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How To Help Someone With Ptsd From War

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4 TIPS on HOW TO HELP someone with PTSD

War may have far-reaching consequences. People who serve in the military, particularly during times of conflict, are at a higher risk of developing PTSD. A soldiers family may also be under a lot of strain. However, help is available, and there are various options available for military personnel and their families who are struggling to manage.

Through medically assisted detox and other evidence-based techniques, Heroes Mile seeks to assure your safe and effective recovery. There are a variety of treatments and programs that can help you develop healthy habits and make significant life changes. To learn more about our treatment options, dont hesitate to get in touch with us now.

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Resources For Service Members

In addition to these forms of therapy, the following resources can be useful for service members and their families who want to receive more information about different types of PTSD treatment.

Contact your family doctor. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs advises veterans to consult their family doctor as one way of finding an experienced trauma-care provider.

Connect Veterans You Know To Other Vets

Veterans with PTSD can often feel alone in their grief and despair. They might try to isolate themselves and withdraw from relationships. They might even be apathetic to things they used to enjoy doing. It can be hard to connect with veterans suffering from PTSD because theres no way you can fully understand what they went through.

But you can encourage them to talk to someone who does.

There are peer support groups all across the country designed to bring veterans suffering from PTSD together to talk about their experiences. These support groups cover the struggles of daily living while encouraging trust in other people . While these groups arent a substitute for treatment, they can help struggling vets to feel a little better about the life theyre living.

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Dating Someone With Ptsd: Dont Jump To Conclusions

So, you suspect your partner has PTSD, but you dont how to proceed with helping someone with PTSD. First, you mustnt diagnose your partner. Only a medical professional can diagnose an individual. You can broach the subject and ask if your loved one has a condition or is seeing a therapist.

If theyre not currently in treatment, consider if theyre displaying PTSD symptoms. Symptoms vary significantly for PTSD, but some of the common signs include:

  • Flashbacks or nightmares
  • Hyperarousal
  • Insomnia

If you recognize these symptoms in your partner, ask yourself if youre aware of a traumatic experience that may have occurred in their life within the last couple of months. If no events come to mind, you can try to have an open and non-judgmental conversation with them.

Its important you dont keep all your thoughts and concerns in, as they can come out in an inappropriate or insensitive way. When youre feeling calm and your partner is in a good mood, try to voice your concerns with them. Even if your partner disagrees with your concerns, you bringing the topic up can spark some internal analysis on their end.

Ultimately, you want to encourage your partner to seek professional treatment and receive a professional diagnosis.

Take Care Of Yourself

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When youre working to support a friend with PTSD, it can be difficult to set boundaries and protect your well-being. Always remember to take time for yourself, as challenging as it can be. Develop coping mechanisms, healthy ways of dealing with stress and take time each day to do what bring you joy.

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Potential Causes Of Ptsd In The Military And When Symptoms May Lead To A Diagnosis

People in the military can develop PTSD from trauma that occurs in combat, such as witnessing other people be killed, as in Andersons case, or seeing dead bodies on the ground or receiving threats to their lives.

But PTSD may occur as a result of trauma not only during combat, but also during training or even in times of peace.

For instance, military sexual trauma, or trauma as a result of sexual assault or sexual harassment during peacetime, training, or war, can cause men and women to develop PTSD.

According to data from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs national screening program, about 1 in 4 women and 1 in 100 men report that they have experienced sexual trauma in the military.

Indeed, post-traumatic stress can result after any event that is shocking, says Annette T. Hill, a licensed professional counselor at Warriors Heart, a treatment center for active military, veterans, and first responders in Bandera, Texas. Hills son suffered from PTSD and killed himself in 2009. A diagnosis of PTSD results when symptoms last for one month or more, she notes.

Look Out For Warning Signs

You might see a change in the behaviour of the person you want to support. For example:

  • a change in their mood, such as often feeling low, anxious, upset, angry or irritated
  • a change in performance at work, such as lateness or missing deadlines
  • a change in energy levels, such as extreme alertness or a lack of concentration.

If you notice these sorts of changes in someone close to you, you could ask them how they are feeling. This might encourage them to open up.

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Loving Someone With Ptsd: A Practical Guide To Understanding And Connecting With Your Partner After Trauma By Aphrodite T Matsakis Phd

Your partner will undoubtedly go through stressful experiences, but what happens when they experience genuine trauma, and now suffer from PTSD? How do you ensure your partner feels loved and safe after experiencing a genuine disaster of some kind?

Dr. Matsakis offers a solution for those whose partners have PTSD. Understand the symptoms, set realistic expectations, and learn to communicate effectively with this guide.

Just How Prevalent Is Ptsd In The Military

7 Tips To Help Someone With PTSD | Mental Health 101 | Kati Morton

The percentage of veterans affected by PTSD varies:

Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom: Between 11 and 20 percent of veterans.

Gulf War: About 12 percent of veterans

Vietnam War: Studies suggest about 15 percent of veterans, yet its estimated that about 30 percent have had PTSD in their lifetime.

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Traumatized: Identify Understand And Cope With Ptsd And Emotional Stress Kati Morton Lmft

Trauma isnt always the result of a singular stressful experience. At its core, trauma is just an emotional response to acute stress. This can come from many sources, but the common definition leaves many people confused about why they feel the way they do: I didnt go through a traumatic experience, so why am I experiencing these symptoms?

Therapist Kati Morton tackles this issue especially in how it affects our social media habits and offers clear, practical advice to help you recognize emotional stress while understanding how to move forward.

How Do I Talk To A Military Person With Ptsd

Helping someone with PTSD tip 1: Provide social support

  • Dont pressure your loved one into talking.
  • Do normal things with your loved one, things that have nothing to do with PTSD or the traumatic experience.
  • Let your loved one take the lead, rather than telling them what to do.
  • Manage your own stress.
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    Ptsd Not Due To Combat

    Prevalence statistics suggest that PTSD stemming from combat exposure is quite common. However, people in the military may also be at risk of experiencing other types of traumatic events.

    Women in the military may be at high risk of experiencing sexual trauma, often referred to as military sexual trauma . Statistics also suggest that many men experience sexual harassment.

    Among veterans who use VA healthcare services, 23% reported experiencing a sexual assault while in the military. Around 55% of women and 38% of men reported experiencing sexual harassment while serving in the military.

    Combat Stress Or Ptsd

    The Real Life of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) 07/22 by Social ...

    Combat stress is often confused with post-traumatic stress disorder, which can occur after someone goes through a traumatic event like war, assault or disaster. While many of the symptoms are similar between the two conditions, they are different.

    Combat stress usually happens for brief periods and is considered a natural reaction to the traumatic events that service members experience. Symptoms often disappear after a service member is home for a few months or even weeks.

    Post-traumatic stress disorder, on the other hand, is more severe. It can often interfere with a persons daily responsibilities and demands a more aggressive treatment. PTSD usually requires sessions with a mental health professional and methods to process difficult emotions.

    A person diagnosed with PTSD often experiences specific symptoms such as recurrent dreams or flashbacks following a traumatic event as part of the combat experience.

    In summary, PTSD tends to be more severe and usually requires working with a mental health professional. Combat stress is a more common reaction to demanding and traumatic experiences. Service members can usually recover and resume their everyday lives by following some simple strategies and taking time to heal.

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    Plan Ahead For Difficult Times

    When your friend or relative is feeling well, it can be helpful to discuss with them how you can help if they become unwell or if a crisis happens. You could:

    • encourage them to write a crisis plan
    • discuss which symptoms you can look out for
    • get to know their triggers and plan how to cope with them.

    This can help them to avoid crises or manage them differently in future where possible. When having these conversations, make sure you also think about how much you can cope with and try to only offer support that you feel able to give. It is important to look after yourself too.

    For more information see our pages on planning for a crisis, helping someone else seek help and advocacy.

    Tips on helping someone who is experiencing a flashback

    Flashbacks are vivid experiences in which someone relives aspects of a traumatic event. It can be hard to know how to help during a flashback, but you don’t need special training to support someone who is having one. It could help if you:

    • try to stay calm
    • gently tell them that they are having a flashback
    • avoid making any sudden movements
    • encourage them to breathe slowly and deeply
    • encourage them to describe their surroundings.

    See our sections on what flashbacks are and tips for coping with flashbacks for more information.

    What Should I Do If I Think I Have Ptsd

    First, know that youre not alone. We are very sorry to hear you are struggling, but we believe no matter what youre going through, with help you can find a future to look forward to. If you think you or a loved one has PTSD, please contact the Wounded Warrior Project® Resource Center at or , and we will connect you with someone who can help. Were stronger when we work together, so we collaborate with many other veterans service organizations to help veterans of all generations. Our Resource Center is always happy to work with veterans from all generations to connect them with resources specifically developed to help them.

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    Love Isnt Always Enough

    Many people who have relationships with someone with PTSD assume the role of caretaker. At least, this was the case with me.

    I wanted to be the one person who didnt abandon D. I wanted to show him love can conquer all and that, with the right person, love could help him reinforce and reinstate a healthy lifestyle.

    As heartbreaking as it is to admit, love often doesnt conquer all. This realization came in waves over the three years we were together, mixed with intense feelings of guilt and inadequacy.

    Its an illusion, this idea that we can save people, Wen says. Its ultimately their responsibility as an adult to seek help, or to ask for help, even if it isnt their fault that they experienced trauma. We cannot make anyone take the help.

    Stressors That May Cause Ptsd In The Military

    A Veteran Copes with PTSD: Brandon’s Story

    The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have been the longest combat operations since Vietnam. Many stressors and possible traumas face those who have served in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom .

    Military PTSD is affected by stressors like being attacked or by knowing someone else in the military that was killed and these are stressors that most soldiers face. In Iraq, of those in the Army:

    • 95% have seen dead bodies.
    • 93% have been shot at.
    • 89% have been attacked or ambushed.
    • 86% have received rocket or mortar fire.
    • 86% know someone who has been killed or seriously injured.

    The numbers are lower, but still significant, for those who served in Afghanistan.

    It is also worth knowing that many men and women are sexually assaulted and harassed in the military. Military Sexual Trauma is an additional major factor in developing PTSD in the military .

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    Effects Of War On A Soldier’s Family

    Not only is war difficult for military soldiers, but it is also incredibly difficult for their families. War can have a tremendous impact on the mental health of a soldier’s loved ones.

    Some common reactions that family members might experience include:

    • Anger
    • Negative feelings
    • Sympathy

    Social support can play a critical role in both preventing and treating PTSD. Because of this, interventions that address the entire family and work to repair communication and improve family dynamics can be beneficial.

    Ptsd In Veterans Recovery Step : Get Moving

    Getting regular exercise has always been key for veterans with PTSD. As well as helping to burn off adrenaline, exercise can release endorphins and improve your mood. And by really focusing on your body as you exercise, you can even help your nervous system become unstuck and move out of the immobilization stress response.

    Exercise that is rhythmic and engages both your arms and legssuch as running, swimming, basketball, or even dancingworks well if, instead of continuing to focus on your thoughts as you move, you focus on how your body feels.

    Try to notice the sensation of your feet hitting the ground, for example, or the rhythm of your breathing, or the feeling of the wind on your skin. Many veterans with PTSD find that sports such as rock climbing, boxing, weight training, and martial arts make it easier to focus on your body movementsafter all, if you dont, you could injure yourself. Whatever exercise you choose, try to work out for 30 minutes or more each dayor if its easier, three 10-minute spurts of exercise are just as beneficial.

    The benefits of the great outdoors

    Pursuing outdoor activities in nature like hiking, camping, mountain biking, rock climbing, whitewater rafting, and skiing can help challenge your sense of vulnerability and help you transition back into civilian life.

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    Talking To Your Loved One About Ptsd Triggers

    Ask your loved one about things theyve done in the past to respond to a trigger that seemed to help . Then come up with a joint game plan for how you will respond in future.

    Decide with your loved one how you should respond when they have a nightmare, flashback, or panic attack. Having a plan in place will make the situation less scary for both of you. Youll also be in a much better position to help your loved one calm down.

    How to help someone having a flashback or panic attack

    During a flashback, people often feel a sense of disassociation, as if theyre detached from their own body. Anything you can do to ground them will help.

    • Tell your loved one theyre having a flashback and that even though it feels real, the event is not actually happening again.
    • Help remind them of their surroundings .
    • Encourage them to take deep, slow breaths .
    • Avoid sudden movements or anything that might startle them.
    • Ask before you touch them. Touching or putting your arms around the person might make them feel trapped, which can lead to greater agitation and even violence.

    People With Ptsd Often Feel Unlovable

    PTSD Isn

    D. is beautiful inside and out. Not only is he strikingly handsome, he is smart, caring, and compassionate. But he didnt feel he was deserving of love, or even remotely loveable.

    Traumatic experiences, in addition to being scary and impacting our sense of safety, very often have a direct effect on our cognition, says Irina Wen, MD, a psychiatrist and director of the Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at NYU Langone Health.

    Usually those effects are negative. As a result, the patient might start feeling undeserving and unlovable, or that the world is a dangerous place and people should not be trusted, she explains.

    Over time, these negative thoughts become generalized so that negativity permeates all aspects of life. They can also carry over into a relationship.

    D. would often ask me what I saw in him, how I could love him. This deep insecurity shaped how I treated him, with more reassurances without prompting.

    D. needed a lot of time and attention from me. Because he had lost so much in his life, he had an almost controlling grip on me, from needing to know every detail of my whereabouts and having meltdowns when the plan changed last minute, to expecting me to be loyal to him above my own parents, even when I felt he didnt always deserve it.

    In believing that he was unlovable, D. also created scenarios that cast him as such. When he was angry, hed express it by taking horrific jabs at me.

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