How can I help someone with PTSD?

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PTSD Awareness Month

PTSD does not just affect the person who has it. Rather, the condition can also have a negative impact on his or her family and friends. It’s not easy to live with the symptoms of PTSD, and seeing your loved ones suddenly change their behavior can be utterly terrifying. You fear that they won’t ever come back to normal, even when they’re under therapy.

Even though things may get difficult, it is important that you give your full support to the person suffering from PTSD. It doesn’t sound much, but it can actually promote a positive change to your loved one. Here are tips on how you and your family can cope with PTSD:

  1. Be patient. Even if a person is totally committed to his treatments, it will really take a lot of time before he can recover from PTSD. This means that you really need to be patient throughout the process.
  2. Learn more about PTSD. If you understand how PTSD works, its effects, and the available treatments, you will be more capable of helping your loved one and keep everything in the right perspective.
  3. Don’t force the person to discuss his thoughts and feelings. Talking about traumatic experiences can be really difficult, even if you are discussing it with someone close to you. Instead of forcing your loved one to talk to you, give him some space and allow him to open up when he is ready. Just tell him that you are always willing to talk.
  4. Learn to listen. If they are ready to talk about their traumatic experiences, listen to them without forming any judgments and expectations. Make him feel that you are interested in what he is saying and that you care about him. You don’t necessarily have to give some advice all the time; it’s enough that you just listen to him. Let the professionals give the advice for you.

In some cases, a person suffering from PTSD may feel the need to rehash the traumatic event over and over again. This can be infuriating at times, but avoid scolding him and telling him to move on with his life. Let him talk and lend a listening ear.

Keep in mind that it’s alright if you don’t like what you hear. It’s understandable that traumatic experiences are stories that are really difficult to digest. However, make sure that you still respect their feelings.

Civilianized: A Young Veteran’s Memoir

In this dark humored War Memoir, Iraq veteran Michael Anthony discusses his return from war and how he defeated his PTSD. Civilianized is a must read for any veteran, or anyone who knows a veteran, who has returned from war and suffered through Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

dark humored military memoir“An intense memoir.” -Kirkus

“I wont soon forget this book.” -Mary Roach

“A must read.” -Colby Buzzell

“[S]mart and mordantly funny.” –Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

“Anthony delivers a dose of reality that can awaken the mind…” Bookreporter

Order your copy of Civilianized: A Young Veteran’s Memoir .

Picture: Flickr/Alexis Lane

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About The Author
Michael Anthony

Michael Anthony

Michael Anthony is a Massachusetts based writer and veteran of the U.S. Army. After his service in the Iraq War, he earned a BA in English Literature from Bridgewater State University, and an MFA in Creative Writing from Lesley University. He currently spends his free time with his wife and daughter, and volunteering for veteran charities.

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