Managing A Family Member With PTSD

 

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There is nothing more efficient than the love, acceptance, and understanding of family members.

Post-traumatic stress disorder does not only affect the person experiencing it but can also take a toll on the people around him/her. Research suggested that children who have parents that have PTSD may experience the following:

1.      Behavioral and social problems such as depression,  anxiety, delinquency, hyperactivity, and aggressiveness

2.      Emotional instability that is also aggravated by secondary traumatization

3.      Inability to establish and maintain friendships/relationships

To avoid this from being passed on from one generation to another, it is recommended that PTSD should be managed appropriately at home.

Duties of the family members

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Though the task might seem challenging for people who are with the PTSD victim, if equipped with sufficient knowledge and more profound understanding, they will have a higher chance of handling and coping with the condition.

How does one manage the symptoms of PTSD?

1.      First, one has to understand that behavior is not equivalent to real feelings. There will be times that your significant other or loved ones with PTSD would want to go out and mingle with family and friends. At times, he/she would hesitate just because he/she is just too scared of the fact that upsetting thoughts might resurface.

2.      Next, you have to eliminate or decrease the presence of things that can trigger the episodes of PTSD. Be aware of the triggers. For example, if gunshots cause your loved one’s PTSD, you have to minimize activities that might cause loud, banging noises.

You have to take note that one of the main reasons why people who have PTSD experience recurring symptoms is because of the factors that trigger them. Nightmares, flashbacks, distressing feelings, increased heart rate or palpitations accompanied by profuse sweating, are just some of the symptoms that one can identify from a person with PTSD. These signs will persist if triggered by outside factors like specific smells, words, sounds, or sights.

3.      You can also change your routine based on the symptoms that your loved one is exhibiting. For example, if you were accustomed to affectionately waking up your significant other who is having nightmares by tapping him/her, it would be best if you can figure out alternative ways of doing it without touching. Soldiers who came from war would sometimes respond aggressively and might attack you upon abruptly waking up.

4.      Go into counseling. Communication is the basic key to human relationships. Therefore, talking about the condition and hardships that the family is going through is one of the most therapeutic, educational ways to gain insight and understanding about the affected family member. Furthermore, counseling and support groups can also encourage loved ones with PTSD to seek help.

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Support from family members is paramount. PTSD symptoms are there so that the body can cope with the severe stress that the person is experiencing. It is not easy to recover from PTSD. It could take years of therapy.

However, recovery is not impossible. Love and understanding from family members are instrumental in a person’s journey to his/her rehabilitation.