Thursday, April 11, 2024

How To Deal With Someone That Has Ptsd

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Tip : Rebuild Trust And Safety

4 TIPS on HOW TO HELP someone with PTSD

Trauma alters the way a person sees the world, making it seem like a perpetually dangerous and frightening place. It also damages peoples ability to trust others and themselves. If theres any way you can rebuild your loved ones sense of security, it will contribute to their recovery.

Express your commitment to the relationship. Let your loved one know that youre here for the long haul so they feel loved and supported.

Create routines. Structure and predictable schedules can restore a sense of stability and security to people with PTSD, both adults and children. Creating routines could involve getting your loved one to help with groceries or housework, for example, maintaining regular times for meals, or simply being there for the person.

Minimize stress at home. Try to make sure your loved one has space and time for rest and relaxation.

Speak of the future and make plans. This can help counteract the common feeling among people with PTSD that their future is limited.

Keep your promises. Help rebuild trust by showing that youre trustworthy. Be consistent and follow through on what you say youre going to do.

Emphasize your loved ones strengths. Tell your loved one you believe theyre capable of recovery and point out all of their positive qualities and successes.

Tip : Use Humor To Relieve Tension

When things get tense, humor and playfulness can help you lighten the mood, smooth over differences, reframe problems, and keep things in perspective. When you feel yourself getting angry in a situation, try using a little lighthearted humor. It can allow you to get your point across without getting the other persons defenses up or hurting their feelings.

However, its important that you laugh with the other person, not at them. Avoid sarcasm, mean-spirited humor. If in doubt, start by using self-deprecating humor. We all love people who are able to gently poke fun at their own failings. After all, were all flawed and we all make mistakes.

So, if youve made a mistake at work or youve just spilled coffee over yourself, instead of getting angry or picking a fight, try making a joke about it. Even if the joke falls flat or comes out wrong, the only person you risk offending is yourself.

When humor and play are used to reduce tension and anger, a potential conflict can even become an opportunity for greater connection and intimacy.

How To Help Someone With Ptsd Sleep

Sleep problems and anxiety disorders often go hand in hand. When your mind is restless with worry, it can be hard to get to sleep at night. However, PTSD comes with the added complication of nightmares and sleep disturbances. That means when you do get to sleep, you may not get good rest. Nightmares may wake you up, or cause restless sleep, leaving you feeling tired the next day. Sleep disorders are common health problems in the United States, but its a serious issue.

Sleep problems can contribute to several mental and physical health problems, including poor concentration, depression, obesity, and heart disease. Getting your sleep under control can be an important step in addressing broader mental health issues.

If PTSD is the reason a loved one is struggling to sleep, a few things may help in addition to treating PTSD directly. Good habits that promote sleep are called good sleep hygiene. Several ways to improve sleep hygiene include the following:

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How Anger Management Can Help You

Many people think that anger management is about learning to suppress your anger. But never getting angry is not a healthy goal. Anger will come out regardless of how hard you try to tamp it down. The true goal of anger management isnt to suppress feelings of anger, but rather to understand the message behind the emotion and express it in a healthy way without losing control. When you do, youll not only feel better, youll also be more likely to get your needs met, be better able to manage conflict in your life, and strengthen your relationships.

Mastering the art of anger management takes work, but the more you practice, the easier it will get. And the payoff is huge. Learning to control your anger and express it appropriately will help you build better relationships, achieve your goals, and lead a healthier, more satisfying life.

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Cognition And Mood Symptoms Include:

How to deal with PTSD: evidence based coping mechanisms.
  • Trouble remembering key features of the traumatic event
  • Negative thoughts about oneself or the world
  • Distorted feelings like guilt or blame
  • Loss of interest in enjoyable activities

Cognition and mood symptoms can begin or worsen after the traumatic event, but are not due to injury or substance use. These symptoms can make the person feel alienated or detached from friends or family members.

It is natural to have some of these symptoms for a few weeks after a dangerous event. When the symptoms last more than a month, seriously affect ones ability to function, and are not due to substance use, medical illness, or anything except the event itself, they might be PTSD. Some people with PTSD dont show any symptoms for weeks or months. PTSD is often accompanied by depression, substance abuse, or one or more of the other anxiety disorders.

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Ptsd In Military Veterans

For all too many veterans, returning from military service means coping with symptoms of PTSD. You may have a hard time readjusting to life out of the military. Or you may constantly feel on edge, emotionally numb and disconnected, or close to panicking or exploding. But its important to know that youre not alone and there are plenty of ways you can deal with nightmares and flashbacks, cope with feelings of depression, anxiety or guilt, and regain your sense of control.

Signs And Symptoms Of Ptsd

PTSD develops differently from person to person because everyones nervous system and tolerance for stress is a little different. While youre most likely to develop symptoms of PTSD in the hours or days following a traumatic event, it can sometimes take weeks, months, or even years before they appear. Sometimes symptoms appear seemingly out of the blue. At other times, they are triggered by something that reminds you of the original traumatic event, such as a noise, an image, certain words, or a smell.

While everyone experiences PTSD differently, there are four main types of symptoms.

  • Re-experiencing the traumatic event through intrusive memories, flashbacks, nightmares, or intense mental or physical reactions when reminded of the trauma.
  • Avoidance and numbing, such as avoiding anything that reminds you of the trauma, being unable to remember aspects of the ordeal, a loss of interest in activities and life in general, feeling emotionally numb and detached from others and a sense of a limited future.
  • Hyperarousal, including sleep problems, irritability, hypervigilance , feeling jumpy or easily startled, angry outbursts, and aggressive, self-destructive, or reckless behavior.
  • Negative thought and mood changes like feeling alienated and alone, difficulty concentrating or remembering, depression and hopelessness, feeling mistrust and betrayal, and feeling guilt, shame, or self-blame.
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    Therapy For Cptsd In Seattle Washington

    I am a Seattle therapist specializing in CPTSD and complex trauma. Because of licensing, I can only work with clients residing in Washington State.

    My goal as a trauma therapist is for clients to better understand themselves, all parts of them, meet challenges and failures with compassion, feel more connected to themselves, understand what it is they really want, crave, and desire in life and relationships, practice patience, and gain deep insight into ways to interrupt unhelpful modes of survival that once served them.

    Healing work can be exhausting, overwhelming, terrifying, but on the other side can be freedom, more choice, joy, and liberation.

    Schedule a 10-minute consultation to see if we might be a good fit. If not, I also maintain a CPTSD Therapist referral list.

    Referrals for Washington State CTPSD therapists can be found here.

    Helping Your Partner Find Treatment For Ptsd

    Complex PTSD (CPTSD) and Strategies to Cope

    Getting your partner treatment for PTSD can be helpful for them, but therapy could also benefit you as you learn to cope with the changes to your relationship. For your partner who suffers from PTSD, there are several evidence-based, trauma-focused therapies that work well. If you or your partner arent sure how to find a therapist, an online directory can be a great place to start.

    The three types of therapy that are considered the most highly recommended by the National Center for PTSD are:13

  • Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing Therapy : EMDR is an excellent treatment for PTSD. It helps you process through trauma and can ease intense reactions to triggers. These sessions typically happen once or twice a week for about 6-12 sessions, each lasting for 60-90 minutes.14 It can be performed in-person or online.
  • Cognitive Processing Therapy : CPT helps you to identify and change negative thoughts that often accompany the onset of PTSD. During CPT sessions, you will work with your therapist to identify the negative thoughts brought on by the traumatic experience and then to challenge those thoughts with healthier, more positive ones.13
  • Prolonged Exposure : PE deals primarily with the avoidance aspect of trauma. The reminders of traumatic experiences that you seek to avoid are faced head-on by repeatedly talking about the traumatic memories in a safe environment. The purpose is to gain control over your thoughts and feelings so that you can regain your quality of life.13
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    Why Is Understanding Ptsd Important For Partners

    Its vital to recognize changes in one person in a relationship as it can cause changes to the partnership. Therefore, managing the effects of PTSD reaches beyond just the person with the diagnosis.2 Even if your partner does not have an official PTSD diagnosis, they can still exhibit many symptoms of PTSD.1 This can be even more difficult to navigate depending on the type of trauma theyve experienced for example, if they had PTSD from a past relationship, they may be having trouble trusting you. Women experience additional risk factors for developing PTSD, which is also important for a partner to understand.

    Ways To Improve Relationships

    Even though relationships can be hard for someone with PTSD, social support can be beneficial by boosting self-esteem, providing togetherness, putting a focus on others, and helping the person cope with stress.

    People with PTSD can work on improving their relationships by having an understanding support system, working on relationship skills, being honest with their feelings, and finding ways to relax and loosen up with other people.

    Their loved ones can help themselves and the person with PTSD by:

    • Not seeing or treating the person like he or she has a permanent disability
    • Not being overly sympathetic
    • Not feeling responsible for the problem or the healing
    • Learning about symptoms and that theyre not the persons fault
    • Engaging in social experiences without the loved one
    • Working on healthy coping strategies
    • Making positive lifestyle changes and engaging in self-care
    • Trying to avoid becoming codependent

    Also, professional treatment can help people with PTSD and their loved ones. Both parties can rely on individual, group, couple, and family therapy to help work through their symptoms and relationship problems. The person with PTSD may need more intensive treatment provided through an inpatient program.

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    Understanding Ptsd In Veterans

    Are you having a hard time readjusting to life out of the military? Are you always on edge, always on the verge of panicking or exploding, or, on the flip side, do you feel emotionally numb and disconnected from your loved ones? Do you believe that youll never feel normal again?

    For all too many veterans, these are common experienceslingering symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder . Its hard living with untreated PTSD and, with long V.A. wait times, its easy to get discouraged. But you can feel better, and you can start today, even while youre waiting for professional treatment. There are many things you can do to help yourself overcome PTSD and come out the other side even stronger than before.

    How Can I Support Someone Who Has Experienced A Traumatic Event

    Dealing With A PTSD Child by Aridelsi Buck

    The following things can help to support someone who has been through something traumatic:

    • Be there – Offer to spend time with them. If they dont want to see you, it can help to let them know that you will still be there if they change their mind. While you should avoid nagging them, it may be helpful to nudge them to accept your support.
    • Listen Try not to pressure them into sharing if they dont want to. If they do want to talk, try to listen and not interrupt or share your own experiences.
    • Ask general questions If you do ask questions, try to make them general and non-judgemental. For example, you might want to ask have you spoken to anyone else about this? or can I help you to find some extra support?
    • Offer practical help – They may find it more of a struggle to look after themselves and keep to a daily routine. Offer some help, such as cleaning or preparing a meal.

    You should try to avoid:

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    Why Do Some People Develop Ptsd And Other People Do Not

    It is important to remember that not everyone who lives through a dangerous event develops PTSD. In fact, most people will not develop the disorder.

    Many factors play a part in whether a person will develop PTSD. Some examples are listed below. Risk factors make a person more likely to develop PTSD. Other factors, called resilience factors, can help reduce the risk of the disorder.

    Some factors that increase risk for PTSD include:

    • Living through dangerous events and traumas
    • Getting hurt
    • Feeling horror, helplessness, or extreme fear
    • Having little or no social support after the event
    • Dealing with extra stress after the event, such as loss of a loved one, pain and injury, or loss of a job or home
    • Having a history of mental illness or substance abuse

    Some factors that may promote recovery after trauma include:

    • Seeking out support from other people, such as friends and family
    • Finding a support group after a traumatic event
    • Learning to feel good about ones own actions in the face of danger
    • Having a positive coping strategy, or a way of getting through the bad event and learning from it
    • Being able to act and respond effectively despite feeling fear

    Researchers are studying the importance of these and other risk and resilience factors, including genetics and neurobiology. With more research, someday it may be possible to predict who is likely to develop PTSD and to prevent it.

    Encourage Seeking An Assessment And Help

    The first step to take when living with someone with PTSD is to encourage them to seek an assessment by a suitably qualified mental health professional as soon as possible.

    Your partners symptoms must match those described in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders to get the diagnosis of PTSD. Thats important with regards to your insurance cover.

    Bear in mind that they can have many symptoms of PTSD without actually getting the diagnosis of PTSD.

    They can suffer just as much as someone diagnosed with the actual condition. Unfortunately, this is due to the DSMs vagaries and limitations.

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    Challenges For The Person With Ptsd

    Difficulty In Managing Symptoms

    The most common challenge faced by people with PTSD is managing their symptoms. This can include avoiding things that trigger flashbacks or panic attacks, dealing with intrusive thoughts, and managing feelings of guilt or shame.

    Difficulty In Forming Connection

    People with PTSD can also find it difficult to connect with others and form relationships due to the emotional toll that the disorder takes. They may feel like theyre not good enough or that theyre always responsible for what happened.


    • Your loved one may be irritable and short-tempered.
    • They may have trouble sleeping or experience nightmares.
    • They may avoid people, places, or things that remind them of the traumatic event.
    • It can be hard to talk about what happened or what is going on with them currently.
    • They may feel like they are constantly on edge or be very jumpy.

    Supporting Someone With Ptsd Or C

    Coping With PTSD

    When a friend or family member has PTSD or C-PTSD, it affects you too.

    The symptoms of PTSD can be very difficult to live with, and the changes in your loved one can be can be scary, upsetting and overwhelming.

    You may worry that things wont ever go back to the way they were before. Youre desperate to help them and make them better. At the same time, you may feel angry about whats happening to your family, and hurt by your loved ones distance and new emotions. The symptoms of PTSD can even lead to job loss, substance abuse, alcohol misuse, and other problems that affect the whole family. Its a stressful situation all around one that can leave you feeling helpless and confused.

    Its hard not to take the symptoms of PTSD personally, but its important to remember that a person with PTSD may not always have control over their behaviour. Your loved ones nervous system is stuck in a state of constant alert, making them continually feel vulnerable and unsafe, or having to relive the traumatic experience over and over. This can lead to anger, irritability, depression, mistrust, and other PTSD symptoms that your loved one cant simply choose to turn off.

    As you go through this time with a loved one with PTSD or C-PTSD, some of the most important things to remember are:

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