How to Help Someone with PTSD
I'm excited to share that I've been featured in a recent article! Read the excerpt below:
Understand that PTSD is variable
One of the greatest things you can do to help your loved one is to understand that PTSD looks different in different people. For example, although many individuals experienced the trauma of 9/11, there was a multitude of different trauma responses which coincided with the event.
Although most trauma results in behaviors related to fight, flight, flee, or flock, this can look different from person to person.
When reminded of the traumatic event, “Joe” may flee by leaving the state, while “Jenny” may flee by leaving the room. It is of utmost importance to validate your loved one’s personal experience and journey of healing from their trauma.
Let your loved one take the lead
Trauma work with a trained professional can be emotionally exhausting. In order to truly heal from trauma, your loved one has to be dedicated and ready to engage in treatment.
Your loved one is the only one who can determine if they are ready to do the work. Respect where your loved one is in their personal journey. If your loved one is already working with a professional, ask them how you can best be a support.
Just as PTSD can vary from person to person, ways to help an individual with PTSD can vary from person to person.
No matter how much you love and care about someone with PTSD, you won’t be a help to them if you are dysregulated yourself. Make sure you engage in self-care yourself so that you can be calm, cool, and collected when you are with your loved one.
This can be in the form of exercising, reading a book, eating healthfully, or simply taking a deep breath prior to interacting with your loved one.
As the saying goes, it’s important to put your own oxygen mask on prior to assisting others with theirs. The more regulated you are, the more you will be able to help your loved one.
Want to read more about how to help someone with PTSD from other mental health professionals? Check out more here!
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