Here are some tips that can help you modify your behavior and how to offer love and support to somebody suffering from PTSD:
Stay As Normal As Possible
Stay calm and try to carry on with normal routines and activities as much as possible. It is important for someone with PTSD to not socially isolate or completely withdraw from normal life. If a situation or activity is overwhelming, try incremental steps towards resuming it. Perhaps go to just a portion of an event or take breaks when needed rather than skipping it completely. Be patient and willing to adapt if needed. Let your loved one know that you are there for them and engage your community for additional support.
Let Your Loved One Set the Pace for Their Recovery
Recovering from PTSD is not something that can happen overnight. It may take many years for your loved one to fully recover from it. Keeping this in mind, it is best that you do not rush the process and let your loved one recover at their own pace. If you try to rush the process you might agitate them and that can hinder their recovery.
Be Open To Good and Bad Days
All days will not be the same for your loved one. There will be bad days and good days which is why you should be prepared for both. Do not worry excessively if your loved one is going through a bad day as there will be good ones soon enough. It may be helpful to keep a daily record so you can see the trends and reflect upon their achievements. That being said, that record should be only used as a way to build up your loved one, and should be used in a negative fashion.
Lend Them an Ear
Be open to listening but do not pressure them to talk. If they do open up about past trauma, listen in a supportive way. Try not to interrupt, judge or criticize. Many people with PTSD already feel bad about themselves for what happened, even if it is not fully rational. They may have difficulty trusting others. If you listen patiently and respond when needed, your loved one will feel more comfortable opening up about their trauma and this will aid in their recovery.
Show your loved one acceptance so that they feel safe in your company.
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Above all, have compassion for yourself and your loved one – compassion and connectedness are vital walking sticks to support you and your loved one on the road to recovery. Well Coast offers PTSD therapy, so call us at (833) 931-1716 to learn more when you are ready to take your first step towards healing.