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How to Help Someone With PTSD

Monday, 28 Mar 2011 04:33 PM

Traumatic experiences occur every day. Under normal circumstances, feeling disconnected, fear, shock, anxiety, and sadness that happens in these situations fades as time passes. However, there are certain traumatic events that are so heinous that these feelings remain for longer periods of time and overwhelm your whole life. This can leave a person in constant fear and with feelings that danger and doom are always present.

When someone you know has been through a traumatic experience that was life threatening or could have been life threatening, you should know that PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) could follow. This disorder does not occur to any specific group of people, nor is it exclusive to men, women, or children. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder can occur in anyone.

The primary cause of PTSD is suffering from a life-changing traumatic event. It is commonly seen in military personnel during wartime. It can also occure in victims of natural disasters, rape, kidnapping, physical assaults, unexpected death of a loved one, terrorist attacks, car accidents, plane or train crashes, sexual abuse, childhood abuse or neglect, and other traumatic events.

Some of the most common signs and symptoms you should watch for include:
  • Flashbacks
  • Nightmares
  • Intense anxiety and panic attacks
  •   Sudden mood changes
  • Avoidance of places, friends, and thoughts of the event
  • Lack of interest in activities
  • Detachment from others
  • Insomnia
  • Jumpy or easily startled
  • Depression
  • Guilty feelings

The only treatments currently used for PTSD include various forms of therapy and in some cases medications to alleviate symptoms.

If you want to know how to help someone with PTSD here are some tips you can use to help them cope with this disorder:
  • Educate yourself on PTSD and try to understand it
  • Be there for them and listen to them
  • Do not judge them
  • Show respect
  • Be positive
  •  Exercise and get active with them
  • Let them have space when needed
  • Be loving and patient
  •  Avoid teasing and harmful comments especially involving the incident
  • Encourage them and boost their confidence
  • Take care of yourself so you can better care for them

Finally, understand that helping someone with PTSD is not an undertaking for the faint of heart. You must be strong enough to help them during their time of crisis. It is vital to be there and know as much as possible about PSTD in order to truly help.

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