Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a big problem for many. It becomes a hindrance to your everyday activities. It affects your personal development and in some cases your relationships. In the family, you may have had a father who was a soldier in the past or a brother who may have suffered a traumatic car accident. It pains to see your loved one have PTSD, but it is manageable. Here are five ways to help you hold PTSD in the family.
Become Mindful Of Their PTSD Triggers
Specific objects or events may trigger your loved one’s PTSD. The sound of fireworks may remind a war veteran of bomb explosions. The sight of a speeding car may affect someone who went through a terrible car accident. Knowing these triggers may help you think of better ways to avoid them. However, do not push them to tell you. Give them the time to open and offer your support in the process. Talking about these symptoms may sometimes lead to triggering them. You should always be mindful and careful as you talk about it.
Seek Professional Help
Sometimes, the disorder may be too much to handle. During these times, look for professional help in PTSD treatment. It is a severe condition that comes with lasting effects. Consultation becomes important, so try visiting mental health professionals. Approach psychiatrists or counselors that specialize in PTSD. They can also help their patient develop necessary stress management skills. It will push the patient to better cope with their trauma. Medication advised by the professionals may help with the symptoms. Some of these medications include antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, and prazosin. You should watch over your loved ones if they choose to take medication. Too much of these medications will worsen their condition. Take it upon prescription by a professional.
Another viable treatment is exposure therapy. It is one form of psychotherapy which involves exposing the patient to their triggers in a safe environment. Undergoing this may not completely rid them of the disorder, but it can help them manage it. A session under this usually lasts around an hour. The whole procedure itself goes on for around 12–15 weeks. It will become a tough time for them during the duration. Exposure therapy comes in many forms such as:
- In Vivo Exposure
Here, you expose the patient to real-life situations, activities, or object. They handle the thing they feared right before their eyes. It helps to show them that these everyday activities are not dangerous.
- Imaginal Exposure
Here, the patient imagines the situation, event, or object they fear. This type is helpful in creating past scenarios that don’t take place every day.
- Virtual Reality Exposure
In some cases, it becomes too hard to expose a patient to the situation, activity, or object that they fear the most. In these times, exposure is through virtual reality technology.
- Interoceptive Exposure
The patient has to face physical sensations deliberately. These are harmless and give the patient the idea that their fear is not dangerous at all.
This exercise will push them beyond their comfort zones. By being there for them throughout, you can help them manage this more. During their treatment, make sure to give them your company.
Learn To Be Patient And Understanding
PTSD can be frustrating not only to the person suffering from it but also to the people around them. However, this shouldn’t bother you. It’s just a matter of time for them to be able to better cope with their PTSD symptoms. Patience and understanding from you do go a long way for them because it gives them a sense of relief. Making them feel that someone is there helps them feel comfortable. The process of understanding them will take a lot of time and effort. Try your best because this becomes the push to help them move on and move forward. Communication is vital during these times. Even if they avoid you, showing that you are there will help.
Give Your Love And Support
Make them feel loved. It gives them peace of mind seeing that someone will be there for them. If their PTSD triggers, you can help them by supporting them through your action and words. Try helping them avoid the objects or situations that they fear the most. Another way is by making them feel that there is nothing to worry about in these situations. A companion throughout this process goes a long way in helping them.
These are some ways to help your loved one get through their PTSD. Remember that the best way to help them manage their PSTD is through your support and patience. It is a severe condition, so handle it with care. Never give up because it is only a matter of time before this condition subsides.