PTSD Guide: Helping a Family Member or Someone with PTSD

Last Update on May 16, 2022 : Published on January 21, 2021
Helping a Family Member or Someone with PTSD

Helping a family member or someone with Post-traumatic Stress Disorder is not an easy road to take. Also, it is difficult because the impact of PTSD symptoms can be really great sometimes on family members. Researches show that parents with PTSD have more sadness, marital problems, anxiety issues, and behavioral issues in the children of the family in relation to non-PTSD families or relationships.

I know this might sound common to you. Moreover, PTSD symptoms are difficult to handle, even family members can take a longer time to understand the symptoms. A person experiencing PTSD can sound erratic, strange, or upsetting at various times.

Therefore, this blog covers how to help a family member or someone with PTSD. So, let’s get started.

Learning the Symptoms: The main role

Each and every reaction towards a person who is experiencing PTSD can impact their symptoms differently. The first step towards helping or coping with a PTSD person is to learn about the symptoms so that you can manage them accordingly.

Re-experiencing Symptoms

  • Frequent negative thoughts or memories related to the traumatic event
  • Recurrent nightmares
  • Frequent flashbacks
  • Feeling of distress whenever expressed views related to the traumatic event
  • Increased heart rate or sweating

Memories and thoughts related to the traumatic event can be triggered with even simple words or actions. Therefore, you really have to be careful with certain words or actions related to the traumatic event. Such triggers can also impact their level of concentration or the capability of following up a conversation due to frequent negative thoughts running in their mind.

Additionally, people experiencing PTSD are likely to get upset easily. Therefore, try to not make any conversations related to the traumatic event to prevent them from anxiety or depression. Just keep the conversation easy going. Do not try to dig in deep when you know the consequences.

Also, people with PTSD sometimes live in their parallel world. Even sometimes they are not able to recognize their people exactly due to PTSD. In such situations, try to bring them out of the blues.

Avoidance Symptoms

  • Avoiding thoughts, conversations, or feelings related to the traumatic event.
  • Avoiding places or people related to the traumatic event.
  • Difficulty in memorizing important parts related to the traumatic event.
  • Loss of concentration
  • Feeling distant
  • Difficulty in experiencing positive feelings

Sometimes, people with PTSD try to avoid places or persons related to traumatic events because with time they can lose interest in them due to triggering the memories and thoughts related to the traumatic event. Additionally, they also try to distance themselves from people due to negative thoughts.

Hyperarousal Symptoms

  • Problems in sleeping
  • Outbursts of anger
  • Having difficulty in focusing or concentrating
  • Easily startled
  • Constant feeling of danger

Related: How to stop PTSD nightmares and sleep peacefully

People with PTSD are always in a state of constant readiness. They also feel irritated or edgy. People with PTSD try to avoid places and people as they have a constant phobia of danger. If you are helping someone with PTSD, try to understand these symptoms and work according to such symptoms only.

Coping Strategies to help someone with PTSD

  1. Understand the behavior and try not to trigger the negative behavior side.
  2. Research more and more about the PTSD.
  3. Understand the pattern of triggers.
  4. Adapt yourself and a person with a certain routine to get them on the track.
  5. Increase their focus by indulging them in their favorite activities.

Click to read, Effective Self-help strategies of PTSD

Symptoms of PTSD cause a lot of stress on the person, therefore, try to keep them out of the blues. Recovering from PTSD is a long way to run, try to be positive.


Try a Top-Rated Therapy for PTSD Issues

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Disclaimer: As BetterHelp Affiliate, We may receive compensation from BetterHelp or other sources if you purchase products or services through the links provided on this page.

If you face difficulty in coping with someone with PTSD, you can always seek professional help. To seek professional help online, join Betterhelp today. You can also join the therapy or counseling together to maintain the bond.

I hope this blog helps you to help someone experiencing PTSD. Comment down and tell us your stories related to PTSD in the comment section below. For more such content, follow Calm Sage on all social media platforms.

Thanks for reading.

More power to you!

About The Author

Aayushi Kapoor
Aayushi Kapoor

Aayushi is a Content Creator at Calm Sage. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Food Technology and a Master's Degree in Clinical Nutrition. Her constant interest in the improvement of mental health, nutrition, and overall wellness embarked upon her career as a “full-time educational writer.” She likes to make an asynchronous connection with her readers. Her mantra for living life is "What you seek is seeking you".

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