Sexual and physical abuse, violence or any stressful and frightening experiences are just some of the most common causes of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. These are experiences you wouldn’t even wish on your worst enemy. And because these are so traumatizing it leaves a huge scar into people’s lives affecting their lives, haunting them like a very bad nightmare. If you are someone who is caring for someone who is suffering from PTSD, here are some helpful guidelines to remember when caring and supporting them.
Be compassionate, understanding, and supportive.
There are these distinctive and profound feelings of helplessness and hopelessness for these patients. Understanding basic information such as its causes, signs, and symptoms help a caregiver deliver a more guided approach in dealing with them. Recovery is a process that takes time and often involves setbacks. The important thing is to show a consistent kind of support for your loved one.
Be a nonjudgmental good listener.
It is not easy to open up a traumatizing experience as they themselves do not question the situation and have the tendency to blame themselves regarding what happened. Be sure to give open-ended questions and be more therapeutic in communicating with PTSD patients. In that way, you have more opportunity to explore and gain trust from them. Let them lead the conversation so they can vent and let all the burdens bothering them spill out.
Be encouraging and positive.
Provide an emphasis and educate regarding their medication and treatment. Monitor their progress and provide positive feedback. Accompany them to their doctor’s appointments when necessary. Show them the future that lies ahead of them and let the adversities in the past be a driving force so they can pursue a bigger and bolder future. Let them live a life of inspiration and be their role model.
Be a good coach.
When they are already open and willing to change their path and not let the shadows of the past consume them. Provide them with resources and information which can further help them. Online therapy is a great source. There are available online therapists who can assist and offer online therapy support for you as a caregiver and the patient.
Be aware that although listening and supporting patients with PTSD can help them, you also have an increased risk developing secondary traumatization. By constantly hearing stories of their frightening experiences along with the heavy challenges in dealing with behaviors and treatment regimen, this might take a toll on your own sanity. It is helpful to watch out for symptoms of secondary trauma and seek help when needed. The presence of a support group will be beneficial for both patients and caregivers.