How to Help a Veteran Dealing with PTSD
The role of a veteran’s family and friends is crucial, especially during difficult moments. Usually, people who are close to the veteran will be the first to notice if there are any problems.
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. In many cases, this has been achieved with the help of the veterans’ spouses, partners, friends and family members.
Below are five ways you can support a veteran with PTSD:
1. Be prepared to help.
First off, be aware that whatever your loved one is dealing with because of PTSD is out of their control. So if you feel like they’re being so touchy or volatile, just understand where they’re coming from and don’t make it worse. If you must do most of the chores at home, do so. It’s impossible to help an individual with PTSD until you yourself are prepared for it.
2. Educate yourself about treatment options.
There are two types of PTSD treatment that have been proven effective – counseling and medication. In recent years, researchers have brought forth new knowledge in the disorder’s causes and potential treatment. The more you know about the subject, the more you can help your loved one.
3. Encourage your loved one to open up to other veterans with PTSD.
Seek support from your local VA, where you can make arrangements for your loved one to attend counseling with Peer Specialists, with the family or in group therapy sessions. A Peer Specialist is someone with a mental health condition who has received training and certification that enables them to help others dealing with their own mental issues. All you need to do is contact your local VA, and they will offer you options for your consideration.
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. Getting a person with PTSD to speak about what they’re going through is usually hard for family members, but professionals will know exactly how to go about it. Because of their knowledge, training and experience, these coaches are able to create a positive outcome when treating veterans with PTSD.
5. Encourage self-help.
Finally, try to encourage your loved one to maintain a few general self-care practices in their day-to-day routine. For example, you can introduce them to self-help tools for PTSD management, like mobile apps that provide treatment options. Self-care allows people to feel in control of themselves, which is something veterans with PTSD need en route to recovery.
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