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Ptsd Support Groups For Family Members

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Benefits Of Ptsd Support Groups

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

Support groups often make up an important part of PTSD recovery.

Peer support can provide a sense of connection, safety, and comfort. Learning about the experiences of others living with PTSD can help ease feelings of isolation and loneliness. Joining a support group can also help you realize that recovery is possible, since some members may already be further along in their healing journey.

Support groups also offer a safe space to share personal feelings of survivor guilt or shame. Other members can validate these feelings while also reminding you that what happened wasnt your fault.

With an online support group, youll get other benefits:

  • Anonymity. You dont have to use your real name or even your main email address. You can even log in from a public computer if you prefer.
  • Around-the-clock support. You can log in to the message board or chat room at any time, from wherever you are in the world.

How Can I Communicate Better

You and your family may have trouble talking about feelings, worries, and everyday problems. Here are some ways to communicate better:

  • Be clear and to the point.
  • Be positive. Blame and negative talk won’t help the situation.
  • Be a good listener. Don’t argue or interrupt. Repeat what you hear to make sure you understand, and ask questions if you need to know more.
  • Put your feelings into words. Your loved one may not know you are sad or frustrated unless you are clear about your feelings.
  • Help your family member put feelings into words. Ask, “Are you feeling angry? Sad? Worried?”
  • Ask how you can help.
  • Don’t give advice unless you are asked.

If your family is having a lot of trouble talking things over, consider trying family therapy. Family therapy is a type of counseling that includes your whole family. A therapist helps you and your family communicate, maintain good relationships, and cope with tough emotions.

During therapy, each person can talk about how a problem is affecting the family. Family therapy can help family members understand and cope with PTSD.

Your health professional or a religious or social services organization can help you find a family therapist who specializes in PTSD.

What Can I Do If Im Experiencing Stress And Anxiety

  • Try to get enough rest.
  • Plan a schedule for your day to help manage the feeling of being out of control.
  • Practice relaxation and mindfulness techniques, such as deep breathing, to help cope when things upset you or dont go according to plan.
  • Do something you enjoy several times a week, like seeing a movie or visiting friends.

My counselors at VA showed me different techniques on how to deal with my anxiety attacks. Theyve given me a guide on how to live, because the anxiety stopped me from living because I shut myself off.

Its important to find ways to reduce stress and anxiety. Your close friends and family may notice the effects these conditions are having on your quality of life. Turn to them when you are ready to look for solutions. By sharing what youre experiencing with them, they may be able to provide support.

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Coping Support And Living With Ptsd

When you get a brain injury in form of trauma, the effects can be far-reaching and highly debilitating. PTSD symptoms can affect your work, physical health, mental health, and even your relationships. Some of the symptoms include feeling isolated, inability to trust people, difficulty maintaining a job, and difficulty expressing your emotions or thoughts.

Learning healthy PTSD coping mechanisms can make your treatment more effective. Being part of a PTSD support group is one of the best ways to learn coping mechanisms and forms of help available. Some of the most effective coping mechanisms include exercising, spending time with people, seeking counseling, practicing mindfulness, changing your lifestyle, and journaling.

Failure to seek help for PTSD can result in other mental health conditions such as eating disorder, bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety disorder, depression, and substance abuse disorder. According to research, people with PTSD are six times more likely to develop depression and five times likely to develop anxiety. PTSD also increases the chances of suicide by up to six times and a high rate of deliberate self-harm. It is paramount that one seeks help on the onset of PTSD.

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PTSD triggers

What Others Say About Nami Family Support Group

Group Treatment for Older Veterans With Post

Using the support group model is so essential to the success of our family support groups. As a group, the collective wisdom covered a lot of possibilities towards the issues.

The most beneficial thing for me was that I am not alone. I found the NAMI Family Support Group at the time I really needed it!

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How Can I Take Care Of Myself

Helping someone with PTSD can be hard on you. You may have your own feelings of fear and anger about the trauma. You may feel guilty because you wish your family member would just forget all the problems and get on with life. You may feel confused or frustrated because your loved one has changed, and you may worry that your family life will never get back to normal.

All of this can drain you. It can affect your health and make it hard for you to help your loved one. If you’re not careful, you may get sick yourself, become depressed, or burn out and stop helping your loved one.

To help yourself, you need to take care of yourself and have other people help you.

Tips to care for yourself

How Do I Get Support

When someone you care about has PTSD, it affects you too. You are probably spending time and energy to help your loved one cope. Learning about PTSD helps you to understand what your loved one is experiencing. But, you need to take care of yourself too. Here are some resources that can help.

Family and friends

  • Learn about resources to help you take care of yourself while supporting someone with PTSD.

Military families

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Programs For Family Members Of Veterans


Several programs have been developed for use with family members of Veterans with a variety of chronic conditions including:

The Support And Family Education Program: Mental Health Facts for Families is an 18-session curriculum to support adults who care for a Veteran living with chronic mental illness or PTSD.

Operation Enduring Families: Information and Support for Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans and Their Families, an extension of the SAFE program, is a 5-session family education and support program for Veterans who have recently returned from a combat from Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom .

A third program, the TBI Family Caregiver Curriculum, was developed by the Department of Defense to help families of a Veteran returning from combat in OEF or OIF with a traumatic brain injury . This program, available online, consists of four modules that inform a family caregiver about TBI, its effects, issues that accompany caregiving, and ways to navigate services and benefits for the Veteran.

More detailed information about TBI and specific resources for military and veteran families is also available here. The VA also provides a caregiver support line for help toll-free: 1 260-3274.

Similarly, there are educational programs for professionals who work with family caregivers of service members who have TBI, such as the on-line program, A Family Member’s Guide to Coping with Traumatic Brain Injury .


Target Population

Tip : Rebuild Trust And Safety

Complex PTSD (CPTSD) and Strategies to Cope

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

Express your commitment to the relationship. Let your loved one know that you’re 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 you’re trustworthy. Be consistent and follow through on what you say you’re going to do.

Emphasize your loved one’s strengths. Tell your loved one you believe they’re capable of recovery and point out all of their positive qualities and successes.

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Take The Next Step To Connect With Care

Every day, Veterans from all military service branches and eras connect with proven resources and effective treatments. Heres how to take the next step: the one thats right for you.

Read VA’s latest coronavirus information. If you have flu-like symptoms such as fever, cough, and shortness of breath, please call before you visit your local medical center or clinic. If you have an appointment, consider making it a telehealth appointment.

New to VA? Apply for health care benefits.

  • Getting started is simple. Create a free account online to help ease your enrollment process. To prepare to apply for VA health care in person, by telephone, or by mail, explore VAs How to Apply page.
  • Not sure whether you are eligible for VA health care benefits? Read about eligibility for VA health care.
  • Unsure of what kind of help you need? Call 1-877-222-VETS to find the right resources to meet your needs, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET. If you have hearing loss, call TTY: .
  • Veterans family members and caregivers can see whether they qualify for VA medical benefits as a spouse, surviving spouse, dependent child, or caregiver. Explore family and caregiver health benefits.

Already enrolled in VA and interested in mental health support? Schedule a mental health appointment.

What about other options at VA? VA offers a variety of tools and resources.

What about support beyond VA?

Common Internal Ptsd Triggers

  • Physical discomfort, such as hunger, thirst, fatigue, sickness, and sexual frustration.
  • Any bodily sensation that recalls the trauma, including pain, old wounds and scars, or a similar injury.
  • Strong emotions, especially feeling helpless, out of control, or trapped.
  • Feelings toward family members, including mixed feelings of love, vulnerability, and resentment.

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Tip : Deal With Volatility And Anger

PTSD can lead to difficulties managing emotions and impulses. In your loved one, this may manifest as extreme irritability, moodiness, or explosions of rage.

People suffering from PTSD live in a constant state of physical and emotional stress. Since they usually have trouble sleeping, it means they’re constantly exhausted, on edge, and physically strung outincreasing the likelihood that they’ll overreact to day-to-day stressors.

For many people with PTSD, anger can also be a cover for other feelings such as grief, helplessness, or guilt. Anger makes them feel powerful, instead of weak and vulnerable. Others try to suppress their anger until it erupts when you least expect it.

Watch for signs that your loved one is angry, such as clenching jaw or fists, talking louder, or getting agitated. Take steps to defuse the situation as soon as you see the initial warning signs.

Try to remain calm. During an emotional outburst, try your best to stay calm. This will communicate to your loved one that you are safe, and prevent the situation from escalating.

Give the person space. Avoid crowding or grabbing the person. This can make a traumatized person feel threatened.

Ask how you can help. For example: What can I do to help you right now? You can also suggest a time out or change of scenery.

Recommendations For The Best Ptsd Support Groups

How Many Veterans Have Ptsd

The Counseling Center of Texas

The Counseling Center of Texas is a support group for people in Texas living with PTSD symptoms. It is open to anyone interested in benefiting from learning, looking for acceptance, understanding, and support through a group setting. They also offer specialized groups for family members and caregivers for people living with PTSD.

Innova Recovery Center

Innova Recovery Center support group offers a unique, beneficial, and flexible therapy model for PTSD patients. It works to make therapy accessible to people living with PTSD regardless of their locations or busy schedules. At Innova, you are connected with group members on the same path to recovery from PTSD as you. They offer support to people showing symptoms of PTSD or people already diagnosed with the condition.

Love Our vets

If you are a vet looking for support groups for vets with PTSD, Love our Vets caters to combat veterans going through PTSD. Through the book by the same title, families can get information about dealing with PTSD, joining a family support group, coping skills, and hope for recovery. This book is also ideal for vets living with PTSD, written by someone who has experienced PTSD firsthand.

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Ptsd Support Group Online

PTSD The Journey to Solutions

If youre suffering from PTSD or you live with someone who is, remember this, youre not alone. This group is a support group for people who are experiencing the signs and symptoms of posttraumatic stress and who also wish to benefit from the increased learning, acceptance, support and understanding that can be gained from the group therapy process and the group experience. We also offer specialized sub-courses on this subject for: Families with Loved Ones who have PTSD, and PTSD and the First Responder.

Course Information

This course meets for six consecutive weeks in person or online at the dates and times listed in the course schedule. Classes meet in person at our offices in Dallas, Texas or online from any location with a reliable internet connection.


If youre suffering from PTSD or you live with someone who is remember this, youre not alone. The National Institute for Mental Health research reveals that 3.5% of the U.S, adult population has PTSD and 36.6% of those cases are categorized as severe. Among adolescents between 13 to 18 years of age the research shows that 4.0% have PTSD.

This group is a support group for people who are experiencing the signs and symptoms of posttraumatic stress and who also wish to benefit from the increased learning, acceptance, support and understanding that can gained from the group process and experience.

We also offer additional specialized courses on this topic.

What you’ll learn

How To Help Someone With Ptsd

Knowing how to help someone with post-traumatic stress disorder can be challenging. The symptoms of PTSD can present difficulties for friends and family members who want to support a loved one living with PTSD. If you know someone with PTSD, there are ways you can help. In fact, you can be very beneficial to their recovery, but only if you also care for yourself, too.

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How To Find Ptsd Support Groups

Reviewed by Laura Angers, LPC

There are different support groups available for people who have post-traumatic stress disorder . It is essential to understand where to look for PTSD support, whether it is online or in-person. Depending on what is most comfortable for you, you’re likely to start your search with an option that fits your needs. Getting help through a support group has helped many people deal with their feelings while understanding how they affect their lives. Connecting with others through support groups helps with coping while gaining informative insight and reducing isolation. Here are some tips to help you find group support for PTSD.

How To Get Leads

When you’re new to joining a support group, you may not know where or how to start your search for leads. When you are interested in joining a group, it helps to know where to begin your search. You can get tips or information from people you know, including coworkers, family members, and your primary doctor. Think about people you know from the community, such as your local church or people you know that work in the community. When considering a search online, search for local groups for the city you live in. You may find groups available online through social media.

Getting Help For PTSD In-Person

Getting Help For PTSD Online

Additional Tips For Online Support

Pay Attention To How You Can Join

Benefits Of Support Groups

What Happens When You Join?

Support Group Help Is One Part Of Coping

Caregiver Burden And Burnout

Narcissistic Trauma & Marginalized Communities: The Link & Coping Strategies

PTSD is a chronic illness, and a person with PTSD may require constant care from a loved one, such as a partner, parent, or another family member. Partners of people with PTSD may be faced with a number of stressors that go along with caring for and living with someone with a chronic disease.

These stressors include financial strain, managing the person’s symptoms, dealing with crises, the loss of friends, or the loss of intimacy.

Due to their loved one’s illness, partners and caregivers often take on a disproportionate amount of responsibility for these stressors, which places a large burden on them and can ultimately lead to burnout.

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