People react differently to trauma. Some seem to have a natural ability to rebound. Others develop post-traumatic stress disorder, also known as PTSD. PTSD can have devastating effects for the person who is dealing with the disorder and the friends and family members who care about them. If you have a loved one in your life that may be suffering from PTSD, there is help and hope available.
At Fort Behavioral Health, our trauma therapy program has helped people address trauma and develop the skills to heal emotional wounds. Our compassionate team provides a safe environment where people can share and progress through recovery in a judgment-free environment. First, however, it is crucial for you to recognize common symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, so you know if someone in your life may benefit from trauma therapy at Fort Behavioral Health.
Symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
People with PTSD relive the incident over and over through flashbacks, frightening dreams, and anxious thoughts. These episodes can happen out of nowhere or be triggered by something like a smell, sound, or image. Because reliving the trauma can be crushing, people with PTSD may find themselves avoiding anything that might remind them of the incident. They may withdraw socially, stop interacting with their family.
Other common symptoms of PTSD include:
- Being easily startled
- Feeling tense or “on edge”
- Having angry outbursts
- Distorted feelings like guilt or blame
- Loss of interest in enjoyable activities
If you see someone in your life dealing with these mental health symptoms, it is crucial that they receive professional treatment as soon as possible. In the meantime, there are definitely ways that you can support the person in your life with PTSD.
How to Support Someone with PTSD
Living with someone experiencing PTSD can be challenging. You might not understand their actions, why they withdraw, or why they get so angry so quickly. It can even lead to developing your own symptoms. Compassion is the key to being supportive. Remember that they might not always have control over their behavior. Keeping in mind that someone with PTSD is doing what they can to evade or mitigate their symptoms helps you avoid personalizing their actions. They are simply trapped in a cycle.
To people with PTSD, boundaries are critical. They need to feel like they have control over their environment. That being said, providing social support is one of the most effective ways to counteract the helplessness people with PTSD often feel. Knowing how to be there without crossing boundaries is complicated. It is natural to want your loved ones to talk about their problems, but forcing them can actually do more harm than good. They will talk when they are ready. All you can do is be there. Having people they know will accept them without condition provides the comfort people with PTSD need to eventually open up.
As much as possible, do “ordinary” things. Show your loved one that there is a world outside of their trauma. This builds a hope that someday, the symptoms will fade. Do not judge the trauma. This only adds to shame and grief. Lastly, manage your own stress. If you are calm and relaxed, it is easier for your loved one to feel the same.
Reach Out to Fort Behavioral Health Today for PTSD Support
If someone you care about has experienced trauma and is using drugs or alcohol to manage the symptoms, know that there are professionals who can help your loved one. Our Fort Behavioral Health team uses various methods to help people live with and even overcome the consequences of PTSD. There is hope for a brighter future. Call us today at 844.332.1807 or visit us online.