When you have a loved one or a friend with post-traumatic stress disorder PTSD it can be hard to know what to do and how to help them. You can feel overwhelmed or even frightened about what and how to help. I want to give some tips on things that you can do to help.
Be there for them. A lot of times those with PTSD will withdraw from friends and family. You want to try and respect their boundaries and make sure that they don’t cut themselves off totally from loved ones and friends. Don’t push them too hard.
Be patient. You have to be patient with them. Changes for them won’t happen overnight. Don’t expect it to. It will take time and maybe even years. Keep your emotions and anger under control. I know it can be hard, but it will help them so much.
Do normal things with your loved one. Don’t exclude them in activities or family events, even if it might be hard for them. They want to be included, even if it might trigger them. Make sure to be there for them if they have any issues.
Listen to them. Let them talk. If they want to talk to you, please, listen. It’s not easy for those with PTSD to open up, so if they do with you, then they trust you. Don’t do anything to lose that trust.
Anticipate Triggers. Know that they’re going to happen sometimes no matter how careful you are. Learn what triggers could happen. Common triggers include crowds, confined spaces, physical constraints, hospitals. Any sights, sounds, smells, sensations, locations, dates or weather associated with a person’s trauma can also act as triggers.
Educate Yourself about PTSD. Do some research on your own about PTSD. This can help your loved one. It will also help you to learn more about what they’re going through. Encourage them to reach out for professional help.
Pray for them. Cover them in prayer as they go through this. It’s so important. God can turn any situation around. I know when I’m dealing with a trigger, sadly, the first thing I think of should be to pray and it’s not, so to have someone covering me in this area is important.
Allyson is a published author, blogger, wife and mom to 4 kids. Three of her children are on the autism spectrum. She suffers from anxiety and panic attacks. On her blog, you can find her writing about being an author, her faith, and family. She resides in Indiana with her loving husband and four wonderful children, dog, and three cats. She’s addicted to knitting and coffee.