Living with PTSD can be a challenge – whether it’s you suffering from PTSD, or someone you care about. If a loved one is suffering from PTSD, their actions and behavior may change. It may be difficult to predict they’re going to react, so you may feel as if you’re walking on eggshells when you’re around them. They may shirk some of their responsibilities because of the way their symptoms make them feel, so you may have to pick up some of their slack when it comes to housework.
If someone you care about is struggling with the symptoms of PTSD, it can be an arduous task trying to figure out to help them. Fortunately, there is a lot you can do to help them find relief from their symptoms.
How to help someone with PTSD
PTSD can make a person socially withdraw. Always respect your loved one’s boundaries, but you may be an invaluable source of comfort and support for them during their time of need. Some research even indicates that face-to-face social support is the most important factor in PTSD recovery.
Have patience with them.
Maybe your loved one isn’t ready to talk about it, or maybe they’re just not comfortable talking about it. That’s ok too. You shouldn’t try to pressure them into talking. Instead just assure them that you are there for them to provide unconditional, nonjudgmental support.
Ask them how you can help.
Try to pay attention to their needs – sometimes a person just needs to vent, and is not asking for advice. Trying to give them advice when they’re not asking for it can come off as judgmental or condescending.
More than anything, don’t try to guess what they’re feeling if you don’t have to. You can always just ask them. When they tell you how they feel, believe them and do what you can to support them.
The symptoms of PTSD
Intrusive memories of and flashbacks to the traumatic event, including intense reactions to things that remind you of your trauma.
Avoiding things that remind you of your trauma, difficulty remembering parts of the trauma, loss of interest in hobbies, and a feeling of emotional numbness
Hyperarousal, irritability, difficulty sleeping, hypervigilance, startling easily, angry outbursts, self-destructive behavior
Negative changes in thoughts and actions like feeling alienated or alone, trouble concentrating, trouble remembering things
Feelings of depression, hopelessness, mistrust, guilt, and self-blame
Treatments for PTSD
Although PTSD can be debilitating and unforgiving, there is hope for relief from your symptoms thanks to treatments both old and new. For decades, doctors have prescribed antidepressant medications or recommend psychotherapy sessions, but new treatments like ketamine may signal the beginning of a new era of PTSD treatment.
Ketamine for PTSD
Ketamine was first approved by the FDA for use as an anesthetic, but in recent years has been shown to be a powerful, rapid-acting treatment for mood disorders like PTSD. Research speculates that ketamine plays a role in the treatment of mood disorders through its interaction with the neurotransmitter known as glutamate. Glutamate is a powerful neurotransmitter that mediates the body’s response to stress and traumatic memories.
To learn more about ketamine and its use as PTSD treatment, contact us today to schedule a free consultation.