If you or someone you know is struggling with PTSD or appears to be showing symptoms, you might be wondering what to do. It’s not easy for those with this condition to interact and communicate with loved ones and colleagues. This mental disorder also makes it challenging to maintain healthy boundaries and relationships with others.
Fortunately, resources and treatments are available to make it easier for those with PTSD to manage their issues and regain control over their lives. The C.U.B.E is one of the leading PTSD treatment centers in Los Angeles committed to helping those with mental health concerns overcome the challenges their condition presents to improve their quality of life.
In addition to getting professional help, here are some helpful suggestions for supporting people with PTSD.
Offer Them Your Support
Many people don’t feel comfortable informing others or reaching out when they are under duress or experiencing PTSD symptoms. Everyone occasionally has times when they believe they should isolate themselves or avoid social and regular events or even certain people. These feelings are often temporary and eventually go away on their own.
However, for those with PTSD, these feelings are often triggered by various factors that remind them of the trauma that led to their post-traumatic stress disorder. They may not realize there are people they can lean on when times get rough, or their symptoms appear unexpectedly or become too severe.
Let them know they are not alone, and you are there to help them in any way you can on their road to recovery.
Learn About the Symptoms of PTSD
In order to be a pillar of support for those with PTSD, it’s necessary to have an understanding of the symptoms. Doing so enables you to protect your boundaries and feelings, so you don’t take offense to the negative or extreme behaviors and reactions associated with the condition. Sometimes, it can seem like their anger or discomfort is directed at you, but it’s not. Post-traumatic stress disorder compromises emotional regulation, thought processes, and behaviors.
Frustration, irritability, and anger are common manifestations of this condition and are not necessarily targeted toward you. Identifying the symptoms also makes it easier for you to recognize when the person afflicted is in danger of being triggered or in distress.
It can mean all the difference when someone with PTSD has loved ones and friends in their corner for support. This creates an atmosphere where they’re more willing to open up to you and discuss what they’re feeling and what they’re going through. This also increases their susceptibility to treatment.
Create a Safe Space
It’s essential to create a space where the victim feels safe and comfortable. Depending on the circumstances surrounding their condition, you may need to rely on subtle behavioral cues to know what types of environments to avoid. This is necessary to keep them from withdrawing from the world around them and shunning interactions with family members and loved ones.
When creating an ideal space for the victim, ensure it includes some type of face-to-face activities where you can discreetly observe them without causing them alarm. As much as they may shy away from physical or person-to-person interactions with others, it is necessary and highly beneficial for many living with PTSD.
Suggest activities that involve social interactions solely with family and friends that make them feel their best and are less likely to trigger their symptoms. Be prepared to ask them often about what they want to do and who they want to involve.
Remind Them How to Have Fun
Choose activities and events that reduce stress and are non-triggering to the individual so they can relax and have fun. For instance, you might want to recommend biking, hiking along nature trails, yoga sessions, and any number of other peaceful activities that they enjoy to reduce stress levels and elevate their moods.
Listen to Them
When opportunities to communicate arise, capitalize on them and listen actively. Refrain from offering advice unless you feel it’s pertinent to their health and well-being. Don’t interrupt them when they speak. Allow your friend to feel safe so they can express their feelings.
Try to keep your emotions in check too. Avoid aggressive and confrontational behavior and flippant or sarcastic remarks and jokes that may cause their symptoms to emerge or become worse. If your feelings become unstable when talking to them, you risk triggering their emotional reactions to the situation and possibly their PTSD symptoms.
Encourage Them to Seek Treatment
Encouraging a friend or loved one to seek treatment is one of the best things you can do to show your love and support for some in need of healing from PTSD. They may refuse, deflect, become angry, and avoidant when you mention treatment, but don’t let that deter you. It’s very common for those suffering from trauma to refuse help and support many times before agreeing to and going through with treatment.
Research PTSD treatment centers in Los Angeles. Encourage them to become proactive about treatment and the process of finding the right center that best meets their needs. There are different types of treatment available for PTSD in Los Angeles to consider.
No matter how many times they refuse or how discouraged you feel at times, it’s important to help them find a professional they feel comfortable with and trust enough to help them overcome their trauma and PTSD.
PTSD therapy provides the tools and foundation necessary to recognize and manage their symptoms. Without this knowledge, overcoming PTSD can be incredibly difficult. Also, support groups for PTSD are available almost everywhere, including online.
Support groups are very beneficial in helping those with PTSD overcome their condition. Interacting and learning from others in similar situations often helps others better recognize their symptoms and develop more positive coping mechanisms and personal relationships.
You don’t need to have a familial or romantic relationship to help and support someone with PTSD. You can do many things on a personal level to guide them toward recovery. By keeping the above information in mind and speaking with a therapist yourself, you can make a significant difference in their lives and empower them to get the professional help they need to live the life they want on their terms —unhampered by trauma and PTSD.