTSD affects about 3.5% of U.S. adults every year. However, women are twice as likely as men to have PTSD.

People struggling with PTSD have intense, disturbing thoughts and feelings about their traumatic experience that last long after the traumatic event has ended. They may relive the event through flashbacks or nightmares and may continue to feel sadness, fear, or anger because of it. They may also feel detached or estranged from other people, even those close to them. People with PTSD may avoid situations or people that remind them of the trauma and may have strong negative reactions to something as ordinary as an accidental touch or a loud noise.

A diagnosis of PTSD requires exposure to an upsetting and traumatic event. However, the exposure could be indirect rather than first-hand. For example, PTSD could develop in someone learning about the violent death of a close friend.

How Do You Help Someone With PTSD?

You can take small but powerful steps to help someone with PTSD. First, you can learn all about the disorder so you can relate to what your loved one is going through and know what to expect on days when their PTSD symptoms are out of control. Then, when you are confident that you understand at least a bit of what your loved one is going through, you can talk to your loved one about it.

While talking to your loved one struggling with PTSD is essential, it’s also important to acknowledge their feelings and encourage them to undergo professional treatment. The bottom line is that you should help your loved ones put their feelings into words instead of keeping their emotions to themselves. Ask what you can do to help. Don’t advise unless your loved one requests it. However, you may consider taking a more active role in seeking professional treatment for PTSD — although you must be careful not to force your loved one to get professional help just because you want them to do it. They must make this decision even if you make all the appointments and arrangements.

You can also make these discussions more enjoyable for them by asking them to go with you for a walk or do some other peaceful activity while you’re conversing. This is a great way to show you support them and are patient regarding their PTSD symptoms.

When Should You Consider Professional PTSD Treatment for Loved Ones?

You or someone you care about may be struggling with PTSD if problems experienced after exposure to the traumatic event continue for more than a month and cause a significant deterioration in daily functioning. PTSD treatment can help someone with a case like this regain a sense of control.

The primary treatment is psychotherapy, which can also be combined with medication. Combining these treatments can help improve PTSD symptoms by:

  • Helping the client think better about themselves, others, and the world
  • Learning ways to cope if any symptoms arise again
  • Teaching skills to address PTSD symptoms
  • Treating other problems often related to trauma, such as depression or anxiety

Ready To Learn More About Alleviant Jonesboro’s PTSD Treatment Program?

Contact Alleviant Jonesboro today if you’re looking for PTSD treatment in Jonesboro, Arkansas. Reach out to our team online or call 870.657.0337.