Post-traumatic stress disorder is a life altering condition that directly impacts the family. People with PTSD can act differently, becoming angry more easily or withdrawing from loved ones. They may no longer enjoy the things they once did or suffer from severe anxiety and depression.
Family members are often confused or frustrated with these changes because they don’t understand how to help. The more you learn about this disorder, the easier it is to work through it with your loved one. Here are ways you can help a family member who has PTSD.
Knowledge is Power
You can’t begin to help your family member until you better understand their disorder. There are countless online resources available, but it helps to speak with the individual’s doctor and personal injury lawyers about their injury and how their resulting PTSD affects them.
At the same time, you need to discuss what your family is experiencing and feeling with them. Don’t try to solve situation. Instead, just listen to how the disorder impacts their life. Everyone’s experience with PTSD is different.
During this time, your family member is going to have plenty of doctor and therapy appointments. You can show your support by going to these appointments with them. It also helps to keep track of appointments for them, giving them one less thing to worry about as they focus on working through their PTSD.
Keep Them Active
People with PTSD tend to withdraw from social activities and family members. Plan outings with this person such as going to the movies or simply having dinner with the family. Keep that interaction up even when they don’t feel like talking or engaging. It’s important to let then know that the social lines of your family are still open.
At the same time, doctors and family law attorneys recommend physical exercise to help those with PTSD work through their emotions. Talking walks, jogging, or riding bikes together is an excellent way to both socialize and keep them active.
Develop a Support System
One person can’t be there for an individual with PTSD 24/7. As a family, you have the benefit of creating a support system for your loved one. Make sure that someone is always there for them when they need it, through both the good and bad times.
Dealing with Anger
With bouts of anger common with PTSD, it helps to create some boundaries. A time-out system is highly recommended, but not like you would create for a toddler. Time-outs are called when anger is present from either party, ending the conversation immediately.
Families often agree on a signal that tells one another a time out has started, which is usually non-verbal to keep the situation from escalating. A timeframe is also set, allowing the conversation to resume once everyone is calm again.
Calming supplements can also be useful in combating anger. Cbd gummies, or cbd joints have both been shown to have calming effects and help with emotional regulation.
Once everyone reenters the conversation, people must take turns talking and working on a solution to the problem at hand. This allows everyone to come to a mutual agreement and help curb the symptoms of anger and frustration so closely associated with PTSD.