If you have a loved one who is struggling with PTSD, you may feel at a loss for how to help them. It can be difficult to see your loved one suffer, and even more difficult to know how to make things better.
In this article, we will discuss some ways that you can support your loved one and help them get the treatment they need.
Don’t force them to talk about their experiences
It can be difficult to see a loved one going through a tough time, especially if you don’t fully understand what they’re dealing with. If your loved one has PTSD, it’s important to be supportive without being pushy.
Sometimes, people with PTSD may not want to talk about their experiences. Forcing them to do so can actually do more harm than good. It’s important to respect your loved one’s boundaries and give them the space to process their feelings in their own time.
Trying to force them to open up before they’re ready can cause them to feel overwhelmed and further isolate themselves. Instead, provide your support by simply being there for them.
Let them know that you’re there whenever they’re ready to talk, and that they never have to talk about it with you if they don’t want to.
Spend time doing active things together
One way to support your loved one is to spend time doing active things together. This could include going for walks, playing sports, or even just doing yard work together.
Getting outside and being active can help improve your loved one’s mood and reduce their stress levels. It can also be a great way to bond and connect with each other. If your loved one isn’t feeling up to being active, that’s okay too. Just spending time together in any capacity can be helpful.
Learn what makes them feel safe
It’s important to learn what makes them feel safe when trying to support a loved one with PTSD. Understand that their behavior may be different from what it was before. They may become withdrawn or isolated, have difficulty sleeping, or seem distracted and unable to concentrate.
Be patient as they work through their feelings and try to avoid pushing them to talk about their experience before they’re ready. You can provide support by simply being there for them and listening without judgment. Avoid any actions or words that could trigger their symptoms.
Sometimes it can help to take medication. There are many options available, but one of the best is cannabis. Make sure to visit Veriheal if you’d like to learn all about the best strains used to treat symptoms of PTSD.
Encourage them to talk to a therapist when they’re ready
When you love someone with PTSD, you may feel like you’re walking on eggshells. You want to help, but you don’t want to say or do the wrong thing.
One of the most important things you can do is encourage your loved one to talk to a therapist when they’re ready. It’s not always easy for someone with PTSD to open up about their experiences and feelings, but therapy can be a vital part of healing.
A therapist can provide support and guidance as your loved one works through their trauma. They can also help them develop coping mechanisms for dealing with symptoms like flashbacks and anxiety.
If your loved one is hesitant about therapy, try to reassure them that it’s okay to ask for help. Let them know that you support their decision to seek treatment —or to not seek any yet— and offer to go with them to their first appointment if they’d like.
Encourage them to express themselves the way they want to
People with PTSD often struggle with feeling like they’ve lost control. One way to help your loved one is to encourage them to express themselves in the way they want to.
This could mean painting, writing, or even just talking about their experiences. It’s important that they have an outlet for their feelings so that they don’t become bottled up. Expressing themselves can also help them to process their experiences and start to make peace with what happened.
PTSD can be a very difficult thing for both the person struggling with it and their loved ones. It’s important to be patient, understanding, and supportive. Try to be there for your loved one in whatever capacity they need. And most importantly, let them know that you care and are here to support them throughout their recovery.