Helping a Veteran Who Has PTSD
Family members and friends have a big role to play in helping a veteran get back to normal life. Naturally, any signs of problems will be first observed by those who are close to the veteran.
If you love someone who is going through post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), know that they can be treated for this condition and that you can help them get through it. It has been done many times before, with spouses, partners, family members and friends all contributing to their loved one’s success in overcoming their PTSD-related challenges.
Here are five ways you can make life better for a veteran with PTSD:
1. Be ready to help your loved one.
First and foremost, make sure you know that no matter how hard the situation may seem, your loved one has no choice. If they’re being difficult, understand them with all your heart and mind. If you must do most of the chores at home, do so. Unless you can rise above the situation, you can never help a person with PTSD.
2. Know the treatment options.
There are two types of PTSD treatment that have been proven effective – counseling and medication. In recent years, researchers have deepened their understanding of why PTSD occurs and what can be done to treat it. The more you know about the subject, the more you can help your loved one.
3. Ask your loved one to mingle with other veterans with PTSD.
Approach your local VA and ask for support via a Peer Specialist, who can help your loved one through counseling, either individually or with the family, or in group therapy sessions. A Peer Specialist is a person with a mental health condition and has been trained and certified to help other mentally challenged individuals. All you have to do is get in touch with your local VA and you will be provided options that you can consider.
4. Hire a professional coach.
Yes, it’s possible to have a professional coach help your loved one through his PTSD battles, and some coaches will even do it for free. It’s often difficult for family members to get a person with the disorder to talk, but a professional will know exactly what to do to gain the veteran’s trust and confidence. Because of their knowledge, training and experience, these coaches are able to create a positive outcome when treating veterans with PTSD.
5. Create an environment conducive for self-help.
Finally, encourage your loved one with PTSD to try to maintain a level of self-care with their daily life. For example, download some PTSD self-help tools on their mobile phone or laptop, such as apps that provide tips for managing symptoms. Self-care reinforces feelings of being in control, which is very important for any veteran on the road to full healing.