The role of a veteran’s family and friends is crucial, especially during difficult moments. In most cases, those who are close to the veteran will be the first to see if something is wrong.
If someone you love is dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), rest in the fact that this condition is treatable and you can help the person can get their life back. Spouses, partners, family members and friends have seen this happen many times before, after doing what they could to help their loved one defeat PTSD.
Here are five ways you can make life better for a veteran with PTSD:
1. Be ready to help your loved one.
First off, be aware that whatever your loved one is dealing with because of PTSD is out of their control. If they’re being difficult, understand them with all your heart and mind. If you have to do more things around the house, just do them anyway. Unless you can rise above the situation, you can never help a person with PTSD.
2. Know what treatment options are available.
Counseling and medication are two established approaches for treating PTSD. More recently, researchers have significantly increased understanding of the causes of the disorder, as well as how to treat it. The more you know about the subject, the more you can help your loved one.
3. Encourage your loved one to open up to other veterans with PTSD.
Your local VA can assign a Peer Specialist to counsel your loved one individually, with the family, or in a group therapy with other veterans who also have PTSD. A Peer Specialist is an individual who has a mental health condition, but has received training and certification to help others struggling with their own mental problems. All you need to do is contact your local VA, and they will offer you options for your consideration.
4. Hire a professional coach.
Yes, it’s possible to have a professional coach help your loved one through his PTSD battles, and some coaches will even do it for free. It’s not easy to have a family member with the disorder talk about his thoughts and feelings, but this is something an expert will know exactly how to do. These coaches are experienced and trained, so it’s no surprise that veterans with the disorder have a better chance of responding positively to treatment when they are in the hands of experts.
5. Encourage self-help.
Finally, encourage your loved one with PTSD to try to maintain a level of self-care with their daily life. For example, download some PTSD self-help tools on their mobile phone or laptop, such as apps that provide tips for managing symptoms. Self-care gives people a feeling of being in control, and that is something these veterans need to re-learn slowly but surely.